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Very. Important. Pictures.
your new album, "Faith And Courage", is the first
album that you've had out in six years. Why did you
wait so long to bring it out?
Well, I had "Gospel Og" out about two years ago. I
had my second child four years ago so I was pregnant
for the year before that. I wasn't really working
for three years after my daughter was born and also
EMI closed down ten days after "Gospel Og" came out
so I spent a couple of years looking for a record
O'Connor at a recent Dublin charity event
did all the songs on the new album get written? Were
they collaborations with people in different cities?
S: Yeah. I was living in London, but a lot
of the songs were written outside of London, like
America and then the recordings were done all over
the place too. Some of them were done in Dublin, London,
Atlanta and some in France.
did you get to work with Dave Stewart?
Brian Eno. I sent him a demo of "Emma's Song" and
himself and Dave were together when they heard it
and they both cried their eyes out when they heard
it and really liked it. Brian told me this and I told
him that I was a big Dave-fan and told Brian to get
him to ring me. So, Dave rang me and offered to help
me with the album, which was pretty amazing.
it true that there's is no type of music that you
Well, I think acid-house I wouldn't have much time
for, but apart from that, not really, no.
have a song called "Daddy, I'm Fine" on the album.
It seemed very autobiographical. Were you very determined
growing up about pursuing your musical career?
Yeah, it was all about trying to get laid. (Laughs).
you got to the level of success that you achieved
was it everything that you perceived it to be?
There are things about it that you find yourself doing
that you didn't expect to be doing. But, when you
do get to the top of reaching all that fame and fortune
you do realise that there's an emptiness in it. It
doesn't satisfy your soul in the way that you might
be brought up to believe about fame. But, the actual
process of making music and performing is always satisfying.
Some of the other stuff can be soul-destroying.
first song on your album, "The Healing Room" is a
very beautiful song. Are the lyrics trying to imply
that the answer to our problems lie inside ourselves?
Yeah. I have been studying the area of Psychic Studies
in colleges all around London and have been training
to become a psychic medium and also observing the
training of others and people who work with the idea
of souls. The song is really about the experiences
that I've had at those colleges and the idea is that
you use guided meditations, which are designed to
take the person inside themselves to begin a relationship
with the soul and to listen to what the soul is saying.
The song is about going inside and searching through
the soul and then half way through the song, it turns,
and the soul is singing. People are talking to their
souls all day long and sometimes a soul can be singing
you a song.
you believe that you can't be a songwriter without
having travelled or lived your life in some way?
I think that you can, but you're not going to have
a lot of soul in what you do. I don't subscribe to
this idea that you have to be miserable to be a good
songwriter or artist or that you have to suffer. Although
true artists are people that have suffered a lot,
but hopefully grow through that into compassion and
that's how you become compassionate.
Another song on the album, "Lamb's Book Of Life",
contains the lyric, "I know that I have given you
many reasons not to listen to me especially as I have
been angry, but if you knew me maybe you would understand
me." What is that line about?
Well, whenever I use the word, "I" on the record,
it isn't always about me, it can be someone else or
it can be my soul talking to me. Often it can be God
talking in my songs, but in that song, it is Ireland
speaking and saying that Ireland has done recent things.....like,
bombing people, terrorism and knowing why people aren't
listening to Her, but if you look at Her history then
you might have some compassion toward Her. That's
a song about Ireland in America seeking help, not
just politically, but also spiritually.
another song, "The State I'm In", by Scott Cutler
and Ann Priestley. What do you like about that one?
Well, That's a tricky one. It's one that my record
company wanted me to do. It's not actually a song
that I'd identify with hugely. I actually prefer their
version of the song because she sings it with such
passion and she wrote the song. To be honest it's
on there as a favour to my record company. It slightly
interferes with the events in the record because at
that stage things are supposed to be getting a bit
more hopeful. I think that they chose that song for
me because they know the states that I've gone through
and that it was a song for me. It's also a question
of doing each other favours because if you work with
a band you want to help them out and do some of the
stuff that they want to do.
How do you feel before releasing a record after working
on it for a long period of time? Do you feel worried?
It's the six weeks before a record comes out that's
a disaster. It's like waiting for a baby. It's not
really how people will react to it, it's just that
it's out, like expelling a child from your body. Once
the first track gets played on the radio you can relax
again. I always listen to the albums a lot in the
few weeks before they come out and then I never listen
to them again.
did you get involved with Jim Fitzpatrick?
I guess it's the religious thing. He's someone who's
very interested with religion and particularly paganism.
I felt that he would put forward a sense of the soul
again and that he could make a painting of a person
that would be more about their soul than them. He
is an expert in religion in Ireland as it was before
Christianity. I wanted a lot of the vibe of that in
the record as well.
you going to play some gigs?
99% no. I have my daughter to look after at the moment
so I don't really have the time.
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