Dolores: “I Had to Get Out Before [Fame] Drove Me to Suicide”

September 14, 2003  |  Comments Off on Dolores: “I Had to Get Out Before [Fame] Drove Me to Suicide”  |  by Zombieguide Archives  |  The Cranberries

The Cranberries have done very little press this year, as they’ve spent most of their time at home with their families and writing new material. Today, however, Zombieguide has learned of one low-profile interview that Dolores did for the UK tabloid The Mirror this past April in promotion of the band’s short summer tour.

Dolores has some very interesting quotes on the effects of fame on her personal life and how she has no plans to return to the media spotlight, pitying younger stars like Samantha Mumba and Westlife. It is clear that she has reached a level of almost zen-like happiness, one which she seems unwilling to let go of, no matter what the consequence — or reward.

The full article is below.

FAME WAS A LIVING HELL..I HAD TO GET OUT BEFORE IT DROVE ME TO SUICIDE; CRANBERRIES STAR TELLS OF HER STRUGGLE WITH CELEBRITY

April 1, 2003
BYLINE: PAUL MARTIN

BACK ON SONG: Dolores and band decided to play a few select gigs after years away SPEC-TACULAR: Dolores O’Riordan; JUKEBOX STAR: At home during the height of her fame with the Cranberries in the mid-1990s; REMOTE: Dolores lives near Dingle, Co Kerry, with her husband and three children

DOLORES O’Riordan has tasted glory and despair in equal measures over the years.

She has hit immense lows, suffering a nervous breakdown and vowing to turn her back on music for ever.

But for the first time since she burst into the pop charts as a wide-eyed teenager, the 31-year-old Cranberries singer is truly happy.

She may not sell the enormous number of albums that she did in her heyday, and she may not be one of the prominent faces on the showbiz circuit.

But after suffering a level of fame and intrusion on her private life that, she admits, could have driven her to suicide, being a No1 mum instead of a chart-topping pop star is a million miles better.

She spoke for the first time in nearly a year as the band prepare to hit the road for a small number of concerts.

Dolores explained: “I’m 100 per cent content, and that’s the first time I can honestly say that since I became famous.”

When we met, Dolores had just finished her daily five-mile ride through the countryside.

She is chirpy, relaxed and looks as if she doesn’t have a care in the world – and why should she? After all, she’s amassed an estimated pounds 30million over the years.

Rather than the madness and mayhem of tours, promotions and video shoots, Dolores says her life now is an idyllic blend of family days out and the odd live concert.

She added: “I have been there and done that as far as the whole rock star madness thing goes.

“I’m never going back there, I’m relieved to be out of it all to be honest.

“No, people don’t recognise me as much anymore and the papers don’t hassle me.

“But that’s a good thing, not something that I feel I am missing out on.

“Fame is great for a while but when it robs you of who you really are then that is a different game altogether.

“I don’t think I was the easiest person to be around when I was at a real low.

“I would’ve been unhappy about doing interviews and making appearances in public. It’s not a great way to be but that’s life.

EVENTUALLY all the pressure of fame gets to you and you aren’t acting like yourself anymore. That’s exactly what happened to me.”

Dolores admits she was completely out of her depth when fame and fortune landed on her 18-year-old lap.

She said: “Suddenly money was rolling in and the fame was huge, I’m talking about going anywhere in the world and people know who you are.

“At first it was great fun and I loved it, gradually it become a living nightmare and I didn’t know how to get out.

“At my worst moment I was having a nervous breakdown so I left the band for a year and went and lived on a tropical island.

“That did more for my sanity than hours of counselling could ever have done. It was so important for me.

“After that I finally got my head together and started moving my life forward the way I wanted it to be.

“I look back on old photographs of me and it brings back a lot of memories. It was great fun for a while and we were all very naive and innocent going into the music business.

“But after a while you start to go into the self-destruct mode and that can be scary.”

Dolores has kept the doors to her private life closed for the most part over the years.

In a rare insight into her family life she revealed how she has spent the past five years building a strong family unit, rather than concentrating on band commitments.

She said: “I have three kids and a great husband. We have been together nine years and are still going strong.

“My home is like a sanctuary to me. The kids run around the grounds and play to their hearts content.

“We go out on long walks, picnics, just normal family things. “It gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

“About five years ago I had the choice of touring for a couple of years with the band or raising my family. I made the right decision.

“I’m a very healthy person and have always been into eating a good diet and keeping fit in a big way.

“I go out on the bike for about two hours each day and cycle around five miles.

“Sometimes I go out and get completely lost among the hills and scenery around where I live and I have to ring my husband to come and get me.

“I’m much happier just sitting up on a grass verge watching the world around me as I am going to a big showbiz party or something.”

Dolores is relieved of the heavy burden that success placed on her life.

She looks at other young Irish pop acts like Samantha Mumba and Westlife and is glad to be out of the game.

“I feel sorry for them because there is this huge media spotlight constantly on their lives,” she said.

“Like happened to me. They will eventually hit a crisis point where they will feel like they can’t go on. I’m lucky in the fact that I got my head together and didn’t go down the whole road of self- destruction.

YOU can end up in some very lonely places when you are famous, and at the end of the day there are very few people who can offer you a way out.

“Being a celebrity now is even more intense than it was when I first became a star so I’m glad I’m not just coming into the game now.

“I think everyone is under a huge amount of pressure to keep an act going the whole time.

“With all these TV shows that create pop bands the whole standard of music is getting much worse. It’s just not my cup of tea.

“My advice to any young stars is that they should enjoy it as much as possible but not get carried away with all the bulls**t that goes with it.

“It’s easy to forget when the pressure is on that you are doing something that is meant to be fun.”

With the success of albums like No Need To Argue and Bury The Hatchet, the Cranberries have amassed 33 million album sales over the years.

Dolores recalled: “When I got my first pay cheque it was like a dream come true. I was in LA for a few months and I did the whole splashing out on designer clothes thing.

“I had every fancy item in my wardrobe for a while. I almost became addicted to it.

“But that’s just not me anymore.

“Now I’m content just running around like a real scruff.

“But you know what? At least I’m happy now.”

THE Cranberries will be launching their tour of Europe at the Ulster Hall in Belfast on May 29.

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