JUST as it seemed 2008 was to be the year of mediocre new bloke bands singing instantly forgettable songs, The Script rode into the top ten on a fresh lyrical sound wave.
The Dubliners’ innovative debut single, We Cry, which deftly smoothed U2 rock into Eminem rap, took radio stations by surprise. But the UK audience was more than ready for the more soulful The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, which sailed to the number three slot in the charts and then refused to budge.
The best was yet to come. The self-titled debut album from the three gifted – not to mention gorgeous – guys swept away the competition to chart at number one. Flowing over starved eardrums like warm honey, the diverse tones of their 11-track CD have rescued UK music from a desert of blandness.
But what set the talented trio in gold medal position is their intelligence, thoughtfulness and grace. It’s enough to make any red-blooded female swoon and the fact that they unknowingly ooze sexiness just adds to the appeal. The complete package with bucket loads of X-factor has finally arrived.
All three members hail from humble roots, which have kept them grounded in their new-found fame. Guitarist Mark Sheehan grew up in the rough end of the Irish capital and quickly realised music could lift him out of the poverty. He met fellow teenager and now lead vocalist Danny O’Donaghue in a run down area of Dublin.
Sharing a passion and talent for music, the pair struck up a song writing and production partnership. A chance invitation to go to the US led to the duo collaborating with RnB legends Teddy Riley and Rodney Jerkins. They found their musical rainbow’s end in American black music.
“Danny fell in love with the vocal acrobatics and conviction of the soul legends. I liked sample-based music and fell in love with Hip Hop and RnB,” Mark told Soldier, adding that a youth spent submerged in the likes of Busta Rhymes and Dallas Austin, who has worked with Aretha Franklin and Pink, is clearly reflected in their music.
“We always loved the classic delivery of Stevie Wonder and loved the idea of rugged drums and bass beneath it.”
Mark and Danny worked in Los Angeles producing demos for other artists until fellow Dubliner Glen Power joined them. Regarded as a prodigy on the Dublin music scene, drummer Glen clicked with the pair and the trio produced three songs in just one week.
“Danny and I had spent so many years working together that it was tough for Glen to slot in,” explained Mark, when asked if three was an unworkable number of members for a band.
“Creatively we stay honourable to what we feel is moving us musically. Usually, if one of us is not feeling a song, then we don’t do it. We tried loads of fourth members but no one clicked.
“We waited until we had a substantial amount of music before deciding on the band name. We noticed that there was a story theme throughout – a narrative perspective and different take on love songs and they felt like a little script. Plus, when greeting each other we usually say, ‘what’s the script?’ meaning what’s happening, so it just felt right.”
Listening to the album for the first time felt right and turfed all the usual boy band preconceptions out the window. The Script’s contrasting music styles deliver something new and exciting every four minutes and they are really bothered by what they sing about.
“Danny can’t sing anything meaningless. He really sounds bad if a lyric is not emotionally charged and my only justification for pain is art. Music was always a way for us to vent and you can only write from your experiences. I guess we’ve been through a lot and we draw from that,” said Mark, adding what his hopes are for their debut album.
“I believe we poured our hearts into this every step of the way. So I think there is music for the head, heart and feet on there and we take you on a real thought-provoking journey. I only hope people give us one listen – I think they will relate.”