Bono "should have" died in a bomb attack.
The U2 frontman believes a decision to ride his bike to a record store in Dublin, Ireland in 1984 stopped him from being in the midst of a terrorist effort, and he claims the experience sparked his desire to write political music.
Speaking on Italian TV show 'Che Tempo Che Fa?', he said: "Ireland was very close to a civil war. There was a lot of violence on the streets. But the most terrible violence was hidden behind the doors of the houses. The violence from father to son, from a man to a woman. And this happens everywhere.
"I found a way to fight this fear and it is in the music.
"The reason that we write songs about political violence perhaps can be found in the fact that on a Friday night in 1984 in Dublin three car bombs exploded in the city centre, killing 33 people. That day I was at a record store. I should have been there at that time but that day I decided to ride my bike. I saved my life with that decision."
The 'One' rockers admit their desire for success was fuelled by an urge to leave their home nation behind.
Guitarist The Edge said: "We were 18 years old, we wanted to visit the States, go to Italy and France, to travel, to play everywhere. We wanted to leave Ireland. "