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Having amicably but firmly put the Cranberries behind her, Dolores O’Riordan found refuge in motherhood, but is now raring to get back on the road with her first solo album.
Olaf Tyaransen, 11 Jun 2007
The elfin, naturally zero-figured Dolores O’Riordan leans over the balcony railings outside her spacious rehearsal room at Dublin’s Factory, and lets a white spit dribble slowly from her mouth into the stagnant water several metres below.
Standing right beside her, her 10-year-old son Taylor giggles, hawks up a big one, and follows suit. It’s quite a funny sight – mother and son gobbing into the Docklands.
“Are you making a wish?” I ask.
“No,” the raven-haired singer laughs, looking slightly embarrassed. “When we were kids, we used to always spit in the water, and then the fish would come up and eat your spit.”
Her Canadian husband, Don, laughs heartily. “Good luck!” he says. “I’ve been looking into that fuckin’ water all week and I haven’t seen one fuckin’ fish! Not even one!”
It’s a beautifully sunny day in mid-April, and O’Riordan and her band are currently deep in rehearsals for an upcoming world tour to promote her debut solo album Are You Listening?
She’s taking half-an-hour out to talk to hotpress but, before that, the 35-year-old singer wants to spend a little quality time with Taylor, the eldest of her three kids (the rest of her brood are at home in Howth).
“This is Olaf from hotpress magazine,” she tells him. “He’s a journalist and he’s going to interview mammy about her new album. When you grow up, you could be a journalist too. You could travel around meeting all sorts of different people and writing articles about them. You could even write books.”
Taylor takes a long hard look at me, but doesn’t seem overly impressed.
“You don’t want to be a rock star like your mum?” I ask him.
“Oh God – no!” Dolores interjects. “I don’t want him to be a rock star! It’s far too tough! No life for anyone.”
She’s certainly qualified to know. Although the world of rock 'n' roll has ultimately been extremely good for the Limerick-born singer, her fame and fortune were extremely hard won.