Since i have blogged about my other Australian favorite band, Temper Trap, maybe it’s time to roll out the red carpet to The Script. I repeatedly listen to their songs for over a year especially when i travel (for that it-feels-like-im-in-a-movie vibe), when i eat, when i make art and even when i sleep.
It’s been a rags to riches glory ride, an emotional rollercoaster, an all action, all-star blockbuster. Three young Dubliners took on the world, with music fashioned from the emotional detritus of their own hard lives raised up by a love of pop, rock, hip hop and soul.
The Script is an Irish rock band from Dublin and their first debut self-titled album was released last August 2008 notching a handful of hit singles “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” and “Breakeven”. And last September 2010, they scored fresh chart success with their second album, Science and Faith. Forging a unique sound based on a diverse list of influences including U2, Coldplay, The Police, The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Van Morrison.
The scene is a recording studio in London. Two young Irishmen are listening to playback. Handsome, dark haired Danny O’Donoghue is The Script’s charismatic vocalist and keyboard player. Shaven headed Mark Sheehan is their intense, loquacious guitarist. Third member, friendly but taciturn drummer and multi-instrumentalist Glen Power is in an adjoining studio, laying down a beat. Danny and Mark cannot sit still. They are leaping about to the music blasting from huge speakers, an addictive blend of hip hop rhythms, flowing melodies, sparkling hooks and emotive, story-spinning lyrics, with Danny’s mellifluous soulful vocals riding high over huge, anthemic choruses.
They had trying times too when Mark’s mother and Danny’s father died from a terminal illness but it also had a positive effect on Sheehan’s writing. “That was the time when it finally came home to me how important music was to me, ’cause in my darkest moments that’s what got me through.” says Sheehan. Danny said in an interview, “We believe soul is not just a genre of music but it’s a human condition.” This inspired the bittersweet live favorite “The End Where I Begin” and “We Cry”. “With Irish people, no matter how bad things get, you always pick yourself up and carry on”, says Mark.
The songs came thick and fast. “Exit Wounds”, about the damage relationships can wreak. “You Won’t Feel A Thing”, about suffering all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune to protect your most loved ones. “Nothing” about a drunken, broken hearted phone call to a lost love (“We’ve all been there,” as Danny says). “Don’t Change A Thing” about always leaving the door open for the possible return of a loved one. And the title track, “Science & Faith”, about the primacy of love in the universal equation. “With all of these subjects, we’re always trying to attack at a level where it’s optimistic,” insists Danny. “We’re dealing with complex emotions in the simplest of ways, that’s what we battle with in these songs.”
Through music, they rose above the adversity and they found freedom. With heartfelt lyrics and lush melodies, they invited people into their world. Their relatable, humble and honest message was not preachy. They were in the highest realms of pop, easily accessible yet artistically, emotionally and spiritually resonant. The Script are like this all the time, highly passionate, sincere and poetically articulate, with a tendency to talk over each other in their eagerness to express themselves. Winning the Best Selling Irish Act in World Music Awards (2008) and winning Best Band, Best Album and Best Live Performance in Meteor Ireland Music Awards (2009) are some of their powerplays. They were also part of the iTunes Festival and Isle of Wight Festival last 2011. They’ve gone from playing small clubs to performing in theatres, at festivals and in stadiums. Their meteoric success was in world’s charts and of course in our hearts. They are not trying to heal somebody or changing the world.
“You know what The Script is?” says Danny. “It’s the journey from a feeling of devastation in the pit of my stomach, for me to be able to think about that, put it into words, to be able to sing it, a band to play it, for you to hear it, to go to your brain, to understand it and for you to replicate that same feeling. It’s such an amazing thing. You couldn’t work it out with a calculator. But that’s what we try and do.”
“And that’s the pay off,” says Mark. “The thought of some person somewhere sitting in their apartment putting our music on because they are hurting and we’re the soundtrack to that emotion, whatever is going on in their life. That to me is the greatest power of music.”
I know that that was just the first draft. Watching them live last year was beyond amazing. I can’t wait for them to write a whole new script!
Photos from Me, Kevin Westenberg and The Script website