Disillusioned with the music business, he moved to Tuscany in the spring of 1999 and became a farmer for six months. “I used to be fascinated because with my lettuce plants I could pick off a couple of leaves – I wouldn’t have to take the plant up, I’d just pull off a couple leaves – and then, because the sun is so strong and the soil is so good in Italy, a few days later those leaves would be back. Man can’t live on lettuce alone, though, and towards the end of 1999, he returned to Ireland with the intention of giving music another shot. And he said, “Well, if you want, I can get you some recording equipment”.
“Yeah, just leave the music – just make one record and be done with it.Because I felt like I didn’t fit within the music scene.And, at the time I remember notiving that the bigger songs didn’t work because I was recording at home in bedrooms and stuff – big songs didn’t sound good on the little studio. The end of the 20th century brought some serious changes to Damien Rice’s life.As for the ensuing decade: towards the conclusion of this rare and enuxpectedly confessional interview, Hot Press asks the reluctant star what has been his personal high point of the Noughties.