Six albums and countless tours in, The Script continue to defy expectations. The Dublin three-piece are one of the few rock bands still consistently topping the charts. Ahead of the band's visit to the BIC this month, Alex Green speaks to singer Danny O'Donoghue about the recent death of his mother, staying humble and not caring about what the critics say The Script's Danny O'Donoghue is explaining how his band's latest record was birthed from "one hell of a year".

"My mum passed, I wrote a song about her. My friends were there for me, I wrote a song about them...

"I went off the rails, I wrote a song about that. I got back on the rails - and I wrote a song about that as well," he divulges.

The last 12 months have not been kind to O'Donoghue, 39, and his bandmates guitarist Mark Sheehan, and drummer and bassist Glen Power. Dublin-raised O'Donoghue split from his girlfriend, Brazilian model Anne de Paula, and lost his mother Ailish to a brain aneurysm on February 14.

In an eerie twist of fate, her death echoed that of O'Donoghue's father, who died during the recording of The Script's 2008 debut album – also on Valentine's Day.

This year also saw Power lose a parent, his father.

Never one to shy away from confessional song-writing, O'Donoghue channelled his grief into the band's forthcoming sixth album, Sunsets And Full Moons. But why does he feel the need to do his soul-searching in public - often in front of hundreds of thousands of fans?

"That's my job," he says without pause, "I believe that if I have a reason to be here on Earth, it's to do that."

The Script's critics attack the band's heart-on-sleeve pop as cloying, saccharine and shallow. But it is hard to argue with the stats - all but one of their five previous albums hit number one in the UK.

"There's a massive symmetry," he explains, comparing their debut to their latest work. "We have had one hell of a year with the loss of two parents in our band and with the birth of children as well. It's a very interesting time in a creative's life to tune in and find out: 'How does he feel about this? How is he coping with this?'

"It's almost in real time. You realise when you have been in the public eye for a long time that you don't just get to be in the public eye for good things."

And what about the emotions he went into the studio to confront?

"Confusion, devastation... the building back up of somebody and something."

One song on the album - Run Through Walls - was written just a week after he buried his mother.

"I was openly crying while I was writing the song. I had tears in my eyes nearly the whole time. But I knew it needed to be said and it needed to be written."

Sunsets And Full Moons is also a welcome return to the personal song-writing and unadorned power pop of their early records.

It's especially welcome after the band's last record, the politically-orientated and critically-mauled Freedom Child, which featured Divided States Of America, the band's much maligned song about Donald Trump.

That album explored the EDM sound that was all the rage at the time. But O'Donoghue's lyrics were lost under a sea of soapbox preaching and heavy-handed dance beats.

Now they are going backwards, returning the acoustic guitars and pianos to their rightful place.

O'Donoghue tells me the people are "crying out" for something simple and wholesome.

"There is a massive appetite out there for acoustic music,' he says conspiratorially.

Given the band's track record, Sunsets And Full Moons is likely to be a commercial success. But O'Donoghue is clear the only barometer of success he measures himself by is the fans.

"It's very easy to dismiss us a pop act and go, 'They are this and they are that'. But when you look at our craft, how long we have put into production, I've been producing nearly 24 years now.

"I've been a living song-writer, getting paid for what I do, for 24 years. Like I said, I feel entitled to preach from a certain standpoint about what I have been through this year.

"And I love the fact that I don't care. I really don't care what the critics say.

"All I know is that I bled on the page."


The Script are at the BIC on February 24