The Edge was born in England to a Welsh family, and was raised in Ireland after the Evans family moved there.
As a guitarist, the Edge has crafted a minimalistic and textural style of playing.
His use of a rhythmic delay effect yields a distinctive ambient, chiming sound that has become a signature of U2's music.
The Evanses initially lived in Chadwell Heath, Essex; around 1962 Garvin was offered a promotion and a transfer, and the family made the decision to leave Chadwell Heath and move to County Dublin in the Republic of Ireland to take it up.
During his childhood in Dublin he possessed two differing accents to converse in, Welsh and Irish English, the former being used when he was in the family home and the latter when he was outside; as he later explained: "The reason for this dual identity was mainly to be understood by my peers but also to be accepted." Whilst the Evans brothers were at Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin in 1976, they went along to a meeting in response to an advert posted by another pupil, Larry Mullen Jr., on the school's noticeboard seeking musicians to form a new band with him.
They have a daughter, Sian (born 1997), and a son, Levi (born 25 October 1999). The California Coastal Commission voted 8–4 against the plans. The Edge has said that he views musical notes as "expensive", in that he prefers to play as few notes as possible.