not a member? click here to sign up
Danny: Champion Of The World
The Coronas are on the march. Having spent six weeks in LA working with studio guru Tony Hoffer on their third album Closer to You, they are about to embark on a campaign for world domination that will take them right through next year. So what is it that makes the band tick? In a remarklably revealing interview, Ireland’s most down-to-earth frontman Danny O’Reilly tells Roe McDermott about the making of The Coronas’ masterpiece, why he’d never go solo, working with his mammy – and how a certain blonde beauty has stolen his heart.
Roe McDermott, 15 Nov 2011
I first met The Coronas frontman Danny O’Reilly last year. I’d barely introduced myself before the unassuming singer enthusiastically congratulated me on my new post as film reviewer at Hot Press, raving about what a cool job I had. This, I might add, was just weeks after his band had been touring Singapore and Australia, and opened for Paul McCartney in the RDS. Yes, my job is cool.
Danny’s complete lack of ego, genuine wasrmth and constant good cheer obviously haven’t wavered in the interim: when O’Reilly walks into the Library Bar in Dublin, he greets me with a big hug, asking me what I’ve been up to, until I promise to tell him the fascinating details of my glamorous lifestyle – one that centres around my laptop, endless cups of tea, and the almost daily realisation that I’m still in my pyjamas at three in the afternoon.
But before we give the people that hard-hitting exclusive, I suppose I’d better ask him some quick questions about himself. Justc as a matter of courtesy, you understand.
So Danny: I believe The Coronas’ third album Closer To You is out next week? And that it was produced in LA by Tony Hoffer, renowned for his work with Air, Beck, The Kooks and Belle & Sebastian? Not that it competes with my week’s highlight – watching a Come Dine With Me marathon over a take-away – but hey, it’s still, pretty interesting I suppose.
“Yeah, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks!” he laughs. “Going to LA was a bit of a gamble, to be honest. We had no idea what to expect. We’d never met Tony before, just emailed and spoken on the phone – but his CV speaks for itself, so we were thrilled to be working with him.”
Getting him involved was a victory made all the more sweet by the fact that this wasn’t the first time the band had approached Tony. “We asked him to do the last album and he said no!” explains the frontman. “Though in fairness we probably couldn’t have afforded him! He was honest. He’s a really nice guy but he was just like, ‘I don’t think I’m the right man for this project’ – and he was probably right. We got John Cornfield, who’s an unbelievable producer – he’s working with The X-Factor now – and he made the album as good as he could have. But we sent Tony a demo again this time and he said, ‘Yeah, these songs are really cool, I really like them’, and he came on board. So that was a nice ego-boost – to know that he saw potential in our stuff. So we went over and he’s just a cool, normal guy – a bit crazy, but great.”