Cranberries reunion lures O'Riordan from Ontario cabin

Dolores O'Riordan is ready to emerge from her log cabin in Northern Ontario and tour and record with the Cranberries again.

Dolores O'Riordan is ready to emerge from her log cabin in Northern Ontario and become a Cranberry again.

The former lead singer and driving creative force behind the Cranberries has announced a reunion tour of the Irish band famous for 1990s hits such as Zombie and Linger.

And a new album may not be far behind, she told CBC's cultural affairs radio show Q on Friday.

O'Riordan has been pursuing a solo career since 2002, when the Cranberries began their hiatus, and just released her latest album, No Baggage. She's also had three children with Canadian husband Don Burton, now her manager.

"I'm always writing — it's part of you, it's part of your soul, of who you are. It's a gift you are given," said the singer, who added that the Ontario bush has been an inspiration. From her cabin home, she has seen foxes, bears and wolves, and she said she loves being surrounded by trees.

The impetus for the reunion was a letter from Trinity College in Dublin admitting O'Riordan to its Philosophical Society, alongside such luminaries as W.B. Yeats.

"I asked the boys to come up from Limerick and play with me and I hired a quartet, and it was the first time seeing them in 6½ years — and it was like I saw them yesterday," she said. "When we started playing together, it felt so right."

The "boys" are Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler, her Cranberries bandmates. They also had a few children in the interim, none of whom would have imagined their parents as famous.

"We're kind of excited about getting together again, because our kids are kind of now going, 'Were you in a band?' and we kind of have to play for our kids now, just to show them we're still cool," she said.

O'Riordan was close to a breakdown in her 20s from the pressure of being with such a prominent band. She said she went back to her cabin in Ontario and thought about how much she'd missed the band before making the decision to tour again.

"They're a big part of my heart and soul," she said. "There's only three people in the world  who understand that journey that I went through and that's Mike, Ferg and Noel, who were there with me."

The live tour begins at the end of this year in North America, though no dates have yet been announced. The band plans to play O'Riordan's solo material, as well as old Cranberries songs and new works they are writing together even now.

She estimates another album could come out of the collaboration, perhaps as soon as next year.

"We kind of had to go through whatever it was — kind of taking a break, creative, go out there and find what it's like not to be a Cranberry," she said.