When the Irish born but London based trio, The Script, unleashed their debut single "We Cry," the world was definitely being thrown a huge sonic red herring. Who would have thought that such urban inspired soul music could have come from Ireland - the land of shamrocks, leprechauns, the Corrs and U2?
Despite their lineage, Danny O'Donoghue (vocals), Mark Sheehan (guitar) and Glen Power (drums) are no strangers to the music of American soul, hip hop and R&B. For one, Danny and Mark have studied intensively under the watchful eyes of famed producers such as Rodney Jerkins, the Neptunes, Teddy Reilly and have been rolling in the Los Angeles music scene as songwriters and producers for years. Spurred on by Danny's urge to return to the limelight, the band roped in drummer Glen and started a new sound dubbed "Celtic soul" that they wholly call it their own. And make no mistakes about it. The Irish have soul, as we found out from Danny and Glen themselves at the MTV Asia Awards.
Express in your best vocabulary as possible: Just how excited are you guys to be here?
Glen: We are amazed to be here. We woke up in the morning and we said to each other when we were having breakfast: "We can't believe that we are in Malaysia doing what we are doing right now." It's great!
Danny: We haven't seen enough of Genting yet but we've taken a trip down to see the Kuala Lumpur Tower yesterday. I have to say that it's breathtaking! We have been up and down the mountain four times now!
This year, we have an award category of Favourite International Artist In Asia. Will The Script work overtime so you can come back and grab a piece of the pie next year?
Danny: Next year, we want to come back and sweep all the awards! To be honest, we are honored to be presenting three awards at this year's ceremony. So we get a good taste of what it feels like to hold that trophy before we give it to someone else!
Another award is The Innovation Award. In your opinion, what can an artist do to constantly push the envelope and be a source of innovation for their peers and audience?
Danny: A big part of the band is the music, no matter what. And stop trying to conform. Take a hip-hop mentality, which is taking different kind of music, different styles and different genres and create your music.
Glen: I have drummers that are idols of mine and I've taken a bit of their styles and incorporate it into my style. Because you are never going to sound like anybody else - you are always going to be you, regardless of what you like and what you do.
And here's an age-old question that bands always have to answer - How did the band name come about?
Glen: The band started in Los Angeles and in L.A., everyone is looking for the next big script or movie. A lot of our songs are like little stories and mini-movies. So when I called Danny in the morning, I'd ask him, "Hey Danny, what's the script today?" and we say that all the time. So one day, we just discovered that everything is pointing towards that name. And so, we name the band The Script!
There can be many different formations for a band. Why did you decide to be a trio?
Danny: We have a session bass player and when we were recording the album, we figured that within the three of us, there're enough personalities already. For our record, we programmed the bass. But for live shows, you will see that we have a session bass player with us.
Glen: Danny and Mark have been together for eight or nine years so they are a very tight unit for anyone to come and walk into that. When I met the guys, we just clicked and blended together very well. It's very hard to find that fourth member to do so we just decided to say as just three guys. It works so well!
Speaking of chemistry, Danny and Mark were together for eight or nine years...
Danny: That sounds like we are married to each other! (Laughs)
More like in a boyband? I remember your days from MyTown.
Danny: Nice! Were you a fan?
I did like some of the music when I was younger.
Danny: But you are okay now! Same like me! (Laughs)
Glen: You had the therapy!
Do you guys talk about that? 'Coz I don't see you mentioning about your MyTown days anywhere.
Danny: Not really. It has never come up. It was what it was. At that time, we were kids and we were just having fun making music and we ended up getting a record deal. We got to travel to places that we would have never seen. It's part of growing up.
Having been in the industry for so long, what's the biggest lesson that you've learned?
Glen: To never say never and to never take no for an answer. And to have faith in yourself. When you think it's time to give up, just keep going. You never know that the extra little mile that you go, can be the turning point of your whole career.
Danny: If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. And if that doesn't work, kick the f**king door! (Laughs)
After being a songwriter and producer for so long, what made Danny and Mark want to get back in the limelight and start a band going again?
Danny: It's the undying need in me that I want to be heard by a lot of people. Some people want to be a star. I need to be a star. I need go up on stage and do this. Otherwise, I don't feel like it's me anymore.
Glen: He has to do it! (Laughs)
Many people have listened to the song "We Cry" and couldn't believe that such soul is coming from three Irish guys. Has that twist helped the band in any ways?
Danny: I think it has! The critics back home have called us "the new blend of Celtic soul." It is all but a label. People are more shocked than anything. Being Irish really helps us sell because our reputation precedes us.
Glen: And I don't think they expect such a sound would come from an Irish band.
You are a perfect marriage of soul, R&B, rock and pop. Should music even be pigeonholed into genres?
Danny: We don't want to be pigeonholed at all. That's why when people say "How do you define your music?" We don't. We leave that to the listener.
Glen: I think it's a human thing to try to pigeonhole. We just try to write good songs. If it sounds like a rock song, we go after it. Wherever the good song is, that's where we go.
What's the key to people's hearts when it comes to music?
Danny: Honesty! Be as honest as you can.
Cheesy as it may sound, how true is the statement "Music saves!" for the band?
Danny: Absolutely! Being able to go in and write your feelings down on a piece of paper rather than keep it all inside is great. It's going to come out. But it's where and how you channel that.
Glen: I'd say, through the years, it has saved us more than we even know.
What can we expect from your self-titled debut album?
Glen: I would say you can expect music for the head, heart, hands and feet. And you can expect three guys bearing their souls with honesty. It will be a rollercoaster ride of the emotions of the soul!