U2 have no desire to become a ''heritage act''.

The Irish rockers, who will take to the stage at the Oscars next month to perform their track 'Ordinary Love', which is nominated for Best Original Song, say they don't want to grow old gracefully and have no plans to retire.

Guitarist The Edge told The Hollywood Reporter: ''We don't want to ever be a heritage act.

''It might happen, but we'll go kicking and screaming into that mode. We feel the place for us to be is part of the conversation of contemporary culture and music and film and everything else, and we don't see the reason why we can't, because it's been possible for various artists in different forms.

''Frank Lloyd Wright, to the day he died, was designing the most incredible things - we want to be part of that rather than grow old gracefully.''

The band - which also features Bono, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton - wrote their Oscar-nominated song especially for the 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' soundtrack and didn't think twice about signing up to do it.

Bassist Adam said: ''This was the one project you just couldn't say no to. For our generation, South Africa was a real illustration of how music could affect change in the world, and it was a rite of passage in terms of our political awareness.''

Frontman Bono isn't getting his hopes up ahead of the Academy Awards but said ''if the song gets to shake the hand of the little gopher ... it would give a whole other imprimatur to our audience, which would be great'', adding, ''I would love if it had a life outside of the film. Because we poured so much of our life into the song and, I hope, his life, the life of Mandela.''

The 'Vertigo' hitmakers are also set to release their new album this year but don't want to rush to finish it.

Bono explained: ''The album won't be ready till it's ready. There's a couple of songs that are part of the story we haven't quite finished. We know we have to spend a couple of years taking these songs around the world, so they'd better be good.''