Everett True interviews The Cranberries, 26th October 1991

February 8, 2009


Everett True interviews The Cranberries on the release of their debut single, 26th October 1991. Photo Joe Dilworth

Compare and contrast the obsequious piece above with this below (taken from this forum), originally printed in the Melody Maker, April 27, 1996. Proof that 5 years is a long, long time in pop and that you can disappear up your own arse in the blink of an eye.



Reasons to hate The Cranberries.

1) Dolores O’Riordan. Her arrogance. Her petty small-mindedness. Her redneck worldview. Her incessant preaching. The fact you can actually see the mean-spiritedness of her thoughts imprinted on her pinched little face. Those American flag jumpsuits. Her cold love of money. The way she’s Sinead O’Connor for people who can’t confront even elementary contradictions. Her anti-abortion stance. Her absolute lack of self-irony. The way she makes even the most fundamental and wonderful emotions sound trite. The way America loves her cliched, stereotypical take on Ireland. Her reduction of serious political issues to 10-second sound-nibbles. Her dress sense. The obscene way she made legions of students slow-dance to the most crushingly banal political lyric (“And their tanks and their bombs and their tanks and their guns…”) since Paul McCartney’s “Give Ireland Back To The Irish”. That wedding.

2) Dolores O’Riordan. Her smug conceit masquerading as concern for all mankind.

3) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. The fact that no one in her obviously highly technological camp has bothered to buy her anything more than a Second Year rhyming dictionary. The fact that she sees fit to write a song about John Lennon – a bigoted, misogynistic, self-loathing, tantrum-prone asshole who also happened to write some great songs – 15 years after the event, and gloss over all his faults. The fact that she does so by writing the infantile lines, “It was a fearful night of December 8th/He was returning home from the studio late/He had perceptively known that it wouldn’t be nice/Because in 1980 he paid the price…With a Smith & Wesson 38/John Lennon’s life was no longer a debate.” The fact that every person in her camp is clearly so in awe of her (temper? Power? Capacity for retribution? Fragile ego?) that they didn’t take her gently to one side and go, “Er, Dolores, perhaps it’d be better if someone else wrote the lyrics…”

4) Dolores O’Riordan. Her videos. You know how much Dolores hates to be typecast as a “thick Paddy”? Has she actually watched any of her own videos? The way they reinforce received notions of Ireland as a backwards country populated entirely by broken-toothed, bowl-headed, crying schoolkids in grey V-neck jumpers dancing around streets lit by the occasional Armalite flare? And the odd horse – y’know.

5) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. Guess whose only contact with “real life” has been MTV news and the occasional venture onto the street outside the Four Seasons? Check “War Child”: “I spent last winter in New York and came upon a man/He was sleeping in the streets and homeless, he said ‘I fought in Vietnam’…” You ****ing patronising, prematurely middle-aged cow.

6) Dolores O’Riordan. Her music. The opening song here (“Hollywood”) starts like Stiltskin. Only not as good. Then we’re onto Foreigner territory. With the odd mandolin thrown in, for “local” colour.

7) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. Check “I’m Still Remembering”: “They say the cream will always rise to the top/They say that good people are always the first to drop/What of Kurt Cobain, will his presence still remain?/Remember JFK, ever saintly in a way….” (Yeah, and an adulterous ego-maniac who started the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War, in another way.) Check: “Bosnia” (no, seriously, folks) – “Bosnia was so unkind, Sarajevo changed my mind…Rummmpatitum, rummmpatitum/Traboo, traboo, traboo…” (We’re quoting from the official lyric sheet.) The theremin and musical box used (spookily!) to spice up the music have the unfortunate effect of making the song sound like something from “The Twilight Zone”.
The situation in the former Yugoslavia seems to have particularly troubled Dolores while she was writing the songs for this album (what’s wrong, dearie? Nothing better on TV?). After all, as she helpfully points out in the heady, emotive (all right: we’re lying) “Free To Decide”, “You must have nothing more with your time to do/There’s a war in Russia and Sarajevo too.” This is, incidentally, the most perceptive insight she offers throughout. (Who are the people who take this woman seriously? Where do they live? Where do they go to at night? Please don’t invite us.)

8) Dolores O’Riordan. Her voice. The way she turned what was a dazzling, intoxicating gift into an atonal corncrake skree by infusing it with her personality. Now it emparts no emotion of any kind, save for pettiness, bitterness, self-righteousness. She tries to suggest such broad sweeps of emotion with her songs but, somehow, they always end up sounding so ****ing small.

Not that we’d want to belittle her.

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8 Responses to “Everett True interviews The Cranberries, 26th October 1991”

  1. Jerry Says:

    Bugger. I has a feeling you were going to get round to reprinting this one. There are other articles I’ve written that I’m more embarrassed by – well, one in particular comes to mind (and no, I’m not letting on)- but, Jesus. Simon Price (also an early champion of The Cranberries) called it racist at the time and while I still strongly deny that charge, it’s certainly horribly (albeit unintentionally: I couldn’t write back then) patronising.

  2. estanis Says:

    the 1996 piece is… wild.

    very interesting contrast
    though angry, i think there are a couple of true statements in the 1996 article

  3. Taylor Parkes Says:

    I remember the 1996 piece fondly. Me and ET / Jerry and a bottle of vodka, an hour before deadline, noses to the grindstone. Not sure it stands up as a piece of WRITING – I mean, of course it doesn’t – but it’s certainly fair comment.

    As for the original 1991 thing, I dunno, but I recall ET saying “you go to someone’s home town and it’s in some ways similar but in other ways very different from where you and most of the readers live – are you going to write about the similarities, or are you going to write about the differences?”

    If your interview subject is saying things like “I went to this disco in London, now, and it was really, like, modern – it was full of punks and everything. Upon my life, I was crying” – well, I can see where he’s coming from, at least.

    The appearance on your blog of various old hacks makes me think you should specifically seek out the articles said hacks are most embarrassed by… I tell you, there are a few I wouldn’t relish reading again. Upon my life.

  4. Jerry – at a guess, SP made that accusation because the article is full of rather rose-tinted ideas on the “romantic Celts”, removed from urban society, and coming from the urbanised/industrialised part of Wales, and also being strongly left-wing, he would have *instinctively* opposed such rhetoric and imagery – it’s the ongoing feeling among Celts that they are patronised and talked down to by English people who want to deny the truth that the societies of Scotland, Wales and Ireland are as influenced by American-led mass culture as that of England (my mother’s family is from England and my father’s is from Ireland, so I think I can see all this stuff from both sides). What dates the article above all else is that its patronising (as you yourself concede) image of Irishness is rooted in an era before the country’s great economic boom and the decline in the Catholic church’s power, phenomena still in their very early stages when it was written.

  5. […] Spooky, bearing in mind my comments here. But I guess that, bearing in mind the forces of the Good and the Mighty that are on her side, it was inevitable that, sooner or later, Dolores O’Riordan Will Have Her Revenge Upon Everett True And Taylor Parkes. […]

  6. Kathleen Says:

    Omigod, this is so fucking perfect. Here am I sitting in a normally pretty cool cafe in lower Haight and on comes ‘their bombs and their tanks and their guns’ and, by god, those sound like pretty good options to use against my own eardrums over listening for even one more minute to that banal Irish montone going on and on and interminably on and on. So right after thinking about how much I freaking hate Dolores O’Riordan, I decided to Google it .. and I’m so gratified to find not just 5 reasons to hate her, but 10 reasons captured in such gloriously brutal language. I’m am soooo glad the Cberries are reduced to 90s nostalgia collections (and the odd coffee shop like my current misfortune) where I am unlikely to even run into this crap again. Bless you, lad, for writing this.

  7. BreKalyn Says:

    I should write at least 10 reasons to hate “Everett True” but I’m not so arrogant
    and then say that,so that the world receives to someone looking from top to bottom,
    and ultimately,Who wins doing these things? well, who makes
    and money, of course, but seriously …

  8. […] Actually, it’s a shame it’s not The Cranberries. A long time ago, The Cranberries were good. Hard to believe now. This was before Dolores infused her voice with her own […]

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