Before launching his solo career in 2001, Irish musician Damien Rice was in the rock band Juniper, which was comprised of himself and four of his schoolmates (Paul Noonan, Dominic Philips, David Geraghty and Brian Crosby). Formed in 1991, the band toured throughout Ireland and their first EP Manna was released in 1995. In 1997, Juniper was signed a 6 album deal with Polygram Records in 1997, which created a couple of favorably received singles "Weatherman" and "The World Is Dead". However, after frustrations arose Polygram’s recording requirements, and in 1998, Damien Rice left Juniper to further explore his options. During this time, he spent time in Tuscany farming, then after a brief trip home to Ireland, Damien Rice took up busking across Europe. When he returned home the second time, he passed a demo tape to his second cousin, famed composer and producer David Arnold, who in turn gave Rice his mobile studio.
In 2001, Damien Rice’s first single “The Blowers Daughter” was released to promote his new album O (released in February 2002). He had assembled a band of international talent: New York drummer Tom Osander aka Tomo, Paris pianist Jean Meunier, London producer David Arnold, Irish vocalist Lisa Hannigan, cellist Vyvienne Long, and guitarist Mark Kelly. O sold 650,000 in the US and peaked at number 8 on the UK Albums Chart. This album also won the Shortlist Music Prize (an American award that celebrates the most adventurous and creative album and is given to artists who have sold fewer than 500,000 copies at the time of nomination), with "Cannonball" and "Volcano" becoming Top 30 hits in the UK. Damien Rice’s second album, 9, released in 2006, had mixed reviews, however it still became a certified gold album in the UK. In 2007, Rice spent the entire year touring, performing in such festivals as England’s Glastonbury Festival and Belgium’s Rock Werchter Festival. It was in 2008 where the public was introduced to Damien Rice’s more humanitarian side: he contributed “Making Noise” to Songs for Tibet: The Art of Peace, supporting Tibet and the 14th Dalai Lama; in 2010 he contributed "Lonely Soldier" to the Enough Project (a charity that aims to end genocide and crimes against humanity); and he revived Juniper’s “Crosseyed Bear” for Help: A Day in the Life, an album produced by UK’s War Child charity, which aims to aid war torn countries Bosnia and Herzegovina. In spring of 2011, Damien Rice was featured on French actress/singer Melanie Laurent’s debut album En t'attendant as well as collaborating on additional tracks.
Damien Rice My Favourite Faded Fantasy Album & Tour
In November 2014, Damien Rice released his third album My Favourite Faded Fantasy. Similarly to the previous albums, it received favorable reviews, being cited as one of 2014’s best releases by Huffington Post. The tour includes songs from all three of his studio releases and has had a couple of dates added, starting in late October, with stops in South America and Asia.