Published: August 11, 2004 12:46 PM
Having recently released "Borrowed Heaven," Ireland's all-in-the-family group The Coors--Andrea (vocals/tin whistle), Sharon (violin/vocals), Jim (guitars/piano/keyboards) and Caroline (drums/percussion/vocals)--are settling into a North American tour.
"Borrowed Heaven," sporting the current single "Summer Sunshine," is the group's first studio album since 2000's platinum-selling "In Blue," and was produced by Olle Romo (Shania Twain, Eurythmics, Bryan Adams).
The Corrs (news | tickets) wrote every song on the album except "Time Enough for Tears," which was co-written by Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer. The song was nominated for a 2003 Golden Globe award for the film "In America."
Jim Corr spoke with liveDaily before the start of the tour.
liveDaily: "Borrowed Heaven" is the first album you've released in a while. What's been happening in the off time?
Jim Corr: We took a bit of a break, which was necessary because we'd been working very hard. And also, Sharon and Caroline both got married--not to each other, now. [laughs] Caroline got married and had a baby, and she's got another one on the way. She, unfortunately, has to bow out temporarily, so she won't be able to tour with us for another couple of months.
Do you have kids of your own? Married?
No. I've escaped for quite a while. [laughs] I'm having fun looking for the right girl.
How does the writing process go when you're putting a record together?
It's different for each album, but generally all four of us write, and we have partnerships in the band. So it could be Sharon and Caroline, Andrea and myself, or we might be writing as individuals as well. This [album] we kind of approached as leisure. When we'd written or gotten the ideas of songs, or even half a song, we would come together in the studio and develop it further. We did that in Ireland and then in Los Angeles towards the latter half of the recording. It's a tough process sometimes, coming up with songs. Sometimes it's amazingly easy--you put together a great song in 20 minutes. That's kind of rare. But we all contributed to writing, which is great, because it means there's no onus on one individual to produce the goods.
How did "Summer Sunshine" come together?
It started out very differently. It started out just on a piano, just a totally different song, and a totally different chorus. Not melody-line wise, the melody line is intact. It didn't come together fast. We spent a lot of time, particularly on the chorus, well into the early hours of the morning getting the backing in the chorus right. Eventually it came together, and we're very happy with it now.
There are some very personal moments on the album. "Angel" (written by Andrea and Caroline) and "Goodbye" (Sharon) sound like there were very emotional for everyone. When did your mother pass away?
It was five years ago. Everybody grieves at some time or another. Everybody's got to deal with the death of a spouse or loved one, and it's very difficult. I think we found it quite therapeutic to put it into words, for ourselves. Thankfully they turned into good songs as well. It's therapy to write about it, to talk about it. It's impossible to understand what is absolute, or what is going on when you try to think about death. All you can hope [is] that there is another life beyond and that we will see them again, and that's basically what "Angel" and "Goodbye" are about.
How do you treat more traditional-sounding instrumentals like "Silver Strand," with the jig-style violin in there, versus songs with lyrics?
Writing an instrumental is challenging, but you're just concentrating on the music and how it weaves with the chords, or backing. When you're writing lyrics on a song, for the lyrics to resonate properly, it's got to be from the heart. It's got to be truthful and honest. And I think--and I know the girls would agree with me--that we've endeavored to do that, and succeeded to a large extent. That definitely translates. You have to put up with being quite exposed and quite vulnerable when you do that, but it's very necessary to get a good song.
You've had staggering success overseas. Will you be doing anything differently to have an even greater impact here in the States, on this particular tour?
It's very hard for me to convey to you exactly how well it's been going down in the U.K. and the rest of the world. As I explained, since two of my sisters got married, we took time out, and there's always a danger if you've been away for long, that you're going to come back to a lukewarm response. The gigs that we've been doing so far, the response has been better than we could have possibly expected. That's all across the board. So we're hoping we'll be able to do that in America as well.
It's the first major tour that we've done on our own here, because we've toured with Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, The Rolling Stones and U2. We've never done our own tour. So we're really looking forward to that. It's going to be a great show for music lovers and for people who love to see people play their instruments and love what they're doing.