Credit: Olaf HeineLast September, shortly after U2 released their latest album, Songs of Innocence, guitarist The Edge told Rolling Stone the band already had amassed a bunch of other songs that likely would appear on a follow-up record titled Songs of Experience. Now, with U2’s current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour set to wrap in late November, frontman Bono has given an update on the status of the group’s next album.

The singer tells Entertainment Weekly U2 is “well into” the project and has recorded about 18 songs for it, which will probably be narrowed down to 12 for the final track list. “It’s very epic. It’s very up,” Bono says of the new material. “And, you know, that’s probably what the experience has taught us: to be fully in the moment and that fun is respected, and joy is not to be let go of.”

Bono also reports that The Edge had recently written a great new song — “a cracker,” as he calls it — that’s “provisionally titled ‘Tightrope.'”

As for U2’s tour, which winds down November 28 in their hometown of Dublin, Ireland, the 55-year-old rock star declares, “We’re playing out of our skins at the moment.” He adds, “It’s pathetic it took us 35 years to be the band we’ve always wanted to be. It’s a wild thing to be in it.”

Meanwhile, as previously reported, an HBO concert special titled U2: iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Live in Paris, featuring live footage of the band’s November 14 show in the French capital, will premiere that night at 9 p.m. ET.

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