Photos by Kevin Westenberg
Sharon Corr will be touring in January with her brother, Jim and sisters Andrea and Caroline, who make up The Corrs. They hadn't performed together in ten years until Hyde Park in September but they have certainly come back with a bang with their new album White Light. We talked to Sharon about the transition from solo artist back to being in a band and what we can look forward to from their tour dates.
What can fans expect from your new album White Light?
It's a pretty great album as far as we're concerned! It's a real journey; the songs are very beautiful and very heartfelt. They're inspired by life experience and there's a lot of honesty in there. Some of the songs are very uplifting and there's a determination to live and to enjoy in the lyrics.
There's also sadness during this record after losing our father- he is very much reflected in there as well. It shows our determination and our resolve to fight and to be positive. To do what we love and love what we do.
It's a real musical journey and the people who have been fans over the years will love it but also anyone new will also love it too because it is very musical.
We are a very organic band- we write all our own music, play and sing, so it has an organic feel to it and a modern feel too. There are a lot of new sounds in there so we are happy with it.
Why did you settle on calling it after the third track on your album?
In many ways it represented so many different feelings on the album. Andrea wrote the lyrics after watching the Amy Winehouse documentary. There's a great line from Tony Bennett 'You have got to live long enough to learn how to live'. It's such a good line because there have been so many artists under that White Light who just couldn't cope with it and couldn't handle it.
I think as you get a little bit older; the things that once seemed so stressful, you come to realise that they weren't worth worrying about. Sometimes you just need a little bit more time and a little bit more living to be able to live better.
White Light refers to being on stage and being at the centre of something and having that White Light and having to perform.
Then there is a White Light in the sense of an afterlife and the White Light that people speak about.
It encapsulated the album in so many ways in what we do for a living. You are constantly exposed under the White Light. Some of us survive it, some of us live it and love it and how some of us don't survive it.
Please tell us when you decided to reform as a group- why was the time right for you all?
It was Caroline who brought it up. She called us last September and asked us if we would be open to doing this. We all said 'yes.'
For us we never broke up, we just stopped doing what we were doing for a while- 10 years! We've also had solo careers in that time so it wasn't like we just walked away from music. It just felt right.
For myself, I felt that there was an unfinished journey there- there was more to happen. We did it in a very beautiful way- we did it under the radar- we just felt it out to see if it would work. We got into the studio and we decided that everybody should come up with song ideas and bring them together and see if we had something that was good.
The music was just magical from the start and that kind of set it in stone. It was just all there- we have all lived more and probably are all a bit more understanding, world wise, accommodating and open. We could see ourselves looking in from the outside and said 'wow isn't it great- the magic of four people together. Isn't it great what we can produce together'.
We have this amazing appreciation of the fact that the four is the magic and without one of us- it's not there.
It has been an incredibly collaborative record and the joy to work on. If any of us got stuck on an idea and thought it was the wrong way to do it- we would usually just go 'let's just sit with that for a while', and the person would say 'let's try your idea'. So we were a bit more open and slowly but surely we had this great amount of songs, we knew we were good. We played them to the record company and they were like, 'Great a new Corrs album!' We have probably been one of their biggest sellers ever. They have been trying to get us back for years.
It was important that we took time out. We are a family, we grew up in the same house, it was very important that we had our own family and independent lives on track.
When we did stop, we stopped at the height of our success and really thought we had achieved beyond our wildest dreams.
We never stopped making music, we never thought this is the end we thought -this is just a new chapter.
How have the fans been since the announcement of your new tour?
Ecstatic! They have been going nuts on social media. The minute you put up a gig, a tour, a new song, the album or photos they are really happy. We have got a global fan base so the great thing about social media is that you can reach people in Brazil in seconds. We get this really great feedback and we say 'we really need to go there- we need to tour there'. It's been a super positive response- it feels like a big hug- it's really good!
You have 8 performances coming up in January up and down the country- where is your favourite place to gig and where do you get the best reception?
Wow- every country has its own thing. The UK is like family to us- we are so embraced here. At one stage we were number one and number two in the album charts and that was going on 10/12/14 weeks at a time. The British people really took us to their hearts and we do feel like family here so this is going to be super special.
The last time we were playing in the UK we were playing six Wembleys. We are back in the O2 this time. It's going to be gorgeous- I look forward to going back to Paris, Madrid and Barcelona. Everywhere has its own different culture with lots of great food and wine to taste while you're out on the road so it's all very diverse.
Can we expect a few of the old favourites as well as your new material?
Of course! I have been so annoyed when I have gone to gigs of people that I've loved and they done nothing I've ever heard before. That really irritates me- so fans will hear the greatest hits and then some new stuff and we have reinterpreted some old stuff. There will be some of the hits that have been done in a completely different way because we just enjoy making music. Music is just like a river, it's constantly flowing and changing and it's important to inject life into old material.
Did having that gap mean that you had a lot of material to work with for song writing?
I think we had a lot of experience. I have been on the road now as a solo artist for a number of years and I have grown in confidence a lot.
We all write- we all bring very different sides to the song. I think time apart maybe gave us an appetite as well for being together. If you're fifteen years on the road together on a couch every single day answering questions- you get a little jaded! I'm not saying we didn't appreciate it but we certainly couldn't appreciate it as much with the work level.
I think now we are less anxious in situations and more open. We have a big laugh together when we're doing an interview- being a bit silly and going 'wow this is a great job!'
How did it feel for you moving from a solo artist back to being in a band?
It's been an absolute privilege- I get to do both. I'm amazed- I'm really happy in life. I had this amazing journey with The Corrs which was absolutely incredible. It was the foundation to anything I could do on my own. Then I had this totally different journey on my own which was a lovely success for me and I have loved it. Now I'm back doing this and I feel very lucky.
Please tell us about Hyde Park- were you nervous before going out together for the first time in so long?
There were a few nerves- I think it was more excitement than anything else and going 'wow I can't believe we're doing this!' We went out to 60,000 people and that was the first gig back. That is very typical of The Corrs- we only ever jump in at the deep end. In Hyde Park it's our audience really- when we were doing Runaway- the whole audience sang it! You could get much more love than that. I was fighting back the tears at that point. I can feel it now- it was an incredibly special moment. It feels really great- we were super happy after it.
You mentioned in your last interview with us that you are thinking about a solo third album- is that still the plan?
I don't know, I think maybe down the line. I'm not making plans like that at the moment because I don't believe that you should ever be involved in one thing and thinking about another. I'm fully engaged in this and this is a beautiful project and a real privilege for me to work with my family. The work is shared between four so it's easier and it's fun.
I won't say never- I will sometime in the future but I'm not at all planning that right now. I'm completely focused on this and I would say The Corrs will do another album and maybe more. You have to give something that you're into your all.
The album is so beautiful- congratulations. Your songs always give me goosebumps and I wondered if you still feel like that when you're performing them?
They do sometimes, it's a little bit different for the artist. Sometimes when you're performing a song that you've written you really get shivers and it's amazing because it really touches you. You wouldn't write it if it didn't touch you- you are writing because you are touched by something. That's what fuels the music out of you.
I do very often get goosebumps during Runaway and I always have. It really doesn't matter how long we've been playing the song for- I always get them.
I also love Only When I Sleep. I love the feeling of that song and it was an opener on the gigs we used to do.
A lot of the new stuff is quite vulnerable and sometimes makes me feel tearful and also really joyful. We have done an awful lot of exposed harmonies on the record of us three girls singing together. There is something very raw and truthful about it that I find quite emotional.
White Light is out on the 27th November and is available for pre order on Amazon.
The Corrs Tour Dates:
Tuesday 19th January- Birmingham, Genting Arena
Wednesday 20th January- Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
Friday 22nd January- Liverpool, Echo Arena
Saturday 23rd January- London, The O2
Sunday 24th January- Manchester, Manchester Arena
Tuesday 26th January- Glasgow, Hydro
Thursday 28th January- Dublin, 3 Arena
Friday 29th January Belfast , The SSE Arena