Members of the Irish band the Cranberries recently chatted with fans on sonicnet.com. after the release of their new album, Bury the Hatchet. Here are excerpts:
Q: What was your inspiration for this new album?
A: (Dolores O'Riordon, vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist) There were very different inspirations because it was written over a period of a few years. My pregnancy inspired the more up, happy tone of the album. I wrote the lyrics, and Noel (Hogan, guitarist) wrote most of the music.
Q: What is the difference between being a rock star here in the United States compared to being one in Ireland?
A: (Feargal Lawler, drums) In Ireland, you can pretty much lead a normal life. It's more so when you're on tour that you get that type of attention.
(Ms. O'Riordon) Ireland is a small country. There are like 3 million. Being a pop star in America is a bigger deal than in Ireland. There are a lot of big stars in Ireland that are not known around the world.
Q: The last two albums have been quite a change from the first two albums. Do you think the albums that have yet to come out will be softer, or continue with the harder style?
A: (Mike Hogan, bass) It's kind of hard to predict that sort of thing. We can't predict what mood we'll be in.
(Ms. O'Riordon) I was 17 or 18 on the first album. I was like this little schoolgirl. I didn't have the same self-esteem that I have now. You grow up. I won't ever sing like that again. I won't go back. I won't ever go back to that.
Q: Are Dolores and the lads cynical about the music biz now, after all their experiences?
A: (Ms. O'Riordon) Very.
(Mike Hogan) No, we try to be diplomatic. It's a fickle industry. You try to be as real as possible.
Q: To Dolores and Noel, what song of all the ones you have written, means the most to you?
A: (Ms. O'Riordon) It's very difficult to answer that question. All of the songs are like babies, my experiences that I've had through my life. The songs are all very special. The hits, you hear them so much, but the ones you don't hear every day, the ones that aren't hits, there is a different feeling.
Q: Who are your role models?
A: (Ms. O'Riordon) Role models are people I admire, like Ghandi and Mother Theresa. They have done things in their lives that I could never do in mine. We all like Elvis!
(Mr. Lawler) The Beatles.
Q: What was the biggest shock after your success?
A: (Mr. Feargal) Success is not what you expect it to be before you are a successful band. It's nice now, but it wasn't nice at first.
(Ms. O'Riordon) There is a lot of pressure on you when you first get big. More people get involved in your career, and it gets out of control. When a band gets big, it's tough. You get on this roller coaster, and soon you must get off. Then you get back on and start over again.