"Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" Preview
Last Updated: July 22, 2001
(Newest updates appear at the bottom)
This section is dedicated to scrapping together every scrap of info of the Cranberries' fifth album, due out in Autumn 2001.
January 20, 2001
Writing for the fifth album began in spring/summer 2000, when the band was on tour in Europe. Demos during the summer were planned, but it is unknown if any were recorded.
Actual studio recording for the album began on August 20th, 2000 in Dublin, Ireland. The band has chosen producer Stephen Street for the new album. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Street produced the band's first album, "Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can't We?", as well as the second album, "No Need to Argue", the band's biggest seller to date, in excess of 14 million copies.
"It's fantastic to be working with Stephen again. He really manages to capture that elusive 'x' factor when we play and he brings something to our music that hasn't been there since the first two albums. We are all getting along like 'a house on fire'," said drummer Fergal Lawler.
The band had eight songs ready to go when they first entered the studio in August. Two new songs were also written during that time, one with incomplete lyrics. By the time the band left the studio in late Septemeber, 10 tracks were laid down. The first batch of tracks were mixed in London on the week of September 22nd.
Interestingly, the band has picked up two older songs to include in the new recordings, but has not yet revealed which ones. Fergal posted on the official site that they "had been around for a while, but we had never done anything with [them]." Speculation is abound, but the most likely candidate for one of these songs is "Yesterday's Gone". The song was only performed once, for MTV's "Unplugged" on February 14th, 1995. The lyrics accuse a father of abandoning his lover and his child when he couldn't handle the pressue. The Unplugged performance of this song was also included in the January 2001 DVD release of "Beneath the Skin", which also hints at its potential remake. However, the band has officially denied that the rarity "False" (written in 1992) will be on the new album. They also stated that "Nothing Left At All" (written in 1990) will never be played again live, which virtually excludes that one as well.
"Yesterday's Gone" video clip courtesy of Zombieguide Europe
We do, however, know the names of three songs from Album #5:
-"Analyse", performed at the once-off MTV Europe Awards Pre-show at Vicar Street, in Dublin, November 2000
-"Time is Ticking Out", also performed at the MTV Europe Awards Pre-show
-"Down in Capetown" (tentative title), written while the band was on tour in South Africa during the summer of 2000. The song is written about the experience through Dolores's eyes.
As for overall themes of the new album, none had arisen when the band was interviewed in November 2000. "Songs vary from track to track," stated Fergal.
However, when Dolores was interviewed later by ShowBiz Ireland, she gave some interesting insight. "The state of our planet is something I'm getting concerned about. There will always be political problems; itís our human nature. When I was younger I didnít give a toss about the planet. I was a teenager and I was too busy partying. But the older I get the more Iím concerned about the planet, [even] more so again since I became a parent."
The band is currently taking a few months off from recording. Dolores is currenlty pregnant and will have her second child in February. After that, the band plans to return to the studio for about two months in April and May.
January 26, 2001
Fergal has posted some new information about the upcoming album on the official page. The current tentative date for the album is October 2001. He wrote, "We have been writing away in our rehearsal room and we have the bones of six or seven songs plus a few rough bits and pieces, which could possibly become songs; we'll have to wait and see."
Although the new track "Analyse" was indeed cancelled for the "Sweet November" soundtrack, we will probably still see it in a movie before the October album release! "A while ago I mentioned that we would be having our song "Analyse" in the soundtrack of the movie "Sweet November" - (Cherlize Theron/Keanu Reeves)," he wrote. "Unfortunately this is not happening due to the timing of the release of our new studio album, scheduled for October 2001. Many factors go into this process, the record company, the film company, the director, the evolution of the soundtrack. In this case, we (the band) gave approval, but the record company wanted to wait for a film closer to the time of release of the new album."
The Herald will keep you informed!
April 4, 2001
Although the band has not been in the studio since September, we've received more info about the fifth album's progress.
The band has annouced via their official site that they will begin a media tour to promote it later this year. The new tour, to coincide with the band's 5th album, will kick off in August and last until the end of this year. Venues are currently being planned for Asia, Australia, Europe, South America and North America. At the moment, the tour will most likely begin in Asia.
In other news, the yet-untitled fifth album is still on schedule for October 2001, while the first single has been confirmed for a September release. It will begin airing on radio stations in mid-August. (No title has been selected for the first single release.)
As you know, the band finished up the first half of the album in August and September of last year. "The new stuff sounds very cool," said Dolores. "Real music Iíd say. Doesnít all that manufactured stuff sound sooooo the same really??" Indeed it does. She went on, "Well thatís all I can think of for now except Iím totally looking forward to the next album and tour."
The band got a chance to do some rehersals in late February and write some new material, according to Fergal. The band will return to Windmill Lane Studios in April to resume recording of the fifth album. As you will recall, Windmill Lane was the same studio where "To the Faithful Departed" was recorded five years ago. Also, the news section now notes that the album is slated for a September release, but it's difficult to tell if that is solid.
The new biography section of the official page is extremely well-written (yes, it rivals my own Biography here). In fact, the intro gives us much insight to the August and September sessions of Album #5 (still untitled). The new tracks have "a unique sound that has lost none of its character" from the band's previous works. Here's a very informative excerpt:
"One song, 'Pretty Eyes' slips out between the more feisty numbers, a soft lulliby ballad that blends the talents of band and producer into one soft, lucious performance. A hint of things to come."
In late March, the band minus Noel met with producer Stephen Street. Dolores and the rest of the band have been writing several bits and pieces since the group adjourned their last recording session in September. Street says that he "loved" the new pieces, which is a good sign for us all.
The band will once again return to Dublin's Windmill Lane Studios on April 16th to record the second batch of tracks for the yet-unnamed fifth album. As you will recall, the band's first batch of songs were mixed last December in Dublin.
As a special treat, the official page also posted some photos of the band and Street from their rehersal session in late March. Check 'em out!
May 9, 2001
The Cranberries entered Windmill Lane Studios on the 16th of last month to beign the second session of recording for the fifth album. The band is now nearly done actual recording of the entire album. As of last week, only bits of percussion and backing vocals were needed.
On April 30th, the band recorded one new song that shouldn't surprise attentive fans. The Cranberries laid down a cover version of "In the Ghetto", Elvis Presley's 1968 hit. The band first played the song even before the release of "Bury the Hatchet", in March 1999 for the UK radio station Radio 1. Dolores talked with host Simon Mayo about the song, and The Herald has the exclusive transcript here (click).
Last year, Dolores got the chance to comment on the new album's recording in an interview with MTV Italy. Dolores, seated alongside drummer Fergal, sat comfortably in front of a quaint old-world style brick oven. Her hair, as random as the weather, was a natural dark brown, extending all the way to her shoulders while she fashioned rather depressive yet striking black eyeliner.
"We've got a few shows lined up for the summer , but it's kind of an exciting time because we're starting to create the new album, the next album. So it's a lovely time whereupon you don't know what's around the corner, you don't know what kind of songs you're gonna write. Like, we have a few, but it's very exciting 'cos it's kind of like moving on and starting a whole you thing, you know? So it's kind of like beginning again in a way."
Fergal, chiming in beside her, noted that just like before, family is still priority. Half of the time with the band, half of the time at home.
Yet the phrase "moving on" holds promise to all those fans who were even slightly disappointed with "Bury the Hatchet". But exactly what kind of sound can we expect? Last year's audience-recorded sound clips were but a mere blurred snapshot of a big picture. However, the official page notes that "Pretty Eyes", one of the few announced titles will be a slow ballad compared to other "fiestier" pieces on the recording. And lets not forget that last year the band promised a string quartet will be included, as was done on the band's early works, which hints at an orchestral quality of sorts.
Even Fergal himself is overwhelmed by the new material. "They all turned out better than we were expecting, and to be honest I'm blown away (goosebump-city), although now we have the awkward situation of having to choose which songs go on and which stay off the record. Not an easy decision!!"
He and the rest of the band will be making those tough decisions. The band is currently in London mixing the new material. They are also deciding which songs will be chosen as singles and also choosing directors for the videos. Also around this time, the band has to make the crucial decision: album title.
October still seems miles away for new material, but that date still stands for release. However, on an excellent note, the band will begin doing media promotions very soon and continue to do so until the very end of the year. Then, in January 2002, the band will begin the world tour, which may last anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 years.
In fact, Dolores has already done one new interview, for RTE's "Late Late Show", which aired in Ireland on the 27th. In the interview, Dolores said that the band plans on starting the tour in the US and Canada and then moving on to South America. She noted that those plans are not permenant as of yet, though.
More as it become unveiled, only on The Cranberries Herald.
May 24, 2001
"Wake Up and Smell the Coffee"
We've learned one heck of a lot since the last update to this section. Yes, as you probably know by now, the title of the Cranberries' fifth album release is indeed, "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee", named after a track of the same name. But this only scratches the surface of the new details. If English is a second language to you, you may not understand the phrase "wake up and smell the coffee". It is an English idiom, like "Bury the Hatchet" (which means "leave bad things in the past"). "Wake up and smell the coffee" means in English "Pay attention!" or "Realize this!". It is sometimes a very mild insult.
Dolores explains the reasoning behind the new title and the overall feel of the album via the official page, "It's gonna be called 'Wake Up And Smell The Coffee', because that's where I'm at in my life and all of the boys in the band relate to it. It sounds killer, really! There's stuff on there that we could never have done years ago. I guess as you get more wrinkles and grey hair, you also become wiser, more assertive, and more positive!"
Dolores first broke the news in an MTV.com interview. "There are a few fast, kind of punky songs and some slow, gentle ones," she said. "There's more maturity, more confidence and less apprehension. I've come to the conclusion that life is for the taking and just too short to dwell on the negative." It's interesting to comment that the official page said days later that they were not expecting the interviews to be so quickly posted!
Meanwhile, Fergal disclosed the first single and album release date to RollingStone.com. The new single, "Analyse" will the the first single from "Wake Up". "It's an uptempo song about not analyzing things," Dolores said. "When you overly analyze things, it can really paralyze your evolution. It's important to follow your heart and go with the flow."
Dolores also discussed the other track that we've known for several months -- "Time is Ticking Out". As the title might suggest, it's a statement on ecological awareness. "Those kinds of concerns come naturally when you become a parent," she surmised. "You see how the ozone layer is being depleted and there's lots more skin cancer, and you start to worry about what the world will be like when your kids are older. I know we need the products we manufacture, but at the same time, why can't we live without plastic and all the crap that's not biodegradable?"
Of all the new songs, Dolores admits that "Never Grow Old" best describes the past year of her life. "It's about realizing that when your life is very good, you don't want things to change," she said. "You believe this is the perfect moment in your life and you're really very grateful. It's ironic because when the band were really big and we had massive hits, I never felt like that. I was always stressed out and insecure. I've learned that for me it's not about being a huge star. I never felt as happy as I do right now." She later commented on the band's official page that, "I'm soooo looking forward to getting back to my babies. It's soooo cool! Molly is getting bigger and more beautiful and Taylor really loves her. I'm such a lucky blessed person. I'm so thankful to God for what I have. On my eleven years of touring, I've seen so much deprivation and sadness. Life's so short, it's essential to put love and happiness first. I can't function without love."
But most importantly, an interview with Allstar.com confirmed what has been the inevitable. The Cranberries quietly moved onto the MCA Label last fall. MCA is not an entirely separate music label, but yet another under the huge umbrella of the Universal Music Group. "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" will be The Cranberries' first release on MCA. The reason should be very obvious to any fan that remembers April 1999 well.
The merging of record companies is usually a mess-maker for both artists and avid fans. "Bury the Hatchet" received sub-par promotion, which can be tracked in sales figures and chart placing. But the band doesn't care about that and neither do I. What they do care about, though, is when their own fans don't even know that they have a new album out. This was be exemplified in Dolores's 1999 interview with Craig Kilborn, where she said Bury the Hatchet was, "going pretty good, it's just that alot of fans are coming up, going, 'Oh, Dolores, have you guys got a new album coming out?' And I'm like, 'It came out six months ago!', so it's that kind of thing."
She further continued with her dissent, "It's [BTH] doin' OK, like, but alot of people don't really know it's out and stuff, 'cause our record company [Island] got bought out, so at the moment it's a bit messy over here [in the United States]." It may be because management decided that MCA could represent the band better than Island that the band made the move.
The Cranberries signed onto Island Records in summer 1991 for a 10-year 6-album contract. That 10-year mark is quickly approaching and the band has had four studio albums on the label. No doubt the March 20th release of "Bury the Hatchet: The Complete Sessions" in the US counts as one album release. As for the 6th, it's vague at the moment. 1995's "Doors and Windows" CD-Rom/B-sides disc may have counted as one album release. Also, Fergal noted last year in a chat with "El Foco" that the band has acquired rights to their 1991 "Uncertain" EP (originally on Xeric records) and that the band plans to do full B-sides release sometime in the future. Even so, it may be that the band won't even be obligated to a 6th Island release because Island is now part of Universal and they will still be publishing the album on Universal.
New titles have been coming in from all sorts of interviews, so we've compiled them all here for you. Note that these songs are in no order of any kind -- this is NOT the way they will appear on the album.
∑ "Time is Ticking Out"
∑ "Never Grow Old"
∑ "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee"
∑ "This is the Day"
∑ "Dying Inside"
∑ "Chocolate Brown"
∑ "I Really Hope"
∑ "Cape Town"
∑ "Pretty Eyes"
∑ "The Concept"
∑ +2 More Unnanounced titles
∑ "In the Ghetto"
∑ +4 More Unnanounced titles
∑ Various Remixes
And, of course, some commentary. "Cape Town" was originally written last summer when the band was touring South Africa. It was first disclosed under the tentative title "Down in Cape Town", but it has now officially been shortened. Also, the planned remixes will almost assuredly be remixes of new songs. Because this album is on a new label for the band, MCA, remixing old songs could strike a major conflict with Island without proper permission.
The album was mixed in London's Townhouse Studios during the majority of this month. The band chose Cenzo Townshend as the engineer, breaking Mike Plotnikoff's 2-album streak (TTFD and BTH). Production officially wrapped up on May 17th, 2001 and the band had a huge party to celebrate afterwards. A new photo of the entire "Wake Up" production crew, compliments of the official page:
From left to right is Engineer Cenzo Townshend, Noel, Producer Stephen Street, Dolores, Mike, and Fergal.
"Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" is due in America on October 23rd, 2001 on MCA Records. A US release for "Analyse" has not been announced (and probably unlikely) but countries such as the UK and Canada can look for it around September.
July 22, 2001
With the recording and mixing of "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee" behind them, it is now time for the band to move on to another vitally important step -- promo work. For the past two months, the band has been prepping themselves for the coming single and album.
One of the most informative interview of late was with RollingStone.com (You can read the entire interview here). "You don't take the band for granted so much any more," said Dolores, attempting to scratch the surface of the album's theme. "You kind of enjoy it more if you have children. If the band is your whole life you get sick of it 'cause you're eating, drinking, sleeping the Cranberries. When you go and have children you have something real and something that's more important ultimately -- something that needs you more than anything else. Then it puts the challenge back into the band and you almost have to kind of work."
Another brief of interesting note out of this interview, was the motive for their switch to MCA. According to Fergal, "The music came secondary [at Island]".
"We don't' really worry about it because we have our own Web site and we know how many Cranberry fans there are out there that have been following the band for years and years and years," said Dolores, confident that avid fans haven't fallen into Satan's hellhole known as POP MUSIC. "I don't think they're suddenly going to get up and walk away just because Britney Spears is being played on the radio more than us. We have the history that a lot of those bands don't. This is our fifth album not our first. So sure we were the big stars earlier . . . but what happens is a lot of bands can't follow up and we followed it up time and time again. So we're not looking for that anymore. We've been there, we've done that and now were just kind of surfing the ways and enjoying things."
The band also met up with another familiar face in late May -- photographer Andy Earl. For those that don't remember, Andy Earl has been the bands lead photographer for the last four albums (along with some collaborations). He, of course, photographed the band for the covers of their first three albums.
The Cranberries have chosen Kier McFarlane to direct the video for the now confirmed single "Analyse". McFarlane has worked with artists like Tom Petty and Janet Jackson. In 1993, the video for Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" won the MTV Video Music Award for "Best Male Video".
We've seen bits and pieces of it over the last few months, but it has become more apparent with news from the band's official page. It seems that they are asking for fan input more than ever. Now, as the band prepares to go on a promotional tour next month, they plan to do a number of acoustic shows, playing about 10 songs at each gig.
Another recent interview was with Telehit in Mexico. "You know, the Cranberries' music is very emotional. We don't have a certain technique to write our songs, it just flows from us," Dolores told the station. Dolores, clad in a black shirt and black suit, sat comfortably and "looking beautiful" with the rest of the band. Diego, who hosted the show, asked, "How was the recording of this album?". Dolores responded, "It was a quick recording," adding that they finished it in Dublin in four or five weeks. Dolores then went on to discuss her babies, and then to explain that their music is emotional, not technical.
Diego told the audience that he was able to hear 6 of the new tracks of "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee", and he commented that they were "heavy", but that two of them were "softer" than the rest. "That's our style, there are many things like anger, sadness, or happiness, those kinds of things move you to write in a particular way," responded Dolores.
"The promotional tour will begin in August and the gig tour early next year," Diego told the audience. But will they be touring Mexico? "Yes!! Of course! Definitely!" the band promptly replied. "Next year?" Diego inqired. "Yeah, next year," said Fergal. Dolores also added, "Or maybe before, but only for TV or radio".
"There's so much conciousness in this album, about things that are really important," said Dolores about their new work. Fergal had his own spin about it, saying, "Not everything in life is work."
And in case you haven't been keeping up with your news, "Analyse" was first broadcasted on the Toronto radio station Edge 102 -- three weeks before the official date. According to the Official International Cranberries Page, an "official" release date has been set for the radio broadcast of "Analyse". August 6th is the premiere date for "Analyse". The official page also notes the Toronto radio station (Edge 102) played the song earlier than anticipated -- and also gave a link to Zombieguide to hear the clips! Wohoo!
However, that means neither the band nor MCA had anticipated the early broadcast -- which netted Edge 102 some trouble. Zombieguide staffer Tara investigated the claims and reported first hand:
While roaming the streets of downtown Toronto, I stopped by Edge102, the radio station famously known for being the first to play The Cranberries latest single, "Analyse".† Curious to know how they got a hold of the promo three weeks early, I questioned them about it.† Though they didn't answer my question, their response wasn't nearly what I expected.† The deejay started to laugh and said, "Hee hee, we actually got in trouble for that!"† He went on to tell me that the band didn't really mind, but it was the record company who emailed them complaining about it (Apparently because of promotional purposes).† But I'm sure we all are very content with Edge102's mistake... How much longer could our eager ears wait to hear some new Cran-tunes?
But what you're no doubt pondering is about the music itself. In case you haven't seen, you can check out The Cranberries Herald (here) for CD-quality clips of 3 new songs. One of those songs, "Carry On" is another recently-revealed title, which brings song list up to date:
∑ "Time is Ticking Out"
∑ "Never Grow Old"
∑ "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee"
∑ "This is the Day"
∑ "Dying Inside"
∑ "Chocolate Brown"
∑ "I Really Hope"
∑ "Cape Town"
∑ "Pretty Eyes"
∑ "The Concept"
∑ "Carry On"
∑ +1 More Unnanounced title
∑ "In the Ghetto"
∑ +4 More Unnanounced titles
∑ Various Remixes
You can check out the lyrics for "Analyse", "Time is Ticking Out", and "Carry On" here.
On his section of the official site, Fergal has confirmed that they will begin their promo tour in North America and will later continue to Europe. Confirmed cities/locations for the August promo tour are:
∑ Los Angeles
∑ New York City
More details on exact events and dates will come shortly. Meanwhile, the video shoot for "Analyse" will take place in London on August 3rd and 4th. The promo tour will then follow shortly, with live semi-acoustic performances. For September, the band will be in Europe, doing similar performances as in the US.
Fergal also responded to the "Top 10 Acoustic" poll, commenting that the band didn't expect to see "Empty" and "Ridiculous Thoughts" on the list.
Well, that about brings you up to date on what's to come in October. Enjoy and keep it tuned to Zombieguide.com for the latest Cranberries updates!!