Interview with ‘TheScript’ #3

By Shakti Pherwani / Sept 2012

TheScript are back with a third album, #3, which sees them shift gears from their usual pop-ballad sound to a more mainstream rock-anthem-band.  As an aspiring musician, it was a great opportunity for me to tap into the band’s psyche and discuss their approach to making music.  You can read about my experience as a contest winner for the Singapore #3 showcase here. Below are some excerpts from a chat with the band:

Danny: Hey, it’s you. You won the contest from India, if I remember correctly?
Shakti: That’s right. Hi, I’m Shakti. That was a great set you guys did last night. An amazing experience!
Danny: Happy to hear it. So what questions did you have for us?
I’m keen to know, what’s ‘s your impression of India? What have you heard about us?
Danny: We’ve been there before, I’ve been to Mumbai and New Delhi and my impression is that it’s a testament to humanity, really!
You know because it’s amazing because  we’ve had the chance to experience the cities, and the poverty as well, and I just thought that it was an incredible experience for me too. And I felt, at such a young age to be separated so far from my own home, and to also see that it doesn’t matter where you go in the world people are living, people are happy and people have smiling faces. I love the culture as well. The culture has such a long, long, long lineage, a history and incredibly intelligent people too! It’s amazing.
Did it change you in anyway? Did you leave as different people after your visit?
Mark: We were there very young, we were, I suppose, very influenced by our trip there. We did a lot of fun things like riding elephants (laughing.)
Danny: Yeah, I can’t remember but we did a lot of things, we did a lot of stuff – we had a lot of fun.
How old were you when you went there?
Danny: We were probably then maybe eighteen, nineteen, twenty? But we had lots of fun! And we travelled across the country as well. I can’t quite remember where we went but we drove for miles and miles. We just experienced a lot of culture and we really enjoyed ourselves!
Mark: It was actually just myself and Dan when we were younger..
Was this before the band was formed?
Mark: Yeah!
Danny: In good nature we climbed upon an elephant. There was a wedding, the elephant came along and the guy was like, “do you want to get upon the elephant?” I remember Mark had a camcorder.
Mark: I remember, I got up onto it… No, he got on first ??
Danny: No, you did first! I remember standing on the elephant and basically trying to pull my way up. And I just remembered like having these boots, these sharp boots and digging into the elephant’s ass as I was trying to like get on… haha.
Mark: Yeah exactly, it was really tough as well!
Danny: But he had a camcorder, and I don’t think a lot of the people around him had ever really seen a camcorder. It was a long time ago but they were great, it was like twenty people behind him were just like looking at the camcorder and were like, “Wow! We are on TV!”
It was crazy, amazing time, really amazing.
How different is #3 from your previous two albums? I mean like in terms of the emotion that comes from the sound that theScript puts out..?
Danny: I think, for us, it is definitely a harder album.
You know, theScript have always delved into a more emotional side.  One of us had gone through a break up at the time, and we definitely covered a lot of that ground on the first and second album. But this album – we are fixed in a way…
Mark : That’s right!
Danny: We are a lot more confident, a lot more ballsy now. We’ve had, I guess, about four or five years on stage now to really hone in on our craft!
You know, before, I guess we tried to not disguise our Hip Hop roots with the beats – and we used to add melody – and we’re  just kind of like a more open book now.  You know I think on album number three, really you can tell, that there’s this big anthemic chorus and we have like this rap verse, with some pop cords underneath. So it’s almost the exact same formula, but just the perspective has been changed.
It’s pretty much like what we were talking earlier on. The three albums are like a trilogy, as a whole.  You listen to them together, you can put on songs on the third one and on the first and on the second – [and listen] all the way through – it’s great!  I think It’s a great third album.
Mark: It’s a great trilogy, sometimes – as you can see even last night – we just love love playing these songs and this music!
 
You said yesterday at the show, that the best way to get over a heart break is to write a song about it.
Danny: The best way to get over a lover, is to get a new lover! (laughter)
[Mark: that’s the best way!]
Danny: Yeah, we said that.
I think to externalize is really very helpful. But music was something that we went to, to vent our emotions and feelings.  And so, I suppose that’s why our music is so dramatic – because we are actually really very happy people in our personal lives. But it’s just when we run to music, it’s the dark side of our lives that we go through.
So it also makes us feel right about it, and helps us sing about it every night! And it does help you get over it.
So you have to keep getting heart broken on a regular basis to keep writing good music ?
Danny: Yeah, it happens a lot
Mark: Well, there’s a kind of loss a lot in anybody’s life, that people say you aren’t really over. You are never really over the thing, there’s always something to talk about! Depending on how impactful it was on your life, whether it’s actually losing a parent or a friend, or you know, just breaking up with somebody – it doesn’t really matter! Its not something that you can easily switch off.
Sometimes, it’s an endless flow! Some people have written a whole album on just one person, you know…
I read somewhere that you were not very comfortable playing the song ‘If You Could See Me Now’. How do you do that for any of the other songs that you are really feeling and have to play live?
Danny: Yeah, because when we write a song we write it for ourselves; we don’t think about anybody else. But you’ve got to. When you write a song, you forget that it’s going to be released – because you are not thinking about it like that. But, when it gets released, it becomes everybody’s, because they rewrite that song into their lives and it becomes a soundtrack to everybody else’s life as well.
So, we kind of feel a responsibility to play the song – because you guys came because you really wanted to hear that song, right?  And so you really wanted to vent as well.
It’s important for us, despite our own grievances of any song; it’s important for us to sing it for you – and for you to be able to like it and  if ‘if you can see me now’ happens to be the  real cut to the bone song, it happens to be something like ahh it’s a rare song, but when is the right moment to play it?
For example we couldn’t play it at 2′ 0′ clock in the afternoon at a festival. It just wouldn’t be right! Whereas, intimate shows where people are gathering together for our own concert, maybe that’s the right time.
We’ve been playing it recently and things have been going really really well.
You know for us it’s so helpful we don’t know, it’s so helpful after we do it because it does bind the band – and it does help you deal with situations that you may not have always dealt with very well.
Are you comfortable going down there sometimes?
Mark: It’s really very weary, and I’m kinda quiet sturdy going that way. Kind of like influenced, probably wouldn’t never really let it out that way. I’ll probably go away.
Danny: Yeah you know sometimes it gets to you, you see on twitter, I’m kinda like flipping through Twitter and someones like, ‘I love you, when is the band coming??’ and someone’s just got arrested and then I’m like wow… And then in the night you take down a few more, you take that rage and put it on a paper and people recite this and their favourite lyrics of the song back to you.
It’s always like that and with that then they start to become a little bit better with what they are dealing with ….that feeling (and it’s an amazing feeling!), that’s all we’ve been trained for.
The more I sing it, the more I become comfortable with that feeling. And that’s an amazing thing. You did it, and it’s a release. So every night, it’s almost like a really great feeling – and that’s why I got into music in the first place!

From yesterday’s meeting you guys seem really simple and grounded..
Danny (laughing): I’m not exactly sure that simple is the right word.
Has your upbringing been like that? Have your parents given you certain advice that this is how you should behave when you’re famous?
Danny: Absolutely. I think as an Irish, I think my dad told me when I was growing up as a kid- if you want to get a cup of  tea, ask where the kettle is. Don’t ask someone to make it for you. Go make it yourself.
I think it’s very important, on the way up, to remain true to who you are and not let this change you.  We have been very lucky with the success we have -but it didn’t come to us till later in life, you know we didn’t get this easy. I mean, we had to struggle for many years to get to where we are. So, I think, the fact that we struggled to get this, we appreciate it more – and we also know that it can go as quick as we got it. It’s very important to remain…
Glen : We are very aware, like he said, all the time that it can get taken away so easily. Irish people are just more naturally grounded in their thinking.
Mark: Yeah, yep!
Danny: You don’t want to hurt the crowd by being an asshole. You just want to keep it as long as you can – and remain true to who you are. We have the greatest known kinship as a band. Any moment when someone goes out as the band,  there’s always one or two of us together to patch that out. It must be so difficult to be a solo artist!
(© Shakti Pherwani / September 2012.  Band photos are copyright of theScript and/or their respective makers.)

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