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video above: The Script performs "Hall of Fame" and talks new album "#3" during its recent Billboard Tastemakers session.
When it comes to album titles, the name of The Script's new album, "#3" comes right to the point. It's the group's' third album, but it's straightforward title also reflects the barebones, no-nonsense approach the Dublin rockers took in putting together this new effort. With "#3" dropping today (October 9) -- the same day The Script kicks off a month-long headlining U.S. tour at New York's legendary Radio City Music Hall -- the trio of Danny O'Donoghue, Mark Sheehan, and Glen Power recently swung by Mophonics Studios in Manhattan to tell Billboard about "#3" and to perform a trip of album cuts: "Hall of Fame," "Six Degrees of Separation" and "Good Ol' Days."
video above: The Script performs "Good Ol' Days" during its recent Billboard Tastemakers session
The guys of Script explain that they started working on "#3" after wrapping up their world tour. "That was such a crazy thing to hear," exclaims O'Donoghue, the group's frontman, "'The Script' and 'world tour' in one sentence." But they found themselves in a completely new position. O'Donoghue had scored a spot on the judges table on the U.K. version of The Voice, so he often laid his tracks down at night, while guitarist Sheehan and drummer Power found themselves working in the studio during the day.
"I guess the biggest worry was because we do produce and write everything ourselves," says Sheehan. "Nobody has separated us as a production team since we were kids, so now this was the first time. But it was actually fine. It was just a thing that we just laid down tons of ideas, we kinda make the record as we're going along anyway."
"It was really kind of a symbiotic relationship that we needed to have at that time," adds O'Donoghue.
video above: The Script performs "Six Degrees of Separation" during its recent Billboard Tastemakers session
As with the band's past two records, The Script were entirely at the helm on #3, but the record did mark the group's first ever collaboration--with one of pop's biggest names and O'Donoghue's fellow Voice U.K. coach, wil.i.am. O'Donoghue noted that since he was perhaps the Black Eyed Peas mastermind's biggest rival on the show, the collaboration might've surprised some, but the two found they had a lot in common.
"He's a producer and a songwriter and that's what we are," says O'Donoghue. "And I think we connected on that level first, more so than anything else. It was never one-upsmanship, and on the show he wasn't saying things just to diss me. It was all for the better of music, and the same vice versa."
The track that came out of that collaboration is "Hall of Fame." "#3"'s first single, "Fame" is a swelling, piano-driven number with an uplifting, earworm of a chorus that soars, "Standing in the hall of fame / And the world's gonna know your name / Cause you burn with the brightest flame." The track marks a vibrant turn from The Script's lovelorn tracks from the past, like the steady ballad "Nothing" and even the up-tempo "If You Ever Come Back." That shift is one audible throughout "#3" and fittingly, "Hall of Fame" became the group's first ever U.K. number one.
"The Script has been heartbroken for a while," says O'Donoghue with a chuckle. "It's kinda time to like, 'c'mon get yourself off the ground--"
"He's fixed, he's better now," chimes Sheehan.
"'Come out to the bar,' you know, 'have some drinks,'" continues O'Donoghue. "But that's kinda the statement we wanna make with this next album. That we want to be played in bars, we want to be played in clubs. We want the people who have followed us for the past two albums, we want them to be loud and proud and turn it up at a party and stick on the CD -- 'cause they deserve it."