Meet: The Coronas

They’re not unknown in the UK, but you might not yet have come across The Coronas. I have a feeling that before this year is out you’ll know a whole lot more about them.  A fourpiece from Dublin, they’re gearing up to release their fourth studio album, ‘The Long Way’, which will be out on 9 March next year.

Conor Egan, Graham Knox, Dave McPhillips, Danny O’Reilly are all still in their twenties despite having been together for eight years or so. Currently resident in London, they’ve just recently signed to Ireland records and sold out The Scala last week.

The Coronas are already three double platinum albums to the good in Ireland, and have supported the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake. You can already get hold of their latest single ‘Just Like That’ and enjoy its pop-rock catchiness here (as well as a love story involving the greatest vacuum of all time, the noble Henry):

Backseat Mafia: So hi Coronas, how was your gig at the Scala ? (Sorry we couldn’t make it by the way…)
Danny O’Reilly (lead singer) of The Coronas: Amazing! It was our first headline show in London in a while and with the album finished and ready to come out, there was a great atmosphere. Nice to have such a cool venue sold out too!

Is the Scala a venue that you handpicked or were you playing there by chance ?
Our agent, Coda, suggested it. I’d never been there before but heard it was a great venue. We were honoured to play there.

You’ve been in London for a couple of years now – all of you ?
Yeah we live in the north, we love it here. A great city and feels right for us to be here.

You seem to cop a fair amount of coverage from celebrity gossips in Ireland – has the move to London made that any easier ?
I suppose it’s nice to get away from that, the press at home has treated us pretty fairly so it’s never been a huge issue thank god. I suppose it’s part and parcel of having some success.

Where have you guys been living and how has that been ? (don’t worry – we’re not after exact addresses…)
Haha we’ve lived in Highbury for the last year but have just moved to Canonbury. We’re very lucky that we all get on and haven’t killed each other yet. We talk to other bands and they can’t believe we live together and hang out when we’re not working too, but we’ve known each other for so long we’re like brothers at this stage.

How has it been writing the new album ?
We started the album in a house in the countryside in the south west corner of Ireland. A beautiful place called Dingle in co Kerry. Then we moved to London and finished it off. It’s been a while since we started it so we’re excited that it’s coming out so soon!

I see that you recorded “Tony was an Ex-Con” at Sawmills – did that location have an impact on the album ?
It was an amazing place, beautiful, isolated and inspiring. Also working with John Cornfield (Razorlight, Supergrass, Muse) was really cool. We work best when we’re locked away from the outside world so I think it helped make the album better.

Where did you write and record this album ? Any location-specific influence ?
As I said we wrote it between Dingle and London. We recorded it in a great studio in Kensal Rise called Eastcote. It’s a really productive place and we thoroughly enjoyed working there with our producer, Eliot James and engineer, George Murphy. It was nice to record in London and get to go home every night to our own beds in Highbury. The studio has a lot of history too, with Mumford and Sons and Adele recording their last records there, so that was cool.

What, if anything, feels different this time around ?
I think we feel reinvigorated since our move to London. We’re very lucky that we’ve had success in Ireland but we feel now with the deal with Island and with how proud of the new album we are, that it’s the beginning of a new chapter, it’s exciting.

If you had to describe the album in a sentence what would it be ?
What a tough question?! It’s honest. It’s heartfelt. It’s passionate. It’s got good 3 and half minute pop songs. That’s loads of sentences, sorry!

Are there any particular inspirations behind the lyrics and music for this record ?
Loads: relationships, friendships, our own ambitions, London as a city. All these things inspired us to write it. It’s definitely a break-up album though.

What are your plans for touring and promoting the new record ?
The album’s official release is early March and we’ll be releasing a single or two before that, we plan to do a full UK tour in Feb/March and there’s also a tour of Europe and Australia planned before the summer, which we hope will be filled with festivals!

Do you have your eyes on anyone in particular for support ?
U2 maybe? Do you know Bono? Will you ask him for me? [BM: Natch. The call has already been made.]

Did you have Blur’s ‘Coffee and TV’ in mind when putting together the video for “Just Like That” ? It feels like a sweet companion piece.
It was definitely a reference that we liked about the video. The director Eoin approached us with the idea and we loved it straight away. We’re very happy with how’s it’s turned out.

…and now for the less traditional…

How will you fare come the zombie apocalypse ?
I think I’ll do ok, I’ll hide in the wilderness with my guitar and an Irish flag, everyone loves the Irish, even zombies

Who would play you in the film of your lives ?
Meryl Streep

What are you doing to change the world ?
Eating burritos and recycling the packaging

Do you believe in magic ?


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