It’s been almost three years since Damien Rice abruptly announced that his “professional relationship ha[d] run its creative course” with singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan after a disagreement before a concert in Germany, but Rice has given virtually no interviews in the years that have followed (until now) and Hannigan has been craftily avoiding going too far into detail about the nature of the split while promoting her excellent solo album, Sea Sew.
In a wide-ranging and highly confessional interview from this month’s issue of Hot Press (via ONTD), Rice has now opened up about his romantic relationship with Hannigan, the band tensions prior to her leaving, and how he “would give away all the music success, all the songs, and the whole experience to still have Lisa in [his] life.”
Rice confirmed that it was, in fact, the romance between him and Hannigan that caused tensions in the band which ultimately contributed to the split. He has since gotten over various issues (music industry pressures, tour fatigue, “I was a complete asshole on many occasions,” etc.), and has reached out to Hannigan, but she refuses to speak with him. “I love her,” Rice said. “I love her so much. And I love her so much that I love that she hasn’t spoken to me—because even in that I have learned so much over the last two years.”
Hot Press doesn’t have the article up online just yet, but I do suggest you pick up a copy at your local newsstand to read their interview. Rice’s brilliantly honest account of his career and lost friendships may surprise you.