Nick Bennett took himself along to a press conference the Cranberries did on their latest tour of Australia, timed to promote their recently released third album, ‘To the Faithful Departed’. As we know now, the band cancelled mid-way through their Australian dates, blew out the rest of their world tour, and have now said they won’t be touring for a few years. So, anyway, here’s what Dolores O’Riordan (singer/songwriter), Fergal Lawler (drums), Noel Hogan (guitar) and Mike Hogan (bass) they had to say.
Nick: ‘To the Faithful Departed’ is obviously a bit of a manoeuvre away from what you’ve done previously; is it your most ambitious record to date?
Dolores: When you work with three people for a certain amount of time, you grow as a unit. You become more experimental, and I think that’s probably why you get tighter and you try different things, because variety is the spice of life.
Nick: Are you surprised that you’ve sold almost 15 million albums? You started out as a fun thing in 1989 in Limerick; and now look at you, are you still pinching yourselves?
Noel: You’ve just got to take it day by day; because in fact, we never really had a plan. We’ve always just gone with it, and you can’t always see where it’s going to take you. It’s nice to know people like something that you do; but if we sold only ten records tomorrow, it’s not something that we’re really worried about.
Dolores: Actually someone came up to me recently and said that their house burnt down, and their family were broken up; and that the ‘No Need to Argue’ album really helped the family and these particular individuals at the time to get over their own traumas in life. I think that’s a really good point; that doing something that touches people is really what it’s all about.
Nick: Since you last released an album, the Irish Peace Protest has come and gone. This album seems to have drawn broader regions.
Fergal: We’ve basically spent a lot of time travelling around, and we’ve been away for the last year and a half on and off. We’re never going to forget what’s happening there, but it’s time to move on. It’s time to do different things; we approached the Irish situation before in ‘No Need to Argue’.
Nick: Dolores, I have to ask you about Duran Duran. You’ve ended up marrying their road manager, and you’ve sung with Simon La Bon. Was this something that extended back to your school days, or a bit of a cult of Duran Duran?
Dolores: I was a fan of Duran Duran when I was a kid, and I had the posters of the band and all that stuff. At this stage they reached their peak when I was a teenager: It was just fun, to do a song with Simon; and it was really for charity as well. We just did it for a good laugh.
Nick: The British press has been pretty tough on you with reviews so far. Do you feel that it’s an Us and Them vindictive?
Dolores: Sometimes people have a problem with success. When you’re crap and nobody likes you they love you; and when you’re successful they hate you. Obviously it doesn’t affect us; it doesn’t affect our sales and it doesn’t affect our fans. We’re still doing really well; our fans are still really into it; and that’s really what counts. There’s always a bit of a thing with Irish bands in England.
Fergal: As long as we’re happy we’ll keep doing it.
Dolores: We’ve got this philosophy in the band that it beats flipping burgers. You have to remind yourself of that; and how you worked your butt off when you were a kid, for fifty pence an hour. This is our third album, and we realise that life slips by so quickly. You get off tour and you talk to your grandparents, or your uncles and aunts and at the end of the day you realise that what counts is that you enjoy your youth; that you don’t stress yourself; and that you don’t take life too seriously.