U2 Says New Album Is 'Not Finished,' Tour Should Pick Up in 2017

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U2 perform at the O2 Arena on Oct. 25, 2015 in London.  

After releasing Songs of Innocence in 2014, U2 went right back to work writing new music while promoting the highly publicized iTunes exclusive album. At one point they expected to release the follow up in 2016. A new interview reveals they’re still working on it, though there’s reason to hope for a new album and tour in 2017.

Reporters behind the 2013 book U2 En España (authored by Xavier Balart) recently caught up with Bono, Adam Clayton and their childhood friend, Irish musician Gavin Friday, while they visited Valencia, Spain for a friend’s wedding. "It's not finished yet but you will like it,” Bono said of the forthcoming album, said to be titled Songs of Experience, as a companion to its predecessor. “In terms of lyrics it is stronger than [U2’s 1983 album] War; it has more clarity.”

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Bono also clarified when fans can expect U2 to continue its massive, post-Songs of Innocence world tour. "The second part of the tour is for 2017… You might see a few things in September or October though."

Back in June, the Edge was optimistic on a 2016 album release. “We are still busting our ass to try to get it out this year,” the U2 guitarist told Billboard. “This is the working assumption. This is our ambition. It could change, but we’re really doing our best to get it out this year.”

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Presumably, Songs of Experience could still drop before 2016 runs out (after all, its predecessor dropped with little warning), but the Barcelona interview could hint towards a revised timeline, with a 2017 release more likely.  

U2s Innocence + Experience tour concluded in Paris on Dec. 7. In June 2016, they released U2 Innocence + Experience Live in Paris on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download. 

Find U2 En España's account of the Valencia interview here. Billboard reached out to U2 reps for further comment.