U2 singer Bono‘s inspiration for his latest album Songs of Experience came from a near-death experience.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine for its January 2018 issue, he said he almost died but refused to divulge details about what happened, adding that the 22-time Grammy-winning band’s latest album explores the theme of mortality, reports

“It’s just a thing that…people have these extinction events in their lives; it could be psychological or it could be physical. And, yes, it was physical for me, but I think I have spared myself all that soap opera,” Bono said.

“Especially with this kind of celebrity obsession with the minutiae of peoples’ lives – I have got out of that. I want to speak about the issue in a way that lets people fill in the blanks of what they have been through, you know?”

He continued, “It’s one thing if you were talking about it in a place of record like Rolling Stone, but by the time it gets to your local tabloid it is just awful. It becomes the question that everyone is asking.”

His latest incident was not the first brush with illness or death for the iconic singer. In 2000, Bono was checked for throat cancer, which turned out negative.

And in 2015, he broke his arm in a bike accident, which he told the magazine was a “comic tragedy”.

“But the thing that shook me was that I didn’t remember it. That was the amnesia; I have no idea how it happened. That left me a little uneasy, but the other stuff has just finally nailed me,” he said.

“It was like, ‘Can you take a hint?'”

The band’s song “Jesus, what have you got for me?” explores some of the themes that Bono has been contemplating since his mortality was tested.

Bono admits he had previously thought he would “let go” of his fear of death, but reveals it was the exact opposite.