VIDEO: “Dude, are the people of Scarborough singing loud!” says The Script frontman Danny O’Donoghue
The Irish group, made up of Danny, Mark Sheehan and Glen Power, have released seven albums, six of which reached number one in the UK charts.
In an interview with journalist Louise Perrin, Danny, 41, spoke fondly of the city, the tour, his bandmates and his plans for new music in the future.
Danny on his return to Scarborough
“I love Scarborough. Obviously I’m not from England, but I’m always amazed at how different each place is.
“In Scarborough we went to a few liquors, and everyone was so welcoming.
“Sometimes, because I live in London, it can be a little distant, but the people in Scarborough, for me, could just as well have been from Dublin. They are so open and really kind and very generous.
“They love our music too, and man, are they singing loud! The people of Scarborough sing very loudly.
“One of the first songs I learned in music was Scarborough Fair, I love that song, it probably has nothing to do with the place! But I love it!”
Who chose the songs for the Greatest Hits Tour?
The public really did. It actually facilitates the greatest hits when you can kind of see online what the reaction is.
“You can watch streams and your top ten songs on Spotify, or any streaming platform, and then the rest is up to which ones you want privately.
“Some songs have certain meanings for us as a band. They might not be the biggest hits, but for us, for other reasons, they’re usually songs that stick in the mind when it comes to the great songs of our career, so they sort of choose each other.
“There’s only maybe one or two contentious songs that we were kind of like ‘let’s flip a coin’ on.
“There are other songs, outlier songs, a song called ‘The End Where I Begin’ that I love.
“Because we write so many songs, there’s even one, one that I can’t stop listening to, and it’s actually a song called No Sound Without Silence that never made the album called No Sound Without Silence.
“It just didn’t fit the mood and the mode of what’s going on. But I still keep coming back to it, so I wish I’d added it as some sort of hidden gem.
“It’s a great position to be able to say that we have so many successes that it was difficult to put them all on one CD.
“It’s funny to think about it, I’m getting a little older saying it, but also I feel like, wow! What work we’ve done over the past 14 years, it’s been a hell of a ride.
Danny on the anthem Paint the Town Green
“We tried to do the set without her, and it’s a song that didn’t chart, it wasn’t a single. But on St. Patrick’s Day, all over the world, all the stations radio make it a staple.
“It’s almost like Christmas time, you know, when they play the Pogues, it’s kind of like that vibe now.
“It was like St. Patrick’s Day wallpaper. It’s almost like a national anthem at this point.
“It’s like a call to arms for any Irishman in the world.”
Danny on when the band will release new music
“We write so many songs and our production is just ridiculous. We probably write maybe 200 songs a year or something.
“I would say after the tour, maybe next year? We’re going to be shooting until September, taking some time over Christmas, recording while we’re on the road, so probably early next year, maybe spring next year.
“The fans are amazing, even from this interview someone will be like, [draws breath]he said new music is coming out next spring…so let’s get back to that…they’re gonna do that…so they’ll probably do something over Christmas…so they’ll have all their time thing that works…so we’ll start saving now and we’ll have the money…and they’ll plan for the whole year.
“Everything can change. I had all these plans to release new music and then Covid hit, so I would say, don’t be so sure about the future.
“It kind of got me to where I am now, which is living, not even day-to-day, it’s moment-to-moment.
“I enjoy every moment that I have, that we have, on this earth.
“You just have to go out and walk the streets of Liverpool, understand everything, really understand, the sights, the sounds, the smells.
“If you see something cool, don’t just walk past it and say ‘oh, that’s good.’
“Sit there and watch it, soak it up.
“I went to the cathedral, and it’s so easy to walk past and say ‘Woah, that’s great’ and then you move on, but I stood there in awe for 15 minutes, but I couldn’t still not take everything, the windows, the details, and then you will notice a gargoyle, wow!.
“I didn’t really do this stuff before. I was kind of taking it and then moving on, but that’s what being locked in your house with Covid does, you know. It just shows you that life is so short and so precious.
“Some are based on imagination and imaginary situations, but most are based on real people.
“You remember your past or you project yourself into your future.
“You can change the names of places and the names of people, but you are writing about people who are very close to you.
“That’s where the real conflict is, you know. The situations you’ve been through, times when you never thought you’d feel good again, but now you do.
“Sometimes you never thought you’d get your heart broken, but then it’s shattered to pieces.
“I think those are things that are very common themes around the world.
“You know, everyone’s been through this, no matter your race, religion or gender.
“I feel like that’s probably why we stayed so long, we never really got past that.
“We don’t really write abstract songs, we don’t write stuff that’s like okay, ‘I just said that word and that word’ but doesn’t really make sense, but the songs have a vibe .
“We like to write stuff like he said this, she said this, it’s messed up, then it happened and here’s the result.
“We are storytellers at the end of the day. If you omit anything from a story, people are left guessing.
“Yeah, we wear our hearts on our sleeve and I guess that’s what we’re known for.
“Like I said, you can’t really please everyone with this stuff, because a lot of people like different things.
“Some like abstract art, some like pop art, some like pastels, some like different types of colors and brushes and stuff like that. I think we’re a very open group.”
Danny on Mark Sheehan’s return to the band
“It’s as bad as having him there the last time we had him!”
“He’s an engine, he’s a fiery guy and it comes because he puts coal in the engine, so it’s great to see him again, he just took some time for his family, it is his story to tell, ‘I’m glad he was able to get back in time to do what I consider to be the victory lap.
“He’s always fun, he’s always a great projector of ideas and an instigator of the future.
“You need these people around you.
“I take a lot of things at my own pace, but he takes a lot of things at light speed, so I think between the two of us there’s a good balance there, good speed.
“It was weird, there was a scene where Glen wasn’t in the band, Mark wasn’t in the band and, I think it was Strictly Come Dancing, and I was the only original member that was on the TV show, so that was a little weird.
“It’s like secretly what you always wanted, that you know, you don’t have to answer to anyone else, but I missed the boys.
“I grew up with these people, it’s not The Script without the boys, so having everyone back for these big tours now feels good, it just feels like you belong. .”
Who coined the term “Script family”?
“There’s no real who coined the phrase between me, Mark and Glen.
“We kind of said at one point, you know, my mom passed away and I had to cancel a few shows, and I remember they had a candlelight vigil and on a tweet, I just tweeted it say (we called them family behind the scenes for a while, me and Mark).
“We were like, you know what? These people have been there since our children were born and our parents died.
“We had to grow up with these people and we got to know them too.
“All of these people have had these things in their lives too, you know, it’s not just ours.
“We write about things that happen in our lives, but that’s also reflected in our music.
“People use our music as a mirror of their own lives. We know many of our fans, hundreds and hundreds of fans, by first name.
“They’re not fans anymore, it’s almost disrespectful to call them fans, they’re part of the family.
“They are part of the tribe.
“So we called them the Script family and she was just adopted.
“To be honest, and I’m not saying this in a bad way, it’s a bit of a cult. We have a bit of a cult that’s just…you say the wrong word about one of us, or the one of them, and there’s hell to pay, you know what I mean?
“We stick together like glue, we’re brilliant, they’re a great group.”
Does Danny ever slip into any of the online fan groups?
“No, I’ve heard many times that Glen uses a fake account and tries to see what people are talking about or whatever, but most of the time it’s kind of like eavesdropping.
“If people are talking about you, you might not want to hear what they are saying.
“I let them say what they want to say. Let the critics say what they want to say, it means nothing to me.
I have a great trainer at Knowlesy Academy in London, and when I travel I’m a big fan of fighting. I can normally choose a place and call ahead.
In Liverpool there is a place called the Masda Gym and there are some very good fighters coming out of that gym. I always wanted to train there.
“It’s my hobby, during the day I’ll train a bit, then at night I become a rock star.
” This is very fun. Mornings are much worse than evenings, I get rid of all the hard work.
“He fights in the ring in the morning and fights with the rest of the group later. [laughs]
“We play music, we don’t work music – you know what I mean?”