Rock icon Bono has described critics of his band’s new album deal with Apple as ‘haters’ and defended the decision to give away Songs of Innocence for free on iTunes.

The U2 singer has reacted strongly to the stinging criticism of the U2 deal with Apple which saw the band receive a reported $100 million in return for allowing the corporation to distribute the album free of charge.

The Dubliner made the remarks in an interview with Irish broadcaster Dave Fanning which has been widely reported.

The Irish Times records that Bono told the veteran DJ that the blogosphere is “enough to put you off democracy.”

Some 34 million downloads of the new U2 album have been made after it was offered to 500 million iTunes users.

Bono responded to critics when he said: “They’re the haters; we’re the lovers. We’re never going to agree. People who would not normally be exposed to our music have got a chance to listen to it.

“Whether they hold that to their heart or not, we don’t know. Whether those songs will be important to them, in a week’s time we don’t know.”

Bono added that U2 were paid for the album by Apple though it is free to all iTunes subscribers.

He said: “There has been some real deliberate misunderstanding of this relationship with Apple.

“This is a company which has more than any other technological company, sought to get musicians paid.

“There’s lots of other technology companies who’ve become very rich on musicians not getting paid. So it’s a perfect relationship to work with them.”

The singer has also confirmed that that U2 and Apple are collaborating on a new ‘interactive format for music’ which ‘can’t be pirated.’

He also admitted that his song about his mother Iris, who died when he was 14 was ‘uncool.’

He explained: “In the name of love/What more in the name of love” - it was as uncool in 1984 as it is now and that’s why people came through the doors.

“To sing about your faith: how uncool is that in rock ‘n’ roll? To sing about your mother; come on, shut up! Except John Lennon did it, Kurt Cobain did it, Eminem has done it. What is the point in being in U2 if you can’t go to those other places?”