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Top Music: Dolores Interview (2001)

Author: Antonio Rojas
Translated from Spanish by Magda

I have always consider Dolores O’Riordan one of the most spectacular and overwhelming women in European music. Spectacular, not for an outstanding beauty, although she is incredibly attractive, but for her strength and intense personality that hooks you up like a fish when you speak to her or you see her on stage, jumping like she always does. Dolores has been lucky in life, and the other members in The Cranberries have contributed to that luck, a band with out fissures, that now introduces their new album, Wake Up And Smell The Coffee (W.U.A.S.T.C), that was recorded when Dolores was very much pregnant with her second baby.

Top music interviewed Dolores O’Riordan, lead the singer of the Irish group The Cranberries, Don’t miss out on her thoughts on her new album W.U.A.S.T.C. be cause there are not wasted.

We love the first single who did it come up?

It had been a long time since I had written a song so optimistic and positive, with a catchy melody and not a negative element in it. In certain way it reminds me of , a song that’s 10 years old, but it feels different at the same time. It’s like it includes a deeper experience, like the sounds are more sophisticated and develop. How ever above all, it is a pretty happy and optimistic song. It was about time we release something like this.

What can you tell us about the video?

We choose a kid called Keir McFarland to work with him. When I saw a film he made, I really liked it, and it was impressive. I had seen around 10 or 11 videos that other producers, every one very different from the other.
But in Keir’s case what got to me was the way on which he approached things, I don’t know, may be because his style was pretty abstracted. What appeared on those images was just the contrary of what you expected to find in every moment, never choosing the more obvious option or the most predictable of things. His work was filled with irony, and I really liked his conceptual side.

Why did you go back to work with Steven?

In our third album, we decided to work with Bruse Fairburn, but unfortunately he died. Later we worked with Ben Fenner on the fourth album. Suddenly we all thought . We’ve been together 10 or 11 years as a group, so we thought it would not be bad to recuperate the way we worked at the beginning, to see how things develop now that we have change so much. We are older, and regardless of our age, I think we are also a little more mature. Steve has change a lot too, now he is more experience, same with us. That is why it is been nice to get together again.

Everything points to going back to your routs…

The truth is I don’t believe it is so, because a lot of the songs on this album would have been impossible 11 years ago. Before I would have found very complicated to sing this way, I think I would not have achieved it with out the confidence, the maturity and the wrinkles I have now. On our first album I felt like a teenager: Insecure, and wanting to sing songs about broken hearts and broken relationships. I think this are more mature and with more content themes.
In fact, I believe that the sound and the song lyrics show maturity, it is like everything is different. The only thing that has not change is Steven’s presence and the 4 band members.

Has it been something special in your habitual song creating process?

There is one new thing for us, because, we had never been confronted to something like this before. It is about the last song on the album . I remember Steven telling me: < Hey Dolores, we are recording Chocolate Brown tomorrow> and I said: (normally on Fridays we would record the drums, the bass, or any other instrument on Friday), and he said Yes. So I said to him< so I can go out tonight and have some drinks, and get drunk, be cause I am not singing tomorrow>

And you did?

Yes (laughs), I did, and of course on Friday I had a huge hangover, but in great shape to play. I remember Steven looking at me and he said< Well are you ready? Let’s record this song directly>. I remember and responded: . And Steven told me . He got me into the recording studio, were everybody was gather around an enormous and old microphone, that look a lot like one the beatles would use to record their albums. Steven wanted me to be closer to the microphone, while Mike played the bass also besides to the microphone, and the same with the drums. How ever the drum kit did not have a microphone connected and Mike had only his amplifier, so the microphone picked up the sound from the amplifier, With Noel the same happened.

And what was the result?

Well we played that song in that manner, directly, without any other element, and truly it came out very good. We sang it 5 or 6 times. I was convinced that after having spent the whole night drinking I would not be able to sing and Steven would not stop telling me . So I closed my eyes, and I put my self to doing the best I could. In the end the song sounded refreshing and it is beautiful, different from all the songs that lately are charged with excessive and exaggerated production, it seams that is what fashion for a lot of the groups is. There are a lot of female singers that can’t sing. They are very attractive, have huge boobs and everything you like, but they can not sing and try to compensate with over producing. Contrary to all of that I find to be one of those authentic songs, one you can really sing well, because it is fill with good music and real emotions. It is not like one of those prefabricated fake songs. When you listen to it, you feel like a breeze of fresh air. I like it a lot.

Being pregnant, was it complicated for recording a whole album?

Truth is that the recording of this album was not difficult at all. It was not the first time that I found my self recording or being pregnant, and I found it very interesting. Besides, the fact that I was working with Steven Streip, whom we knew so well, has been a wonderful experience. I felt so comfortable, that I felt like I was not working, but something I really liked.

Has success changed you in any way?

Just for the fact that you join a group, manage to enjoy great success and became famous, it does not mean you have to stay away from family or friends, from the people you love. You do not have to move to a world of fame and glamour. The fact that we live in the same little city where you have spent your whole life in, it’s not bad at all. For us it has always been very important the fact of being focus in whom we really are, being in contact with the persons we like, with out letting success submerge us in a world we do not care for.

What is your current situation as a woman?

Before, I cared a lot for silly things, for example, if people would like me. I though on how I would look physically, how my legs looked, If my hair look good. I lost a lot of time and money, reading those stupid feminine fashion magazines, and became as sad and insecure person to the eyes of others. This is what happens to a lot of women when they spend their life thinking: . The society pressures you to be thin, to be in shape, to show yourself sexy, to wear a certain kind of cloths… Women suffer pressure from everywhere.

What kind of relationship do you have with your fans?

Well, sometimes, when I get to the studio, what I do is read the letters our fans send from all over the world. Our web page’s administrator puts them according to where they came from. For example, he gives us all the fan letters from Asia, and in another lot all the letters from Argentina, and so on. Sometimes I do write back. I think it is pretty important that our fans receive a response from us, from time to time.

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