Damien Rice released his debut album, O, at the beginning of 2002. It has since gone platinum in Ireland, and is due to be released in Europe and North America in 2003.
“The high point of the year for me was really what happened after we released the record. I never expected that kind of response. I thought there might be this small, core group that would would hear the record and say ‘hey, yeah – I like this’, but I never thought it would reach as many as it has. So the response from all kinds of people has been the best thing.
I had a great experience touring, but what I really enjoyed most was getting out of the cities and playing outside. We went to a festival in the forest – it was raining, a mudbath, but everyone there was doing something creative, whether it was making jumpers or playing guitar or singing, whatever. And there were families, kids, all kinds of people. The minute I walked into the forest, it felt like this huge release.
The rush of going on stage at a big gig is great, but you’re always indoors. It can start to be too much of the same thing. I remember going to a Frames gig in Brittas. It was freezing, but other than that it was brilliant. Everyone just sitting around on the dunes. People behave differently in that kind of situation.
I don’t really know where things are going to go in the next year. I’m really excited about going to the Mediterranean, because I love the lifestyle there. The way they take their time over everything, and that they spend a lot of time outside.
I used to want to be in a band, get signed, play stadiums. Now, it’s more about what my day to day life is like. Obviously, the record label wants you to go as far as possible, but there’s a good balance to be found between that kind of success and just living the way you want to live.”
In conversation with Elizabeth McGuane, The Sunday Business Post, Agenda, December 29th, 2002.