U2 vocalist Bono has been spending the past years reading and out life lessons from the Bible, particularly from the book of Psalms that offers ancient hymns and poetry. From his studies, Bono realized that art often calls for honesty.
As he spoke to Fuller Studio, the legendary musician discussed the concepts of art and faith, specifically the music and other forms of art that are created by Christians. “I would really like this conversation to unlock some artists,” Bono, a devout Christian, explained. “Because I think there are trapped artists and I’d like them to be untrapped.”
In a previous interview with Fuller Studio made available last April 2016, the rock star made comparisons between the book of Psalms and modern-day Christian worship music. Bono admitted that he felt contemporary praise music is greatly lacking depth and essence. In his argument, he stated that such form of music does not have the wide range of “raw emotions” that can be felt with the book of Psalms.
In the latest video series unveiled last month, Bono once more touched on the topic with Professor David O. Taylor from the Fuller Theological Seminary. He put forward more insights into the depth of Psalms and the book’s influence on his music and life.
Prior to the filming of the new interview, Bono said he went through the Songs of Ascents once more. These songs are known to be a set of Psalms that were suggested to have been used by Jewish pilgrims as their songs when they paid a visit to Jerusalem. According to Bono, these chapters brought made him felt emotions and recognize values, including peace, humility, unity, protection, laughter, rage, and sadness.
“Okay, that’s just Songs of Ascent. They had utility. And why is it in Christian music, I can’t find them?” he added.
The 57-year-old musician also commented on people’s desire to label music as Christian or non-Christian. “Creation screams God’s name. So you don’t have to stick a sign on every tree,” he said, suggesting that songs referred to as “Christian” songs are not necessarily spiritual in nature. On the whole, the Dublin native says he just wants to hear music that is honest and truthful.
“I want to hear a song about the breakdown in your marriage, I want to hear songs of justice, I want to hear rage at injustice and I want to hear a song so good that it makes people want to do something about the subject,” he added.
According to Bono, his biggest vision for emerging artists is to be honest and make art for themselves, and not merely to give pleasure to other people.
“We don’t have to please God in any other way than to be brutally honest,” Bono said. “That is the root. Not just to a relationship with God, but it’s the root to a great song. That’s the only place you can find a great song.”