Dave Fanning has interviewed countless musicians down through the years but Dolores O’Riordan made an impact.
He’s produced a documentary, Dolores, on the late singer’s life and work during the 1990s when The Cranberries were at their most commercially successful. Dave joined Ray D’Arcy in studio to talk about his friendship with Dolores, his memories of her music and the upcoming documentary.
He believes he interviewed her about 7 or 8 times throughout her career. He attended her wedding as a guest. But the first time he saw her, she was relatively unknown.
"Dolores sang with her back to the audience for the entire night… She wasn’t a shrinking violet in terms of when you met her when she came offstage. But she was too shy to sing in front of the audience. Within 18 months, they were playing to 10,000 people in America."
The Cranberries were undeniably successful. Dave told Ray that their first 2 albums sold 23 million copies between them. He believes the rate of success they experienced took a toll.
"They were on a treadmill to the point that around ’95 or so, they had to stop. The only thing they had left was their friendship. They never once fell out. And the one thing is, Dolores and the three boys got on so well but they were being, like, killed on the road in terms of having to do too much. And the odd thing about it is that it’s a $6m tour, that’d be about $24m now and Dolores said ‘Are you deaf? I’m outta‘ here. It’s out’. And the $24m went down the drain."
Dave believes Dolores (and the other band members) enjoyed touring but that the touring became "relentless". touring became "relentless".
"Once the success happens, the demands on you, from the record company in particular… It was just 'I can't do it anymore and nobody was listening to me’. And that’s what she’s saying."
Ray asked if Dave considered Dolores "troubled".
"No. Not in the slightest. I thought just the pressure was too much, and what you do is you get the pressure off you. And the whole band felt the exact same way. They got the pressure off and they weren’t ‘troubled’ at all once they solved the problem. The last 6 years have been very difficult. Her father died in 2011, Terence. And things have not been very good since, for a lot of things. But having said that…there was loads going on. But I don’t know what happened 4 weeks ago."
Ray made the point that the footage Dave has amassed for the documentary is only a fraction of the work he has done over the years. Has he ever considered cataloguing his collection of radio and TV interviews? He’s not convinced.
"That sounds like work, Ray!"
Listen back to the whole interview with Dave Fanning on The Ray D’Arcy Show here.