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01-12-00 news
Sinead O'Connor Interview...

Sinead, 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?

S: 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 contract.

Sinead O'Connor at a recent Dublin charity event

Where 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.

How did you get to work with Dave Stewart?

Through 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.

Is it true that there's is no type of music that you won't try?

S: Well, I think acid-house I wouldn't have much time for, but apart from that, not really, no.

You 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?

S: Yeah, it was all about trying to get laid. (Laughs).

When you got to the level of success that you achieved was it everything that you perceived it to be?

S: 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.

The 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?

S: 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.

Do you believe that you can't be a songwriter without having travelled or lived your life in some way?

S: 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?

S: 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, 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.

There's another song, "The State I'm In", by Scott Cutler and Ann Priestley. What do you like about that one?

S: 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.

S: How do you feel before releasing a record after working on it for a long period of time? Do you feel worried?

S: 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.

Why did you get involved with Jim Fitzpatrick?

S: 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.

Are you going to play some gigs?

S: 99% no. I have my daughter to look after at the moment so I don't really have the time.

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