INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Clash NOVEMBER 24, 2011 - by Robin Murray
BRIAN ENO ON U2, TALKING HEADS AND HIS LOVE OF MINIMALISM
Brian Eno has opened up about what drew him to work with Talking Heads and U2. Already established as an artist in his own right, Brian Eno hooked up with Talking Heads at an important junction in the band's career. Pushing them into new directions, the producer helped the group break through barriers.
Later earning global fame for his role in U2's output, Brian Eno has revealed what drew him to work with these acts. Speaking to a German radio station, the producer reflected on his love of Minimalism.
"I appreciate minimalists. So, I always like people who get big results without very much action. I think this is because... I've always liked minimalists actually, when I was a kid the first painter I really liked was Mondrian" he said.
"It struck me as magic that someone could do something so simple as those, you know, those typical Mondrian pictures with three primary colours, that something so simple could have such an effect on me. And I was always much more impressed by that kind of magic than the people who used every trick in the book and every colour and, that didn't seem like magic to me."
Continuing, the producer insisted that obsessed musicians are key to his work. "Now, I think anything good comes either out of excitement or out of obsession: you don't have to be excited to be obsessed and you don't have to be obsessed to be excited. But you've got to be one or the other, or some mixture of the two, to do anything."
Referring to some past musicians, Brian Eno used Talking Heads and U2 as an example. "To give you an example, I think Tina Weymouth was one of the great bass players, but she isn't on any normal standard a good bass player. You know if you asked her to play a line from some Bootsy Collins song or something, she probably couldn't do it, but she just did something that worked so well for that band".
"Well the same is true of Adam actually, in U2. You can't imagine U2 without Adam; you simply couldn't imagine that band. But he's not in the sort-of typical sense 'a good bass player', he's just exactly the right bass player for that band."