In The End: An interview with The Cranberries

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Mike, Noel and Ferg with family members who feature on the album cover ‘In The End’ by The Cranberries released on Friday April 26, 2019

IN A fitting tribute to the legacy of a four piece band from Limerick that today is known across the world, the remaining members of The Cranberries – Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawlor – completed their final album in the months that followed the tragic passing of Dolores O’Riordan. The album is called ‘In The End’. It will be released this Friday April 26.

Limerick Post talked to The Cranberries about the album.

When Dolores O’Riordan died in January 15, 2018, the band put all plans on hold. Only after hearing the demo recording and the songs that she left did the band approach the O’Riordan family to discuss completing the album to honour the memory of their band mate.

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Dolores had completed and recorded the vocals to final demo stage. That, coupled with how energised the singer was by the prospect of making this record and getting back on the road to play the songs live, led the band to get back in the studio and complete the project.

Lead track ‘All Over Now’ finds Dolores in great voice over the guitar led track that is reminiscent of The Cranberries early years, and the million selling output from the first two albums produced by Stephen Street.

Was it deliberate on the part of the band to re-create that era on record?
“To a certain degree, yes,” comments drummer Fergal Lawlor.
“We had noticed how her voice was sounding. It reminded us of that period. She was singing a bit softer, with more innocence than she had been. Stephen Street noticed that as well. We bore that in mind. We remembered that time rather than try to sound like that.”

The remaining Cranberries were mindful of those early days as they worked together.
“You have it the back of your mind really.
“After Delores passed away, those were the memories that came back. Those early years and the fun we had, just all of us driving around in a van with a couple of friends.”
It is obvious that in promoting this record, the band is still in a grieving stage privately and trying to process this as best as possible in the glare of international media. After 28 years since the band formed, does Fergal have stand out moments that they discuss today?
“Mostly the things that come to mind is when we were starting off.
“It was just us playing small clubs and that. It was hard work but we really enjoyed it.
“We were young at the time. We were full of energy.”
“Leaving Ireland. Travelling around the UK and in the States the first few times.”
“It was a big adventure and it was amazing. Those are the moments that seem to be coming back.”

The album’s second track is called ‘Lost’. It is one of the most heart wrenching vocals on the record with its harrowing refrain ‘Bring In The Night, Bring In The Night’.

It is possible now with hindsight, that the meaning of this song could be misinterpreted.

“Lost is about the end of a certain period of her life,” explained Fergal.
“She got divorced and it was all very public and everything. She was battling with mental illness and she was kind of getting therapy and moving forward with her life
“She felt – ‘OK, I have the hardship behind me, I’m in a better place going towards a new chapter in my life – I’m going to be happier and more content’.”

After the recording of ‘Something Else’, The Cranberries’ album with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the band was eager to get into something new.
“I think the fact that we had reworked all those older tracks, we were kinda feeling like that was great now, it would be nice to do new original songs again to freshen it up.”
“We had been working towards getting back into the studio. We were all looking forward to recording a new album. All the demos were done in the seven months previous to her passing away.”

The new album is produced by Stephen Street (Blur, The Smiths), who has worked on five of their eight LPs including their first two albums.
Fergal adds that having Stephen Street at the helm of the recording was essential to the process.
“He knew her voice so well and he knew what Dolores would like and what she wouldn’t like. They had a very intimate working relationship. There was no question of who we would get to do it other than him.”

The new single from the album is the title track ‘In The End’. It was the final song that the trio worked on in the studio in a four-week recording session to complete the 11 track album.
The song needed a lot of work in the editing process, but the lyrics have a finality and a philosophical outlook on wisdom gained with the passing of time.
Lyrics …
Ain’t it strange?/ When everything you wanted/ Was nothing much you wanted, in the end
Ain’t it strange?/ When everything that you dreamt of/ Was nothing you dreamt of, in the end?”

Album producer Stephen Street felt that it was right to wait to work on that song until the major part of the recording were complete.
“I wanted the band to emotionally feel as if it was a conclusion.”

The Cranberries’ final album ‘In The End’ is available on all platforms from this Friday April 26.