Niall Quinn today emailed us a very rare piece of memorabilia indeed — an August 1990 Night Times newspaper interview to promote Water Circle, The Cranberries’ first demo tape released in 1990. You’ll recall that Niall Quinn was the lead singer for The Cranberry Saw Us, the precursor to The Cranberries. Niall writes, “I was doing some archiving of my own at the weekend and came across it.”
The interview is one of the earliest (if not the earliest) known Cranberries interviews to survive. In it, Noel Hogan talks about the trouble the band went through to recruit a new singer after Quinn left to concentrate on his other band The Hitchers:
When Niall announced that he was leaving the rest of us decided straight away that we wanted to continue. He introduced us to someone who was interested but in singing but the guy messed us around and we ended up auditioning a fella called Alan who was heavily into the doomier side of The Cure. He wanted to drown all the songs in feedback and distortion, which isn’t us at all. The only good thing is that it made us realize that we need a soft, gentle voice because we’re not that heavy. That’s when we decided to advertise in Xeric [Studios] for a girl and we struck lucky straight away.
The girl who responded to that ad, of course, was Dolores O’Riordan.
We brought Niall in to sing her some of the old songs and she seemed to like them. Then she did a Sinead O’Connor number and we were all stunned, so we said, ‘Great, let’s give it a go!’
Niall says that the interviewer was probably Stuart Clark, who is now an editor for Hot Press, Ireland’s largest entertainment magazine.
Niall writes that he may also have a video of The Cranberries broadcasted on Irish TV in June 1990: “I know thereâ€TMs also a VHS cassette in my parents house that I have to get my hands on — it contains amongst other (hitchers) stuff — a very brief glimpse of The Cranberries, They Do It With Mirrors and The Hitchers all busking together (Iâ€TMm not kidding â€“there was about ten of us!!!). Thatâ€TMd be dated about July 1990 and was broadcast on an Irish TV show called PuirÃnÃthat Autumn. As soon as I have it digitised I’ll let you know.”