For six years, Danny O’Donoghue and his bandmates of The Script have relied on an ethos of plain talk, hard work and ambition – 10 million albums later, it’s worked.
It is March 2008, and The Script are huddled in a suite at the Herbert Park Hotel in Dublin. They are excited, giddy, unexpectedly chatty. “The last time I was somewhere this swish it was to rob it,” Glen Power, the band’s drummer, jokes. They are on the brink of releasing their debut single, We Cry, a slick, sharp slice of American-style pop-rock. Their debut album is scheduled for release later in the year.
“It’s all been really surreal, the way things have happened for us,” Danny O’Donoghue, the Script’s singer, says at the time. “I keep thinking of that scene in The Commitments where Jimmy Rabbitte’s in the toilet being ‘interviewed’ by Terry Wogan. Well, Terry Wogan played our song the other day. It’s mental.”
Six years later and the three members of one of Ireland’s biggest bands are in the boardroom of another fancy hotel, coffees and green teas in hand, about to answer questions about their fourth album, No Sound Without Silence.
Their pre-Script musical history – O’Donoghue and Mark Sheehan, the band’s guitarist, were once part of the boyband MyTown – is barely mentioned these days. They have been around the world several times. Some of their hair is infinitely more voluminous (O’Donoghue), and one of them has a trendy beard (Sheehan). (Power looks exactly the same.)
Ten million album sales later, you could say that things have probably gone to plan. And Terry Wogan has probably spun their records a few more times, too.
The Script’s last two albums have done particularly well in the UK and the US. For the most part they have kept their noses clean and avoided scandal, something Sheehan attributes to “not feeding the red tops stories”. The closest they have come to controversy were rumours that O’Donoghue’s time as a mentor on the BBC talent show The Voice UK, in 2012-3 caused fissures within the band.
Paddy Power were “offering bets that I was leaving the band and all that stuff. It’s hilarious,” he says, shaking his head. “They don’t know that was completely calculated. We all decided, as a band, that it was a great opportunity for us and our songs, our career, our band. At the end of the two years we all sat around and they said, ‘Do you want to do another season?’ and I went, ‘No. I want to go back to being in a band. And I want to get my Saturday nights back.’ ”
The band made their third album in the midst of O’Donoghue’s time on the show – “I could see how taxing it was becoming,” Sheehan says – but they approached their new record more calmly.
Read the full interview here.
Last Sunday, September 14, The Script were the guests for The Imelda May Show, in Ireland. By clicking on the image below you can watch the full episode with the band.
Danny O’Donoghue is staring intently at my head. “Whatya done, did you get your hair cut?” he asks. Well, if that isn’t a sign that The Script’s front man remembers our previous encounter, I don’t know what is.
Last time we met, I had, er, more on top. “I’m going for the Mark look,” I respond, referring to his shiny-headed band mate, guitarist Mark Sheehan.
“Ha, you just need the beard and the accent now,” he jests.
Later, I watch as Danny poses for the photographer, cracking a joke about Photoshop.
The punchline: the bequiffed Dubliner doesn’t need it. I wholeheartedly agree. He asks for me to step in to the shot. Naturally, I make the same quip, and Danny chuckles (thanks for that). To top it all off, he then decides to add a little shock to proceedings.
“This is our last album,” he announces. Sorry, what? Did the chap really just declare that No Sound Without Silence – the Script’s fourth long-player in six years – is to be the final addition to the band’s repertoire?
“Yeah… under Sony”. Another laugh. “You thought you just got an exclusive there! You can probably put that as the headline…”
Tonight, Danny and his boys perform at Dublin Castle. Call it an album launch, call it a homecoming. Either way, it’s a big weekend for Ireland’s favourite, million-selling pop-rock trio. Naturally, they’re nervous.
“It’s always the same,” admits Danny (33). “I think if you don’t get nervous about that stuff, then you’re living on the moon, because the industry is so fickle that you can go away, do an album, come back and then people don’t like you anymore. Dublin Castle, it’s an appetiser. It’s also like a homecoming, I mean, nobody has played there for about 10 years now, so it’s a really great venture to be the first band to sort of kick off – fingers crossed – more gigs there. Who knows, maybe Garth Brooks can do 50 nights in Dublin Castle…”
For album number four, Danny didn’t expect to spend so much time back home. He’d called time on his TV career as a coach alongside Tom Jones and Jessie J on The Voice UK.
The tour was over. This was to be the first Script record in years without any outside distractions. But then, one day, the phone rang at his house in Ealing, London. His mother, Ailish, had been rushed St James’s Hospital. She had suffered a brain aneurysm. Danny headed straight for the airport.
“That was it,” he nods, “I didn’t see my own house then for another nine months.”
To hell with the day job – everyone would understand. Mark, alongside drummer Glen Power, gave their friend some space.
“It wasn’t ‘sorry lads’, it was just everybody assumes position. The lads are incredibly protective, as you would be. So they just fended everything off, and it wasn’t even a question, nobody was like, ‘what are we gonna do’? It was just, like it’s all done – just do your thing.”
You can read the full interview here.
The Script were at the BBC Breakfast Show yesterday morning, where they talked about their new album, No Sound Without Silence.
Below you can watch the full interview, which was recorded by a fan and as soon as we have a better quality video we will update the post.
Last Friday night, September 12, The Script were at the talk show The Late Late Show, in Ireland. By clicking on the image below you can watch their full interview and performance.