Dark, demented, tormented, torrid and tetchy? Oh, I don’t think so. The Cure’s Robert Smith might have gained something of a reputation in his 40-year-plus tenure as the leader of one of the most enduring of alternative post-punk bands, but these days you will find him basking in the glow of sun shining throughout The Cure’s Indian summer.
Outside the office windows, Dublin hums along. Strains of a busker singing his heart out filter into the room; the stops and starts of city centre traffic underscore the calm conversation with one of Ireland’s most recent creative success stories.
If the phrase ‘ineffably cool’ could be applied to just one person in traditional rock music it would probably be Steve Van Zandt. ‘Miami’ Steve Van Zandt, Little Steven – whatever the moniker – is a natural born chiller, a musician who started out playing with Bruce Springsteen, graduated to Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, then to an on/off arrangement with Springsteen’s E-Street Band and subsequently to a solo career.
“I’m owning it more, and I really value that,” says Cavan singer-songwriter, Lisa O’Neill, who is reflecting on the difference a few years can make in terms of confidence and self-assurance. “I’m not in disbelief anymore that this is happening. When I was speaking about my previous album, I would have felt that maybe some people were wondering if I was going to admit to winging it, that what I had were just notions.