Interview: The Voice UK judge and The Script frontman DANNY O'DONOGHUE


Your album #3 came out last autumn, and featured the first duet the band had been involved with, Hall of Fame, featuring your fellow The Voice coach I hear that he tried to steal the song for his own album – is there any truth in that? 
Yes, there’s a lot of truth in that! I guess he had seen the power of the song and just fell in love with it. He said: ‘can I have that for my record?’ – I laughed and told him he couldn’t! Mark, our guitarist, suggested Will did it with us so that he got to do the song, but WE got it as our first single. A bit of to-ing and fro-ing later, and he agreed. By the end of the day, we’d got into a car and had headed to his hotel room, where he has a recording studio, and we recorded it there and then!

That’s a quick turnaround!
You know, when something’s so natural, you can spend your whole life trying to do a duet with someone, and then the next minute you realise they’re up Kilimanjaro and you’re in Botswana. It was such a natural thing and it happened so fast. I guess the best things happen that way!

That single was a bit of a diversion from your usual material in that it was the first duet the band had done. Have you written any other duets?
We’ve tended to ‘collaborate’ with other artists – we did a collaboration on Written In The Stars with Tinie Tempah when he supported us on our World Tour – we did that every night. It was so much fun to invite someone into what The Script is doing. And, again, on our second album, we had B.o.B. guest on a song called Walk Away – but Hall of Fame was the first time we’d sat down and done a straight single duet.
People were surprised we were working together – and that it was actually good! We thought it was going to be good but we couldn’t have hoped for the reaction we had.

Leanne Mitchell was the winner from series one – and although you turned round to say ‘I want you!’, she chose Tom Jones over you... what was it about her that made you hit the big button? Obviously, it was the voice! She’s really great, she’s got such a unique voice. The papers apparently said I was slamming her, giving her the hairdryer treatment, for winning. How can you slam anyone for winning? She was the best there, she was incredible! She’s been recording her album, which will be out soon.
Her husband came over to me after the show, to tell me that all the things I said to her really helped, even though I wasn’t her coach. They’re both lovely! She was in Ruth Brown’s shadow for a lot of the show, so it was really nice when they were up against each other. It gave her a lot of confidence; I don’t think Ruth Brown needed any more confidence! 

The Voice UK Judges
Tom Jones, Danny O'Donoghue, Jessie J,
How did you juggle being on The Voice and putting the album together? 
It’s a labour of love, so every time I was doing The Voice, people were thinking I was going home to bed. I wasn’t – I was going into the studio to record the album! For us in The Script, we’ve never been afraid of hard work – we’ll work as hard as we can and we’ll reap the benefits! We have this great album that our fans love; we’re in love with it ourselves!

The new album had a lot to live up to – both your first two went to the top of the album charts, platinum several times over, spawning some great singles for us to play on the radio... did you feel under pressure?
In fairness, no, not really – I guess like any football team you can win the league two years in a row, but if you don’t win it the next year, you can come back bigger and better next season. For us, it was about coming out of the studio with an album we’re proud of – we didn’t care that it didn’t go to number one. We still feel we’ve done ourselves proud!

It’s your third album, aptly titled #3 – but where is it kept in the CD racks in what few music stores are left? Is it in the 0-9 section, under ‘T’ for three?
It’s good because you tune in the human psyche and give the fans something they have to work for... and they like it! There’s a bit of searching going on, and at the end when you find it, there’s much excitement!

You’ve performed with one of Ireland’s biggest exports – U2 – do you see them as musical godfathers? 
I suppose in a way – more like musical brothers though. All of us Irish acts all revel in our own successes!

There’s a lot of great music coming out of Ireland?
I don’t think you can be a successful band without having an Irish connection! Look at One Direction and The Wanted – they all have one foot in Ireland! 

Catch The Script LIVE at the following dates:

Interview by kind permission of
JOFF HOPKINS, presenter on Norwich 99.9, The Beach and North Norfolk Radio

The Script - Millionaires on MUZU.TV.