It’s a Herculean task, but Irish composer Danny O’Donoghue has set the aesthetic bar high for his blue-collar rock trio The Script.
The band may only be two albums old, the singer says, “but we’ve been trying for a long, long time to write that one song where everybody just stops what they’re doing. They’ll drop their coffee cups on the ground to listen to it, they’ll stop their cars, they’ll turn the volume up on their friend’s radio. Those moments are the ones that we try and write in songs.”
The Script — which appears in Oakland on Friday — has a remarkable track record, with anthemic hits like “Breakeven,” “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” and “For the First Time.” “American Idol” winner Kris Allen had a hit with the B-side “Live Like We’re Dying.”
O’Donoghue’s skill is evident in the new single “Nothing,” a chiming singalong with breakup-themed lyrics delivered in his amiable, Guinness-seasoned rasp.
“When people listen to our songs — although we’re writing them about us — I think they see a little bit of themselves,” he says.
The video for “Nothing” echoes this Everyman approach. In it, a pub-parked O’Donoghue swills so many pints, he staggers into a canal and nearly drowns.
“There’s a clean video, where we’re not drinking,” he says. “But that defeats the purpose — the song is about getting drunk and realizing that you’re doing the wrong thing. So we’re prepared, as a band, to go, ‘Of course we’re Irish, of course we’re drinking — who cares? Let’s get it in the video because it’s real life!’”
Their Celtic craft was perfected in America, oddly. A decade ago, O’Donoghue, 30, and his future Scriptmate Mark Sheehan left their native Dublin for Orlando, Fla., where they worked with R&B/hip-hop artists.
“We had $200 each when we went, but also something called ‘couch currency,’” the frontman recalls — “where you stay on people’s couches until you run out of money.”
After four years, the newly minted production team hastily moved to Los Angeles, when a battle-rapping client threatened to shoot up their house.
With drummer Glen Power, the duo returned to Ireland to track 2008’s self-titled debut album, followed by last year’s “Science & Faith.” They work to keep things heartfelt — or, as O’Donoghue puts it, “We don’t surround our nuggets of wisdom with arsey ideas that you need a team of 12 people working 24 hours a day to figure out. The Script is very plain. Very simple.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
When: 8 p.m. Friday · Tickets: $32.50