After their first-ever Grammy Award nomination (best rock album for this year’s In The End), the Cranberries find themselves “bizarrely busy for a band that kind of shouldn’t be at this point,” according to guitarist Noel Hogan.
The Irish quartet, of course, came to a kind of end after singer Dolores O’Riordan passed away unexpectedly during 2018. Hogan, his brother and bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler finished off songs the group had been working on with producer Stephen Street for In the End‘s April 26 release. The group is also finishing work on a deluxe edition of its sophomore album, 1994’s No Need to Argue, due out next year. And Hogan isn’t entirely ruling out the idea that we might see the Cranberries in the flesh in some form again.
“Listen, people are still coming out asking would we even consider doing one or two shows some way, somehow, to just play this album live,” the guitarist tells Billboard. “We’re looking at all options really. We haven’t dismissed anything yet. But there’s no immediate plans for anything, either.” But Hogan doesn’t hide the fact that a Cranberries performance without O’Riordan is a daunting proposition — and then some.
“I’d be lying if I said I’d never thought of it, because you think sometimes ‘I’d love to play these (In the End) songs live,'” he explains. “Would you do it with one person? Would you have a bunch of people come up and come off? There’s different kinds of ways you go through it in your head. I think we’re probably slightly scared to sit down and talk about it properly, so I don’t know. The three of us are gonna go to L.A. for the Grammys and it’ll be the first time we’re together in one room in quite some time, so I’m sure discussions will come up. So we’ll see.”
Regardless of what the Hogans and Lawler decide about playing, the Grammy nod for In the End is not only pleasing but validates the trio’s decision to finish and release it in the first place. “It always felt like it was worthwhile,” Hogan says, “but when you get some kind of recognition like this, it really reinforces that. There was that worry that people would think we were doing this for the wrong reason, and there was a brief moment in time where this album was nearly shelved. But thankfully through the strength of the songs we went, ‘Yeah, we should do it,’ and we realized in the early weeks of its release that people got what it was and what we were doing and that these songs deserved to be out there to the world.
“So it feels great even to just be nominated and know we did the right thing by recording and finishing this album.”
Hogan adds that O’Riordan — whose mother and brother plan to join the band at the Jan. 26 ceremony — would “love…that the songs and this album are getting the kind of recognition that we feel it deserves. She really bares her soul on this album.” And never getting a Grammy nomination before this hasn’t bothered the band over the years. “During the ’90s, when we were at the height of everything we were so new to it all I don’t think we were even aware of the Grammys or what they were or what they meant,” he says. “It’s something that I guess as you go on you kind of learn more about, and obviously everybody knows what it is now, but it’s not something we ever focused on.
“But now that we’re here, it feels great, to be honest. It was a nice call to get.”