O’Donoghue and will.i.am met while both on the judging panel of the UK version of hit reality show The Voice this year, alongside other big names including Jessie J and Tom Jones.
“We’re actually really good mates outside the studio,” the affable O’Donoghue offers. “We just met on the show, that was the first time our paths had crossed… You kind of appreciate someone for their musical qualities and what they do and that’s kind of the same mutual respect I have for him and he has for me.”
“Hall of Fame”, it turns out, was originally not intended to have a guest spot at all. But then one fateful day O’Donoghue was playing the band’s demos to his new mate – and the song really gripped will.i.am, so much so that he wanted to make it his own.
“He was like f**king, ‘I need this for my album’ and I was like ‘are you serious?’” O’Donoghue recalls, laughing. “And he was like ‘yeah, I need this for my album’ and we’re like ‘dude come on, it’s our first single!’
“So we just came up with this idea – why don’t we just do a duet on it? And a duet in the truest sense of the word, not where someone does it from half the world away or he just says ‘yeah!’ at the start of the song and that’s it. It’s him singing line for line, everybody kind of going back and forth on it, so it’s just such an inspirational song, one that we’re really, really happy that he got involved with.”
The Script - Hall of Fame printable sheet music - CLICK HERE
Though will.i.am usually helms production duties on tracks on which he features, in this instance he left it up to the guys – “he let us do what we wanted to do on the song, it was great,” O’Donoghue tells.
The frontman reveals that when the band performs the track live now, it’s back to the original version that features just his vocals, along with those of bandmate Mark Sheehan.
“You can hear the difference,” he admits. “There’s just an extra part that Will added onto it.”
So what’s the uplifting track actually about?
“It’s all about hard work, dedication – the euphoria of the Olympics is there’s a generation about to be inspired by all these athletes and these things,” O’Donoghue explains.
“We wanted to do the same thing but also for music and teachers and politicians and people that are actually pillars of the community. It’s just a kind of call to arms… Do something in your community and hopefully you’ll go into their hearts and minds and that’s kind of the way you’ll live on forever, really.”