Rewriting The Script
INTERVIEW:As they prepare to release their latest album, Dublin band The Script are enjoying their runaway success, but they’ve worked hard to get there, and they aren’t taking anything for granted, they tell BRIAN BOYD
YOU WOULD THINK that a multimillion selling rock/pop band ensconced in the embracing sumptuousness of the penthouse suite of a top Dublin hotel would be eyeing up television-throwing-out-of-windows possibilities and snorting white powder off the naval of a supermodel while mainlining Jack Daniels.
But not when it’s a temporary home to the three members of The Script. A global sales phenomenon fronted by a lead singer who’s is regularly voted “most shaggable rock star” in teen magazines, the band have been around the block enough times (there was the failed boy band career and the many years working as the assistant tea-maker in recording studios) to know that today is a work day. Promotional duties for their upcoming third album have just got under way and later this afternoon there’s the small matter of a group interview with 30-odd music media. Triple Pellegrinos all round.
Singer Danny O’Donoghue (from Ballinteer, looks like an Italian footballer, is dressed like he’s just been mugged by an All Saints shop) is bouncing around excitedly and continually smacking his hands off his legs. Keyboardist/guitarist Mark Sheehan (from the Liberties, used to be a hip-hop dance instructor in Digges Lane, looks like a roadie) is the big brother figure and a tad more circumspect in conversation than O’Donoghue.
Drummer Glen Power (from Stillorgan, has been a well-regarded session musician since his early teens) looks like he’s at a tennis match as his head moves to the left or right depending on who is speaking. A friendly and sincere type, he’s happy for the two original members of the band to do most of the talking.
If The Script’s first two albums sold in multi-platinum quantities, made them front-cover stars and got them noticed by Jennifer Aniston (a big fan), Paul McCartney and Beyoncé, and saw them touring the world with U2, then their profile has been considerably ramped up of late (on this side of the Atlantic at least) by Danny being a judge on BBC’s The Voice.
“It used to be girls hanging around outside my house, but now it’s guys in trench coats – the paparazzi,” says O’Donoghue. “That’s the big change in doing a big prime-time TV show. Sure, I got recognised before, but now it’s just insane. The other night in London we all went out for drinks together – myself, Mark and Glen. The story the next day in the papers was ‘Danny goes drinking with his two bodyguards’.”
For Sheehan, allowing O’Donoghue to take time off from the band to do The Voice was a “no-brainer”.
“People knew who The Script were but we wanted a ‘face’ for the band, and Danny being on TV gave us that,” he says. “When he went on the first episode it was all ‘Who is that guy?’, but now everyone knows him and, by extension, everyone knows The Script. I know there will be people saying real musicians shouldn’t be doing TV judging competitions but I’ve been around the music industry almost 20 years now and with the state the business is in now if you don’t take these opportunities to promote your band you will starve to death.
“We were all for Danny doing the show. I’ve done all the years of making tea for a living, trying to get a bit of session work here and there. Over in the US, I was living in places infested with cockroaches and hearing gunshots down the road.