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Image / Agenda

WATCH: ‘You had to cancel gigs too? At least you’re not named after the virus’: The Coronas, in conversation with IMAGE

24th Jul 2020

The Coronas chat to IMAGE about life under lockdown, the future of live gigs and their rather unfortunate name

Musicians are all suffering right now. Gigs are cancelled, festivals are ruled out and album launches are stalled. It’s even worse for The Coronas, who didn’t factor in a global pandemic when they came up with their band name 13 years ago. 

“It took us a while to say we can make fun of our name — it’s just a name,” says lead singer Danny O’Reilly. “So we tweeted Corona [Beer] — and that one got a great reaction. I think it would have been weirder if we said nothing about it and didn’t talk about the elephant in the room.”

The singer, who sat down with IMAGE to chat about the band’s new album and the future of live music (watch interview in full below), says the band can now see the lighter side of their unfortunate name, but they can’t resist a little oneupmanship when talking to other musicians. “You had to cancel gigs too? At least you’re not named after the virus,” he quips.

The Coronas were just about to embark on a six-month world tour and release a single from their new album, True Love Waits, when the pandemic hit.

“It was such a serious situation it didn’t feel right to self-promote at the time so we delayed the single release,” explains Danny, who was joined by drummer Conor Egan for the conversation with IMAGE Digital Editor, Katie Byrne. 

The singer was in Dingle when Ireland went into lockdown. He thought he was going away for a long weekend and ended up staying for four months. “It’s a beautiful part of the world and it’s very quiet and isolated,” he says.

“I set up a little studio down there and I had a piano so I was blessed.” Conor says he took it easy: “I just caught up on some TV shows — I didn’t let the whole cancelling a US tour get me down.”

The bandmates also talk about working with Hozier producer Rob Kirwan, writing love songs and the impact of becoming a trio last summer when guitarist Dave McPhillips unexpectedly left the band.

“Initially it shook me,” admits Danny. “I didn’t really expect it even though I knew Dave wasn’t really enjoying it as much as he had been. I knew he was a bit uncertain but it was still a shock to me.”

Now, The Coronas are looking forward to playing live music again. “We’re praying that it will come back,” says Danny, “and not just come back in a new normal with social distancing and regulation and stuff because part of these gigs being special is people coming together and having that buzz of being able to put your arm around a stranger beside you and sing along and just get caught up in the whole atmosphere.”

In the meantime, fans can look forward to their latest album, which includes first single ‘Find the Water’, ‘Lost in The Thick of It’, a duet with Gabrielle Aplin, and collaborations with the best and the brightest of Irish music.

True Love Waits is released on July 31st 2020


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