U2 fans frustrated with the protracted delay leading up to the band's upcoming Songs of Experience LP may be able to take some comfort in the knowledge that — at least according to frontman Bono — the extra time has done the songs some good.

Speaking with Rolling Stone about the band's current tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of their Joshua Tree album, Bono claimed that the "only way" he could see mounting that nostalgia-driven trek would be to include a new song — which ended up being "The Little Things That Give You Away," one among a number of "f--- off" tracks currently earmarked for Songs of Experience. And while he freely admitted he's been eager to get the album in stores, he was just as quick to note that the new material's in better shape than it would have been if U2 hadn't decided to hold off on releasing it.

"The band will tell you not to listen to me on those kind of matters since I thought it was done last year," he said when asked to describe the status of the album. "But I think the pause has made it better. I will give them that. But if you left it to Edge he'd still be remixing it next year. But we have these songs. The problem is we have 15 songs and to get them down to 12. We don't like long players."

Hinting at an early 2018 release date for the album ("I'd like it before then, but don't listen to me"), Bono contrasted the Experience sound against its predecessor, 2014's Songs of Innocence, by describing a more organic approach to the recordings with producer Steve Lillywhite.

"A friend of mine said to me, 'Songs of Innocence? It doesn't sound innocent enough. It should have been more raw.' So we didn't want to go in and make that mistake again, so we went in and played the songs again," he added. "Steve is the best guy for recording us in the studio with the band playing live, so that's what happened."

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