Fresh off the shelf today, Irish rockers The Script drop a hearty 18-track best of compilation album to stew over – garnished with their 2022 Australian tour announcement.
'Tales From The Script' includes greatest hits, fan favourites and a brand new uplifting banger that almost collates and adorns a ribbon of current sentiment around their previous works.
Sitting down for a Zoom chat with the band's drummer Glen Power, the conversation veered from batter burgers, bodhrán, Bono and other Irish genetic expressions, as well as new music with Glen explaining why the chorus line in the new gem of a track, 'I Want It All', is such a standout phrase.
"I think we're always afraid to say what we want," Glen admits.
"In order to get to where you want to go to in life, you have to have a target otherwise you're like an archer in a field wit' a blindfold on, and you're just shootin' arrows into space; where if you pull that blindfold down and you see the tree – OK I'm aimin' – now you can shoot in that direction.
"A lot of us feel that we don't deserve to say 'I want it all and then some'. It's kinda like, 'shoot for the moon, hit the stars'."
Glen hopes the human separation during COVID and its relational revelations where "people got to meet themselves" and reassess, will empower us all to better spend our time and spirit.
"It's made us see that a lot of what we want is not necessarily outside our four walls, it's within our hearts, it's within ourselves, and it's also within our four walls.
"It's right in front of us sometimes, and I think until you can want it all for yourself, within yourself, you can't really know how to have it all outside yourself.
"For me, that line 'I want it all and then some'; it gives you permission to say 'y'know what, I do want it all, and I want then some. Because I'm good enough to get that, and have that and that's why I’m on the earth, to have a life that's full of things I want and to be joyful and to share that with somebody else.'"The Script are sure keen to share some space with us down under.
"The beautiful people of Australia are very like Irish people. . . there's a real sense of a kinship in terms of friendliness.
"People used to always say 'you walk into anywhere in Dublin and if you're lost or you ask someone for directions, they'll tell you where to go'; Australia is the same.
"Everybody that we've met there. . . the label to the people that we've worked with to the fans that we've met after the shows, even just out on the street, hanging out there on our days off and all – it's always been a beautiful experience.
"It's like we always say it's our second home, Australia.
"We just feel like there's a sigh of relief when we arrive there cos we know 'okay we can chill here, this is chill zone, people are really cool here'. It's always been the same way."
After family and friends, music has of course been a force of countenance for Glen and his countrymen through this time, enduring one of the longest shutdowns of the interior of pubs in (un)natural history.
But Ireland is not shy about being a staunch outlier – being the first country to ban smoking in enclosed workplaces (still looking at you, pubs), and contrary to the whinging we copped here in Australia, Glen says it didn't impact the music scene at all.
"It was amazing how much noise it created, but it was also amazing how quickly people adapted.
"Music in Ireland: it's in our DNA, it's literally down to a cellular level. You look at our passport, we have a harp on the passport – music is such a part of our culture, we're so deeply entrenched in the poets and history."
In this way, music comes out strongly in some people says Glen, adding: "The best music is already out there, you just have to stay up late enough at night to catch it.
"In Ireland when you've got a problem, there's a guy in the corner singing a song about it, because there's a song he knows with the same inflection, or feeling or theme of what he's going through, and I think that's what really joins us all together as a culture."
Side note: Glen also recommends swimming in the Irish Sea as a "holistic method to [assuage] the perils of life" – the Wim Hof Method a useful addition. "It just changes you in a way physiologically that nothing else does so quickly."
A further testament of Irish fortitude, traditional music is still growing. Glen listens to and composes a lot of it now, including learning how to play a bodhrán (say in your best bogan accent: "bear-on"), like he's always wanted to.
"It's a hand drum," Glen says, extending his proximity to the Zoom call to grab it, "and it kinda sounds like this: *plays*. . . I have one in my house in the kitchen and everyday I'm practicin' playin'. . . As an Irish man, I was like 'I have to play an Irish instrument' because I'm making music like that now."
As for Glen's earlier influences, in part it was 'Twist And Shout' on a Beatles record he heard age eight. "I remember hearing that and how it made me feel, and I just started hitting things with the drumsticks, y'know – I was just like 'this feels really good'."
In terms of influence as a singer, drummer and writer it's Phill Collins.
"I think his [debut] album 'Face Value' – the drumming in that, and the nuances. . . skill. . . level of dexterity. . . his feel," Glen continues, in humble awe, "and then you add in the fact that he wrote the songs and also sang, that's kind of what led me to start singin' as well, I think. . . Phil Collins.
"That really made me pick up a guitar and get on a piano."
It's not so surprising that speaking with Glen is reminiscent of some of Bono's words, not because of the accent, but the attitude.
With a similar grounded quality, on stage Bono dismisses the idea of U2 being the biggest band in the world
conceding only that they're the "greatest band on the north side of Dublin".
Glen and his bandmates Danny O'Donoghue and Mark Sheehan are from both sides, so there's no competition here.
"Some things in life – like human beings – are once offs, and some bands in life are once offs. You can never replicate or compete against certain bands, and U2 are one of those bands.
"I mean what they've done for Irish music, what they've done for live musicians and as an example of how to be a band like them and carry yourself in the world, and how you choose to spend your time when you're not on the stage as well."
Obviously a band Ireland has looked up to for over four decades, Glen says U2 are great givers of their time to younger bands including Glen and The Script. "They're just lovely, lovely people.
"To be so brilliant and so professional, it's just another lesson to me that you can be good at what you do and still have a humility about you, and carry yourself in the business in a respectful way, that you can be kind to people."
Sounds like they've been carrying a creed that some of us are only just learning through lockdowns and the challenges of absence.
"[U2] also have lives that are separate to the jobs. . . that's the way I try to live my life and I really take from their example.
"They're just good people doing amazing music in the biggest band in the world. And they've just stayed humble. They still sound like four normal guys from Ireland."
So do you, Glen. We look forward to giving you a big fáilte (Irish Gaelic for 'welcome' – pronounced 'vulture' but with an f) next year when you make it over here. And please, bring the bodhrán.'Tales From The Script' compilation record is available now.
The Script 2022 Tour Dates
Thu 15 Sep - The Riverstage (Brisbane)Fri 16 Sep - Aware Super Theatre (Sydney)Sat 17 Sep - Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Melbourne)Tue 20 Sep - RAC Arena (Perth)