The beginning of January of 2005 delighted the Cranberries fans by the rumor about The Cranberries reuniting for taking participation in the charity concert in support of the Asian tsunami victims. But this didn’t happen (most likely because of Dolores being on her late stage of pregnancy).
The ‘Universal’ company decided to re-issue the Cranberries’ ‘Live at Astoria’ classical concert, this time on DVD (it was issued on video back in 1994). The release took place on January, 24.
In January of 2005 Dolores trusted the management of her own company ‘Helter Limited’ to the hands of her husband. Don Burton. The company was founded in November of 2004, and Dolores was its supervisor for only two months. And, starting from January of 2005, she was referred to as a secretary in the documents. Originally, the main goal of the company was establishing restaurants, cafes and hotels, but then the aim was shifted to recording music. For instance, it was the Helter Limited which presented Dolores in the recording of ‘Ave Maria’ for the soundtrack of ‘The Passion of the Christ’, ‘Pure Love’ with Zucchero, ‘Mirror Lover’ with Jam & Spoon and ‘Angels Go To Heaven’ with Angelo Badalamenti.
Also in January, Dolores and her husband bought another house in a place called Hawt, not far from Dublin. According to the press, the couple has plans of bulldozing the house purchased for 2 million euros and build a mansion much more luxurious. And the economical house bought in September of 2004 is presumably a mere temporary residence until the new mansion is built. Dolores and Don have plans about a pool, a sauna and a gym in their new home.
In January the music channel VH1 started to broadcast the documental series ‘I Love the 90s Part Deux’, in which Dolores was sharing her memories. In the series about 1990 Dolores spoke about The Rugrats; in those about 1991 Dolores remembered how much she liked the performance of Nirvana on MTV Unplugged; in those about 1993 Dolores sang the line “I don’t belong here” of the ‘Creep’ song by Radiohead and remembered the “Leprechaun” film; in the series about 1994 Dolores was remembering about her own song ‘Zombie’, this time together with the other musicians; in the series about 1998 Dolores sang the line “Thank you silence” from the ‘Thank You’ song by Alanis Morisette. Judging by Dolores’s hair, the episode was cut the previous year.
On April, 10 of 2005 Dolores gave birth to the third child – a girl who was named Dakota Rain. The official site informed about that.
In April of 2005 the citizens of Limerick planned to set up a statue of Michael Hogan in the centre of the city, the Irish poet who was also an ancient ancestor of Noel and Mike Hogans died in 1899.
At the beginning of May Noel declined the rumor about impossibility of The Cranberries’ reunion that appeared in ‘The People’. “I did not see the article in The People, but by the looks of things I have been misquoted. I never said, there was no plans to get back together, I did say, there were no plans to get back together at the moment.”, – said the guitarist of the Cranberries. Noel also noted that the music he is doing now is what he is presently interested in. “Also I never said that The Cranberries ‘PREVENTED ME EXPLORING” this is not true. I am doing this now because this is where my head is at now, we in the band always explored any kind of music we were into at that time. It true that right now the kind of music I am doing, is the kind I am interested in right now. This may change again in time.”, – Noel said.
At the same time, on May, 20 of 2005, the album of the ’solo’ band of Noel Hogan, ‘Mono Band’, was released. The name of the album is the same – ‘Mono Band’. It consisted of 12 compositions recorded by Noel jointly with Richard Walters (the ‘Waves’, ‘Home’, ‘Indecisive’ songs), Soname Yangchen (‘Brighter Sky’), Alexandra Hamnede (‘Why?’, ‘Run Wild’, ‘Invitation’, ‘Miss P’), Kate Cobro-Havnevick (‘Crazy’), Nicolas Leroux (‘Hollow Man’), Fin Chambers (‘Release’, ‘She’s So Blue’) and Angie Heart (‘Coyotes & Helicopters’). There was also the participation of Fergal Lawler (the ‘Waves’, ‘Run Wild’, ‘Home’, ‘Crazy’, ‘Release songs) and Mike Hogan (the ‘Release’ song). “Polishing” the songs was with the help of Marius de Vries, Stephen Street and Matt Vaughan, who were the Cranberries’ collaborators before.
The ‘Mono Band’ album was only issued in Ireland, and the band also gave out some singles to support it – ‘Waves’, ‘Brighter Sky’ and ‘Run Wild’. The Irish press was very welcoming about it: almost every music magazine rated it the highest. ‘The Sun’ newspaper informed that Dolores did hear the disk, too, and she really enjoyed it. Supporting the album, Noel and Mono Band (mainly Richard Walters and Alexandra Hamnede) gave several performances in Ireland, Great Britain and USA. While performing on the Hard Working Class Heroes Festival last August in Dublin, Noel had his ‘Taylor’ guitar stolen which he used to compose many songs for The Cranberries.
In February of 2005 Noel created his own label especially for issuing the disk – Gohan Recording (an anagram for surname Hogan), that was actually used to release the album (using Noel’s own money, in fact). Also Noel started the site www.monoband.co.uk where he was placing the exclusive song premieres and writing news. And soon in June of 2005 Noel started recording the new songs for Mono Band, this time together with Richard Walters (some of them were presented by them on acoustic radio concerts).
As Noel was releasing his first solo album, Fergal was selling his house in Dublin (which cost 895,000 euros) to completely move to his native Limerick.
At the end of May Noel made the situation clear about the strange “breaking up” of The Cranberries once again in on of the interviews. “Just before I started this, we were getting ready to go in and do the fourth or fifth album… or one of those [actually the sixth - NB]. Nobody was really in the mood to do it. We did some demos. Everbody kinda wanted to do other things, away from The Cranberries for awhile. So we just decided, hey, lets do that. Let’s go off and spend whatever amount of time you need and see where it’s at then in a few years. We didn’t give ourselves a year, or five years, or ten. We just said, when we feel like it again. So that’s where it is, it’s just kinda left hanging there.” In another interview, Noel noted that The Cranberries might have held it with the solo projects, but the last drop was the illness of Dolores’s mother-in-law that crushed the singer. Noel also said that The Cranberries would reunite anyway, but not before they would have their solo projects finished. “But definitely at some point we will pick up the phone to each other and say that it’s time to regroup”, – Noel encouraged the fans, and added: “Obviously I see Mike as he’s my brother and he’s been helping me out with my live shows by playing in my band. I still speak to Ferg and Dolores the odd time on the phone but it’s not like it used to be when we were practically living in each other’s pockets for years.”
Apart from Dolores and Noel, a solo project was also started by Fergal. The Cranberries drummer took participation in the recording of some joint compositions with the members of Woodstar (Limerick), Kieran Calvert and Al Sheahan.
Fergal began writing songs in a studio at home. Note that The Cranberries are acquainted with Woodstar pretty well: in 2002 Woodstar performed to warm up the public before the Cranberries, and the lead singer, Fin Chambers, recorded some songs for Mono Band of Noel Hogan.
Also in May it became known that back at the end of 2003 The Cranberries had stopped the goings-on of their management company ‘Curtain Call Ltd.’ owned by Dolores, Noel, Fergal and Mike. The reason is that the income of the company decreased due to the stop of The Cranberries’ activity.
In the middle of August Fergal and his wife Lorie got the third child, though the official Cranberries site decided not to inform about that for some reason.
In the same time, ‘Universal’ continued to gather the last pieces of gold of the available releases of The Cranberries. In September the company reissued on the CD the best 11 singles of the band within the project of ‘20th Century Masters’ and also the five best videos on DVD (also within that project). In October the renewed DVD ‘Stars’ was released, this time as a part of ‘Deluxe Sound & Vision’ project. The set consisting of three disks included the original CDs and DVD ‘Stars’, and also a CD with the best B-sides.
Dolores continued to do business along with music. In October she finally got herself a permit from the Spanish government for building four luxurious mansions in Alicante (her request was being checked for 10 years). Dolores had bought 20.000 acres of the shore land of Tossal del Tender not far from the village of Benissa back in 1996, when she had remarked those grounds while being on a helicopter excursion. Dolores was originally going to build a hotel here, but the local government didn’t give permission. In 2002 she had plans to build four big houses, but the project was declined again. So, finally, in October of 2005, after she proposed to build thirty houses to sale to the local residents in addition to the four mansions, the local government permitted Dolores to fulfill her ideas. By the specialists’ judgment, the finished complex will cost around 13 million euros.
But Noel went along with Dolores about business, too. In the summer he founded the fashion boutique ‘Identikit’ in the centre of Limerick, being its co-owner together with Alan McEvoy, the former business-manager of The Cranberries. The shop sells the brand everyday clothes (jeans, T-shirts, shoes, accessories) and, as the visitors note, by quite high prices. Apart from this shop, Noel also invested money into setting the Digital Jet media-kiosks around the whole Ireland. They allow the clients to download digital books, music and video via mp3-players, notebooks and cell phones connected to them. The kiosks will be set in the airports, universities and other public places. It was Alan McEvoy again who got Noel into this.
In October the community of cran-fans was shocked by the fact that some anonymous user places two brand new solo songs of Dolores O’Riordan, Letting Go and In The Garden, in the forum of Zombieguide.com. As it became known, the songs were taken from a demo of five tracks. And the Letting Go song, judging by its lyrics, is dedicated to the death of Dolores’s mother-in-law.
In the beginning of November the press began spreading rumors about the Cranberries uniting in the nearest months. Dolores was alleged to have been noticed having dinner with her husband and the members of the band in one of the restaurants in Dublin. But Dolores’s publicist, Lindsey Holmes, declined the gossip officially: “Dolores did not have dinner with the other members of the Cranberries on Friday night.She had dinner with her husband and some fellow musicians. The rumour is not true that the Cranberries are getting back together.”
In November The Cranberries were included to a list of the twelve most influential Irish musicians. In honor of that, there was the Wall of Fame of the New Irish Music opened in Dublin that had a photo of Dolores on it. Among the other significant musicians are U2 and Sinead O’Connor.
Also in November the Irish music magazine HotPress published the first interview of Dolores after the prolonged silence. She told in it that she was planning to release a solo album in the spring or summer of 2006. According to her, it will be the most “dark and personal” album of her. “You might think, ‘Oh, that’s the same singer’, but otherwise it’s completely different to the Cranberries. Lyrically too, you wouldn’t have written something as dark and personal as that with the boys”, – said Dolores. She noted that working alone is much more comfortable for her, as there is no pressure from the other three members of the band. Besides she is finally able to speak about what she thinks of, without having to worry about the guys’ attitude. Dolores made the songs at home on the piano, then polished them with the programmer using ProTools, and then recorded the songs with the musicians in studios of Los Angeles, in Metalworks Studios in Toronto and in Pulse Studios in Dublin. Among the participants were the additional guitarist of The Cranberries Steve Demarchi, the former drummer of the Irish band ‘Therapy?’ Graham Hopkins, the bass guitarist Marco Mendoza (a Mexican friend of Dolores’s husband). Dolores also confirmed that the album will contain songs dedicated to the death of Don’s mother, ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Letting Go’. A little later it became known that apart from Graham Hopkins the drummer of the ‘Triumph?’ band and a friend of Dolores, Gil Moore, took participation in recording of some songs. Moore owns the Metalworks Studios in Toronto where Dolores recorded not only her solo songs, but also the ‘Bury The Hatchet’ album. ‘HotPress’ magazine also implied that the cooperative work of Dolores and the world-famous composer Angelo Badalamenti came further than just one song. They also recorded another song for the upcoming film ‘Secrets Of Love’ which is by now at its first stage of creation. When the journalist asked what was going to happen after the solo album’s release, Dolores answered with laugh: “Other than releasing my own record I’ve no plans for next year or the year after that or the year after that. It really is a case of seeing what happens.”
On December, 3rd Dolores took participation in the Christmas concert in Vatican for the third time, by the invitation of the Pope. Dolores performed the Adeste Fideles hymn with the Italian singer Gian Luca Terranova and the new swing version of Linger. It was the first public performance of Dolores of all 2005. Some Italian fans managed to talk to Dolores on a press-conference before the concert. When asked if the Cranberries were going to unite again sometime, Dolores answered: “This is a moment where all of us really want to experience new ways of making music and new ways of expressing what we feel inside. I absolutely am not against playing together with the band in the future, but right now we have no plans.” But she also noted that the reunion of The Cranberries won’t happen soon.