The 57-year-old frontman – who has daughters Jordan, 28, and Memphis, 26, and sons Elijah, 18, and six-year-old John with wife Ali – admitted the group go into all their records as if it would be their last, and this time round on ‘Songs of Experience’, he felt it was particularly important to tell his family how he felt about them.
He said: “I know U2 go into every album like it’s their last one but even more this time I wanted the people around me that I loved to know exactly how I felt. So a lot of the songs are kind of letters, letters to Ali, letters to my sons and daughters, actually our sons and daughters.”
But it isn’t just his family that the ‘One’ hitmaker has reached out to on the record.
He continued in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine: “There’s a song called ‘The Showman’, which is a letter to our audience, it’s kind of about performers and how you shouldn’t trust them too much. It’s about me, haha. There’s a funny line, well, I think it’s funny anyway, ‘I lie for a living, I love to let on but you make it true when you sing along?’
“It’s like a Fifties Beatles-in-Hamburg type tune.
“There’s a letter to America called ‘American Soul’, Kendrick Lamar used a bit of this for ‘XXX’ on his new album.”
Bono even accidentally wrote a song directly to himself – but he admitted most of his lyrics are “all written” to him anyway.
He added: “And one that I didn’t realise until too late that I was writing to myself, ‘It’s the Little Things Give You Away’.
“In all of these advice type songs, you are of course preaching what you need to hear. In that sense, they’re all written to the singer.”