The Script open up about charged new album Freedom Child...
After four albums and an exhausting touring schedule, big-selling Irish trio The Script have been quiet for the last couple of years, but return today with a brand new album named Freedom Child.
We spoke to guitarist Mark Sheehan about why this is an album partly inspired by political events and how the title came from an awkward question from his son...
You had a hiatus before this album, did you take a bit of time to get back in the groove of writing for the band again?
“We’re studio rats. That’s what we are. So even when we’d gone our separate ways and were taking time off from the band we were all still working on tunes. I was experimenting a lot, really trying to push myself and see what sounds I could come up with, and the others were doing that too. When it came to the album we ended up with about 70 songs, so it took a time to decide which songs we’d keep and which would fall by the wayside.”
The album has you going into some different lyrical territories, there’s a bit of politics on these, especially on ‘Divided States Of America’...
“We wrote that song while the election was going on. We’re not pro-Trump, we’re not anti-Trump, it’s more just identifying what the election seemed to do to people, the amount of hate and bile it brought up, it’s about that.”
Would you call this a political album?
“No. Definitely not. We’re not a political band. We’re not a religious band. This isn’t a political album. We write about humans and humanity, all sides of everybody, we’re not interested in preaching or trying to win you round to any point of view, we pride ourselves on being inclusive, arms wide open.”
Where did the title come from?
“It actually came from my little boy. He’s seven and at his school, they’ve been doing training, what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. So he came home and said to me ‘Dad, what’s a terrorist?’. It’s not one of the easier questions to answer and I had a hard time explaining to him, it’s so complicated and it stuck in my mind. To try and make it easier I thought I’d write a song, make a really simple tune to try and explain it to him. It really stayed with me and I showed it to the boys and we agreed on it for a title.”
Were the other lads in the band onboard straight away with that title?
“It worked quite well actually, once we had that it gave us a kind of mantra for the album, so we were able to choose songs that worked for the title and were in that mould.”
You’ve been on tour for the last month, how have the new songs been going down?
“We’ve been doing four and they’ve all been going down really well. I’ve been looking online and people have been filming and putting them up and they’re clocked up a fair few views. People seem to have really taken to them.”
How hard is choosing your setlist now?
“To be honest, that is one of the hardest things to get right. We try to mix it up a bit, try and make it interesting every night, drop in songs for a few nights and then take them out again. We’re excited to take the album out when everyone gets to hear it.”