The Script drummer Glen Power loves everything about the United States, the country in which his Irish band formed.
As a child, he dreamt about enthusiastic fans applauding at his shows. Now, Power wants nothing more than to become a U.S. citizen.
“We love coming to America,” Power says, sitting on a velvet couch in his dressing room at The Wiltern in Los Angeles.
“It feels like home for us, with the two boys here for many, many years. We started the band here in L.A. There’s always a sense of home here for us. So many people in America know the songs and they sing them. It’s incredible how quickly they know the new songs as well.”
New music can be found on Freedom Child, the fifth studio album for The Script, which includes singer Danny O’Donoghue and lead guitarist Mark Sheehan. The first single, “Rain,” is an upbeat, danceable number that belies anything The Script has done in the past.
“The response has been mad,” Power means in a good way. “People were fearful that we were changing our sound. They were afraid to hear that single on its own. But when they heard the rest of the album, they found out we’re still The Script—we just turned a bit this way.
“You need to move with the times. We thought we would do a song like this and see what happens. We never plan things. It’s about the organic nature of music and where it takes us. Plus, we have a song people can dance to. We never had that before.”
The song “Divided States of America” is a tribute to the United States, although some have questioned The Script’s motives.
“People have asked if we try to make hit songs,” Power says. “We just try to write songs that are relevant to us and about things that are going on around us at the time.
“The news about everything going on in America came into the studio. ‘Divided States of America’ is not knocking America or dissing it. I hope one day to be a citizen. That’s how much I love America. It’s an observation: We love you guys. What’s going on? Get it together. What the hell’s happening. That’s the first time news infiltrated the studio. The world looks to America in so many ways.”
On the new album, the trio sounds happier. Power doesn’t dispute that.
“Success breeds happiness,” he says. “It also breeds the two-edge sword of having to be away all the time and travel.”
Getting back into the swing of touring was a little difficult for The Script, which scored hits with “Hall of Fame,” “Superhero,” “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” and “Breakeven.” O’Donoghue had vocal surgery, which held up the album and tour.
“It was our longest break,” Power says. “We were forced into exile due to Danny’s vocal surgery. They said we were going to be off the road for a while. He took the time to recover and be well. You don’t want to bring an injured soldier on to the battlefield and say, ‘Go fight.’”
Power says it took most of the U.S. tour, which ended recently in Las Vegas, to get into a touring groove. He described O’Donoghue’s singing as “brilliant.”
“I was worried for him,” he says. “When you return to playing, there’s that extra bit of pressure on yourself. But it’s great for Dan to come back and sound as good as he does and have people tell him that.”
At The Wiltern show, The Script opened with the upbeat “Rock the World,” followed by “Superheroes” and “Paint the Town Green.”
“‘Rock the World’ really gets people going,” Power says. “It’s amazing. Last night when we played it (in Oakland, California), I looked at the top tier and they were out of their seats. It sets the tone for the rest of the show.”
Power is hoping that The Script will return to the United States next year, after it finishes a European jaunt. On this tour, however, he’s had memorable experiences.
“We played at the top of the Empire State Building,” he says. “I was standing there with the lads, and security was there to block people off. I said, ‘Dudes, this is a serious moment here.’ We should just take a second and really notice this.
“We’re playing on top of the Empire State Building and we’re doing it acoustic. I remember coming here as a kid, terrified at the size of New York. Now, I’m standing here performing, and they’re holding people back so we can do it. That’s a picture I will put up in my house. We’ve had some very blessed moments along the way.”
Photo of Danny O’Donoghue by Shauna Marincik.