Script guitarist: Mark Sheehan

Script guitarist: Mark Sheehan

Although The Script formed in 2001, guitarist Mark Sheehan and singer Danny O’Donoghue have known each other since they were kids growing up in Dublin. Years earlier they’d moved to Canada to pursue a career as musicians, then switched to producing records in LA for massive pop acts such as Britney Spears and Boyz 2 Men. The Script emerged out of their creative energy and they recruited Glen Power on drums to blend their love of RnB and good old fashioned rock and roll. We caught up with Mark Sheehan to find out what makes him tick (and of course what he’s got on his pedalboard)...

MPS
After four studio albums, five major awards, and several mammoth world tours, without giving too much away, what’s next for you guys?

Mark
We’ve taken a good bit of time out to make this new record that we were hoping will top all others. New tour and album about to drop so we’re pretty amped right now.

MPS
There aren’t many bands who are as open about their production process as you, do you keep songwriting and musical production separate or are the two things interlinked for you?

Mark
Linked mostly, as we write we work up the production however this time for album 5 we’ve worked with some new producers which is totally new for usas we usually do it all ourselves

MPS
The band seems very comfortable in the studio; do you prefer gigging or do you find songwriting and studio work more satisfying?

Mark
It’s kind of a chicken or egg thing, one process really needs the other to work so we love both. Sometimes you can drive yourself nuts in the studio and touring is exactly what you need to gain perspective. Particularly on new material

MPS
You and Danny have know each other for a long time, how does that kind of familiarity affect the way you work creatively together?

MS
It really helps most times but can hinder other times. We butt heads a lot, mostly over creative things… but in the end we’re both super-loyal to a great song so the song is King for us. It all works out in the end

MPS
You have played some pretty spectacular shows including a 50 000 strong crowd at Dublin's Aviva Stadium; can you pick out a favourite gig?

Mark
Hmmm… Rock in Rio comes to mind because it was the end of a whole year of touring. All that time on the road comes to a head for one last show in a place that we’ve never played before... It kicked ass and we ended up getting voted the best band on that year’s festival so it’s things like that that make it worth it

MPS
You have performed with some of the most influential musicians on the planet, U2 and Paul McCartney to name just two); Who do you count among your musical influences?

Mark
We’re so diverse we love both of those artists so much but then throw in Jay Z, Frank Ocean etc and you have The Script. Rock meets RnB

MPS
If you could go back to any musical era what would it be?

Mark
I’ve heard the 60s was pretty dope...

MPS
You’ve been spotted with a Les Paul or two, what guitar(s) are you playing at the moment?

Mark
The main guitar during most of the show is my 2008 Les Paul Standard Gold Top. I also have a lovely Les Paul Traditional and a Les Paul Classic that Gibson very generously gave me. Most recently they have given me a new HP 635 acoustic which I have been using at home and the studio. It will more than likely end up on the road with me too

MPS
What was your first guitar?

Mark
Its was an acoustic which is why I love Gibson Electrics because I feel the transition from acoustic guitar to a Les Paul for example is really smooth

MPS
Tell us about your Timeline and BigSky, what made you chose it?

Mark
I’ve had the Timeline in my rack for a couple of years now and I originally got it because I had heard a lot of people talking about them and they were generating quite a buzz. So we went to you guys at Musicpsych and you sorted me out with one to try. Only when we got our hands on it and started delving into it did we realise not only how versatile it was but also how great it sounded

MPS
What else do you have on your pedalboard?

Mark
We are in the process of changing a few things around right now including running everything through Kempers. I just recently got a Cali76 which is going there, an Xotic EP Boost, a Fulltone OCD, TC Electronics Sub n Up and a few others.

MPS
Is there anything you have parted with that you really miss? 

Mark
Someone robbed my fave acoustic guitar from the studio about two years ago and I’m still very very bitter about that. lol

MPS
Is there any advice you can offer to people starting out on their musical journeys?

Mark
Don’t let anyone tell you what style to play, just play a lot and practice a lot and your style will come… Everyone has a style like they have a fingerprint it takes time to develop yours, but it will come in time - with lots and lots of practice there is no right or wrong in music

 

Find out what Mark and the band are up to: thescriptmusic.com
Photography by Peter Neill

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