Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Manchester Evening News article

CITYLIFE has hit a raw nerve. We're talking names with The Script's guitarist Mark Sheehan. Sure, he's 27 which makes him pretty rock 'n' roll, but he doesn't SOUND rock 'n' roll. Glen Power. Now, that's a solid surname. Does Mark feel a tad jealous? "I wasn't, until you said that. Thanks! But is he a superhero or a household cleaner?"

So we give Mark a chance to reset the balance: let him pick a fantasy name and a fantasy script to his fantasy life story. This is how it goes:
"I'm called Mike Machine. The band comes about when we somehow find ourselves on a stage brought together by the gods of ROCK! and play the best songs ever heard. On the bill are David Bowie, Kanye West and John Mayer. Kanye joins us for We Cry. He raps the middle eight. And since we're wishing, I flew there."

Truth, though, is very often stranger than fiction, and The Script's story supports that old adage. Their current lifestyles couldn't be further from their childhood years; the band's singer and keys man, Danny O'Donoghue and Mark were raised in the rundown James Street area of Dublin, in the shadow of the Guinness brewery. They bonded over music; Danny studiously became a proficient singer and Mark turned to music to avoid getting dragged into a life of petty crime.

"Dan grew up loving the vocal soul legends, like Stevie Wonder, while I always had a huge interest in hip-hop and R&B. We naturally grew up in a rock climate in Ireland loving artists like David Bowie, U2, Missy Elliott, Bob Marley, The Police... I think we tip our hats to those guys."

The pair showed an early flair for writing and production and were invited to America to collaborate with the likes of The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams), Dallas Austin and Teddy Riley. That's when they met multi-instrumentalist Glen - another Dubliner abroad, who had earned his crust as a session musician for 15 years.

"We all had a jamming session in LA, which some of our current songs came from. It was those songs which got us signed and the chance to write and produce our own record."

They started touring, taking to the road with many of the people they'd earned production credits with.
"We thought we where being nice by not asking for a rider and letting people decide what they felt we should have. All we got was alcohol. I'm not complaining, but do you think they heard our accents?"

How did it measure up to Pharrell's rider? "Put it this way, I don't think you could bite into their fruit, your teeth would smash. Too many diamonds."

How would you describe your music?
"This is music for the head, heart and feet. We wrote this music through some of our darkest times (including the loss of Danny's father and Mark's mother) so I think people will relate to us. Check out The End Where I Begin and Breakeven on the new album. If they don't get you, you just can't be got."

With their eponymous debut album storming the charts, the boys have already got their eyes set on world domination. They're doing well over here and are big in Germany (Mark's second favourite place in the world so far). But if America birthed them, then America is the logical country to want to crack - so how's it going? "The reaction from the US has been very strong so far. Top blogger Perez Hilton (who gets 35 million hit a week) just gave us his front page recently, out of the blue, so that helped - big time."

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