The Script were all but forgotten before frontman Danny O'Donoghue got himself a job as a judge on The Voice UK, and this week they are challenging The xx and Bob Dylan for a No.1 album. Funny old world.
We caught up with the Irish soft-rocker recently to discuss the band's new record, #3, his time working on the BBC reality TV show, and how he feels as a newly made celebrity having his personal life make headlines more than his music...
Hello Danny! What can fans of The Script expect from new album #3?
You can look forward to Mark rapping, me doing a bit of spoken word (I wouldn’t call it rapping; I’m more of a ‘crapper’). I don’t know, just really f*****g great songs! I’ve got to pat myself on the back for it... We’re definitely more of an accomplished Script, we can feel that.
We’ve had fans come up to us before and say we love your songs but we can’t sing along, you know, in a pub or a club, so we tried to go along with that ‘mantra’, and come up with a song called ‘Good Old Days’, and it’s rocking! It’s good for the pub; we’re not really club goers but we’re definitely pub goers. It’s one of those where it’s the end of the night and everyone’s looking for a place to go, and you’re like ‘right, grab the guitar and let’s buzz back to mine and have a sing-song. That’s what the songs about, you know, when you’re in the moment. But we’re also looking back on those times, they’re the good-old-days.
Do the tracks on #3 have the same storylines and themes you made your name with?
Yeah very much so, but I guess they’re a little closer to home. On the last few albums there was one or two songs where we had a kind of out-of-body experience when we were writing, but with this album it was very much personal as there was lots going on in all our personal lives to draw on.
Will.i.am appears on current single 'Hall of Fame'. Who approached who on that one?
Kind of a bit of both really, he wanted the song for his own album, so we had a bit of a tug-of-war! Then me and Mark were like why don’t we just do a duet, so that night we asked if he wanted to record it straight away. He was like, ‘now?!’ And I was like, ‘yeah why the f*** not! So we jumped in the car and went to his hotel room where he had a studio set up. We offered to let him produce it, but he was well happy with how it turned out.
Are you going to do anything on his album?
He asked us already to maybe write a guitar riff or something, and I’ve got a few song ideas I’m ready to run by him, so we’ll see.
Watch The Script feat. Will.i.am 'Hall Of Fame' below
Did he try and change your sound to dance or R&B at any point?
Haha, no. And it’s not R&B, it’s just dance. All those guys coming out with new ‘R&B’ records, I’m like f*** off dude it’s dance! This whole new form of R&B; it’s like no mother f*****s, its dance music! That’s all you’re doing.
But he’s pretty much the reason we have all these records. As soon as The Black Eyed Peas’ ‘The End’ came out, it changed the course of music. From then on, every other band had a piano going deeh deeh deeh! So for him to jump on our sound, you know, it might be a bit of a tip of the cap to us to say sh**, this might be the new sound going forward.
Is the writing process your favourite part of being in The Script?
It kind-of is. I enjoy the writing process because there’s a sense when you’re on stage in front of 60,000 people, that they’re all looking at you, and that’s what I find quite weird. I can’t have other people there when I’m writing. But then it’s difficult, because on our last tour I had a f****** ball! I think it’s because we don’t do things so much anymore; it’s not like I’m writing and writing and writing, and then I’m sick of writing and I go on tour for two years. Whatever I’m doing at the time is my favourite part [of being in The Script].
Since being on The Voice, you’ve become more of a ‘celebrity’, how do you feel about your personal life being picked over more intensely now?
Ultimately I understand it, but that still doesn’t make it easy. I just went from literally being a nobody, and now I can’t walk down the bloody road anymore! That’s probably the strangest thing. Everything’s changed really; it feels like the perfect storm. Obviously Will’s introducing us to people in the States, and it feels like after all these years people are finally recognising us for what we want to be recognised for. But there’s never going to be a big serious muso piece in ‘Hello Magazine’, they just want to know who you’re dating, who’ve you kicked out of bed, all this b******s. But, it helps you understand there’s a different side to the industry; there are 14 year old kids for whom ‘what is your perfect type of girl’ is the first thing on their minds when they wake up.
Were you disappointed when Leanne Mitchell’s single didn’t manage to get into the Top 40?
Yeah of course, I mean, she wasn't on my team so I can't feel that much disappointment. Because she won the show, you know, in the final she was 'technically' the best singer. Was she technically the best artist? No. But that's just my opinion. She was definitely the best singer on the night, but it was unfortunate, that other people didn't get a look in, ones that would have suited pop music better. She's got an amazing voice, but I couldn't see her exciting 80,000 people for an hour and a half, there were people like that on the show, but they got voted off, and it's quite hard.
Do you think there's a difference between what the voting public like, and what people who listen to music like?
Oh yeah,absolutely. Here's the perfect example, Bo Bruce's album went to No.2, and I believe people watching the show knew and know that Bo is a real artist; music lovers really like Bo. I mean, Kate Bush has come out of the woodwork to say how much she loves our cover [of 'Running Up That Hill'], and Coldplay prefer my arrangement to 'Charlie Brown', that's awesome! You have to look at the audience; it is primarily stay-at-home housewives that would be watching the TV on saturday, so again, Leanne is a fantastic vocalist, but for the sake of the show, maybe it should have been someone who could stay in the public light longer than she has. I don't even know if she's got an album out, or what's going on there. Whereas Bo's been in the press for the past three months!
Who would be your dream replacements for Tom Jones and Jessie J?
If I could have anyone I’d have Elton John, but that’s only if they’re not coming back next series. But if they’re not, then I’d have Elton on my right, and then probably Adele, love Adele, she’d be so funny.
Thank you very much, Danny O'Donoghue from The Script. #3 is out now.