Larry Mullen, Jr.
|Larry Mullen, Jr.|
|Birth name||Laurence Joseph Mullen, Jr.|
|Also known as||Larry Mullen Jr.|
|Born||31 October 1961|
|Origin||Artane, Dublin, Ireland|
|Genres||Rock, post-punk, alternative rock|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, Actor|
|Instruments||Drums, percussion, vocals, synthesiser|
|Yamaha drums & accessories, Paiste (Signature) cymbals, Pro-Mark drumsticks, and Remo drumheads.|
Laurence Joseph "Larry" Mullen, Jr. (born 31 October 1961) is an Irish musician and the drummer for the Irish rock band U2. He is the founder of U2, which he later described as "'The Larry Mullen Band' for about ten minutes, then Bono walked in and blew any chance I had of being in charge." He has worked on numerous side projects during his career, including a collaboration with Michael Stipe and Mike Mills of R.E.M. to form Automatic Baby in 1993 and working with bandmate Adam Clayton on the re-recording of the theme to Mission: Impossible, in 1996. He and U2 have won many awards, including 22 Grammy awards.
Early life 
Mullen, the middle child and only son of Larry and Maureen Mullen, was born 31 October 1961 in Artane, Dublin, Ireland. Mullen began drumming in 1970, at the age of 9, under the instruction of Irish drummer Joe Bonnie and, later, Bonnie's daughter Monica. His mother died in a car accident in November 1978, two years after U2 was founded.
Before founding U2, Mullen was involved in a Dublin marching band called the Artane Boys Band (now known as the Artane Band), contributing to the martial beats common in Mullen's work, such as the song "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Mullen founded U2 in late 1976 by placing a notice on the Mount Temple Comprehensive School bulletin board, saying something to the effect of "drummer seeks musicians to form band." The band, originally consisting of Mullen, Paul "Bono" Hewson, David "The Edge" Evans, his brother Dik Evans, Adam Clayton, and Mullen's friends Ivan McCormick and Peter Martin, was originally known as the "Larry Mullen Band", but the name quickly changed to "Feedback", as that was one of the few musical terms they knew. Soon after the band formed, McCormick and Martin left and the band, by then known as "The Hype", was a 5-piece. Just before they won a talent contest in Limerick, Ireland, they changed their name again, for the final time, to U2. This was formally done at a farewell concert for Dik Evans, becoming the 4-piece band they are today.
Mullen later added the "Junior" suffix to his name to stop confusion with his father (also Larry Mullen), who was receiving large tax bills meant for his son. Mullen is unmarried, but has lived with his girlfriend Ann Acheson for more than 30 years. They have three children, Aaron Elvis (born 1995), Ava (born 1998), and Ezra (born 2001). He is the first cousin of Irish actor Conor Mullen.
He prefers to let the other band members take the spotlight at interviews. Mullen has also played synthesiser or keyboards on several songs, including "United Colours" from 1995's Original Soundtracks 1, an album that Mullen has always disliked. Mullen loves Harley Davidson motorcycles and is a big fan of Elvis Presley. He currently lives in the Howth suburb of Dublin.
The nicknamed The Prunes gave him back in the 80's was The Jam Jar.
Style and techniques 
In the early days of U2, his contributions to the band were often limited to fills and drum rolls, but he became more involved in the writing of the songs later, particularly in conjunction with Adam Clayton, his partner in the rhythm section, with whom he has collaborated on solo projects. When the band was first being signed to CBS Records, they refused to sign the band unless Mullen was fired. He was not, and as a result, his drumming became more integrated into the song structures. Mullen's experience as a teenager in the Artane Boys Band now known as the Artane Band, heavily contributed to the martial beat featured in many of U2's songs, helping to evoke military imagery.
Mullen typically makes heavy use of the floor tom with his right hand, often resulting in a 'tribal' rhythmic style much in evidence on certain U2 records, such as The Unforgettable Fire. Mullen is also known to use 16th notes on his hi-hat and first tom on his drum kit. He also uses tambourine hits in many U2 songs, either replacing or in sync with his snare drum. This style is used to add a layer of foundation and texture towards U2's sound. Notable songs of him using this style are "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" and "Beautiful Day".
During the recording of the album Pop in 1996, Mullen suffered from severe back problems. Recording was delayed due to surgery. When he left the hospital, he arrived back in the studio to find the rest of the band experimenting more than ever with electronic drum machines, something driven largely by guitarist The Edge's interest in dance and hip-hop music, and, given his weakness after the operation, he relented, allowing The Edge to continue using drum machines, which contributed heavily to the album's electronic feel.
Mullen has had tendinitis problems throughout his career. As a means to reduce inflammation and pain, he began to use specially designed Pro-Mark drumsticks. He uses Yamaha drums and Paiste cymbals. He was placed at # 21 in Stylus Magazine's list of the 50 Greatest Rock Drummers.
Although he occasionally plays keyboards and synthesiser in concerts, Mullen rarely sings during performances. However, he contributed backing vocals to the songs "Numb", "Get On Your Boots", "Moment of Surrender", "Elevation", "Miracle Drug", "Love and Peace or Else", "Unknown Caller", "Zoo Station" (only during Zoo TV Tour) and others. And he occasionally performed a cover version of "Dirty Old Town" on the Zoo TV Tour.
Mullen is said to have a preternatural sense of rhythm. Brian Eno recounted that when he was working with Mullen on a U2 album, Mullen kept insisting that the click track was off and lagging behind the tracks that had already been recorded. Eno adjusted it, thinking that he was just humoring Mullen, but later found that Mullen was right and the click track had indeed been off by six milliseconds.
Solo projects 
Mullen has worked on many solo projects in his career, including collaborations with Maria McKee, Nanci Griffith, and U2 producer Daniel Lanois. In 1990 he co-wrote and arranged an official Republic of Ireland soccer team song `Put 'Em Under Pressure'. Mullen played drums on many of the songs on the 1995 Emmylou Harris album Wrecking Ball. Mullen, along with bandmate Adam Clayton, recorded the soundtrack to the 1996 movie of Mission: Impossible, including the theme song, whose time signature was changed from the original 5/4 time signature to an easier and more danceable 4/4 time signature. The "Theme from Mission: Impossible" reached #8 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and was nominated for a Grammy award in the "Best Pop Instrumental Performance" category. Mullen worked with producer Daniel Lanois on his album Acadie. Mullen and Clayton also collaborated with Mike Mills and Michael Stipe from R.E.M. to form the one-performance group Automatic Baby, solely for the purpose of performing the song "One" for Bill Clinton's inauguration at MTV's 1993 inaugural ball. The group's name refers to the titles of both bands' latest albums, Achtung Baby and Automatic for the People. He provided 'marimba and inspiration' on Underworld's song "Boy, Boy, Boy" from their 2007 album Oblivion with Bells.
Acting career 
Mullen's film debut was in a film by Phil Joanou called Entropy where he played himself alongside bandmate Bono. Mullen appeared as a thief in Man on the Train with co-star Donald Sutherland. Filmed in Orangeville, Ontario Canada, Man on the Train was released in 2011. In 2012, it was announced that Larry would be appearing in his second film, A Thousand Times Goodnight, starring Juliette Binoche.
Kit configuration 
- Paiste Signature cymbals:
- 16" power crash
- 17" power crash
- 18" power crash
- 18" full crash
- 22" power ride
- 14" heavy hi-hat/sound-edge hi-hat.
- Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute Nouveau drums: (Since the Elevation tour. Previously he used Yamaha's Maple Custom drums in the same sizes).
- On the video of Get On Your Boots, Larry uses a Yamaha Oak Custom, with the same sizes as the Birch Custom
- 14"x10" rack tom
- 16"x16" floor toms x2 (one left of the hi-hat, one right of the snare drum for the Vertigo tour). For previous tours, he used an 18"x16" floor tom to the left of the hats.
- 14"x7" Brady Sheoak Block — primary snare drum on the Vertigo tour. For ZooTV and Elevation tours, he used a 12"x7" Sheoak block snare. For Popmart, a 14"x6.5" Jarrah block primarily. Depending on the gig, he sometimes used a 14"x6.5" Jarrah ply snare instead of the block snare.
- 24"x16" kick drum. 22"x16" Kick on the b-stage during ZooTV only. He has not used a different kick drum on any tours since then.
- Pro-mark 5A Japanese oak drumsticks.
Various other percussion instruments, including LP cowbells.
Mullen and U2 have won more than 60 awards, including 22 Grammy awards. At the Grammy awards, the band has won "Best Rock Duo or Group with Vocal" 7 times, "Album of the Year" twice, "Record of the Year" twice, "Song of the Year" twice, and "Best Rock Album" twice.
See also 
- Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr. U2 by U2. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-077674-9.
- Colombaro, Sherry. "Larry Mullen Jr. biography from @U2". @U2. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
- U2 Wanderer. "Mission:Impossible Soundtrack Album". U2wanderer.com. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- "Larry Mullen Jr. biography". U2Online. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
- McCormick, ed. (September 2006). U2 by U2. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-719668-5.
- Conner, Thomas. "True Blue to U2". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
- "Original Soundtracks 1 information". U2wanderer.org. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Flanagan, Bill (1995). U2 at the End of the World. Delacorte Press. p. 15. ISBN 0-385-31154-0.
- "Stylus Magazine's 50 Greatest Rock Drummers". Retrieved 2007-09-16.
- Bilger, Burkhard. "The Possibilian". Retrieved 2011-07-20.
- Amazon.com. "Amazon product overview and reviews of "Theme from Mission: Impossible"". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- U2wanderer.com. "Adam Clayton solo discography". U2wanderer.com. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- "Larry Mullen Jr. Interview". Propaganda Magazine. Retrieved 2007-09-19.
- "Grammy Awards". Archived from the original on 21 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Larry Mullen, Jr.|
- U2.com, official U2 site
- Larry Mullen Biography from @U2
- Larry Mullen, Jr. at the Internet Movie Database