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Coronas singer Danny O’Reilly: ‘My biggest fear? That some crazy virus appears and, in some weird, sick twist, its name has an unfortunate likeness to our band name’

The Coronas frontman talks about his love for GAA, his treasured guitars, and the emotion of gigging again


The Coronas singer Danny O'Reilly. Photo: David Leane

The Coronas singer Danny O'Reilly. Photo: David Leane

The Coronas singer Danny O'Reilly. Photo: David Leane

The Coronas singer went to school at Terenure College, Dublin, where he met his fellow band members, before studying commerce at UCD. The band was formed in 2006 and won Best Irish Album at the 2010 Meteor Awards. Part of a musical family dynasty, his mother is singer Mary Black, while his aunt is singer and Independent Senator Frances Black.

What’s your earliest memory?

A family holiday to France when I was about five. On the ferry back home, there was a dance competition for all the kids and I won, dancing to Michael Jackson. In hindsight, I think it was because I was the youngest kid in the competition. Thirty years later, I still can’t dance.

What is your biggest fear?

That some crazy virus appears and ruins everything and, in some weird, sick twist, its name has an unfortunate likeness to our band name. Thankfully, nothing like that could ever happen.

What’s your least, and your most, attractive quality?

That’s a tough question. I try not to think of things like that. I’m impatient and clumsy, and I get angry at myself for being clumsy. I’d like to think I see the good in people and I’m mannerly, and I shower at least once a day, so I’m relatively clean.

What’s the first thing you’d do if you were Taoiseach?

Ring my parents for advice, hire great people around me, and maybe put climate change on top of the priority list.

What’s your biggest insecurity?

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Physically, I’m not a fan of my bad posture.

Who would you most like to go for a pint with?

My girlfriend.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?

Danny Dog from Peppa Pig. He likes football and we have the same name.

What is your most treasured possession?

Probably my guitars — if I had to pick one, my Gibson hummingbird or my Lowden. I got invited to the Lowden factory in Belfast and I got to meet George Lowden himself, the man who started this amazing, old-school handmade guitar factory.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Chocolate, sweets — Malteasers and Haribo Starmix especially.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Write your own songs. If I wasn’t encouraged from a young age to write my own music, I don’t know where I’d be. I’m doing more co-writing now, mainly with friends, and I’m finding that really invigorating.

When did you last cry, and why?

I honestly got emotional at our first gig back in Mitchelstown. I missed that feeling of being on stage in front of a live audience so much.

What are you going to do right after this interview?

I’m going training with my Gaelic football team, Templeogue Synge Street. My family is mad into football and my mam loves it as well. We have been involved in the club for years. My sister plays and my father is involved with one of the teams as a coach.

What’s the last TV show you binge-watched?

The White Lotus.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Enjoy the journey, and don’t call your band that ... you’ll know why in a few years.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Flight. I used to dream about flying loads.

How would you like to be remembered?

As yer man from The Coronas.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

I’ve had loads of equally embarrassing moments on stage, but saying “Hello Sydney” to a crowd in Melbourne is right up there.

What got you through lockdown?

Exercise, cooking, songwriting and my new dog, Jess. I got her from the DSPCA. She’s a Collie/Rottweiler mix and she’s beautiful and great fun.

The Coronas’ new single, Write Our Own Soundtrack, is out on October 22, taken from their new album due in 2022. Details of live concert dates on thecoronas.net

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