Exclusive with The Coronas: Platinum selling Irish band discuss releasing album in the U.S.

If you aren’t familiar with The Coronas, Irish chart-topping, multi-platinum selling rockers, you need to be! The four piece band has been generating hits in Europe and making music for a decade now. They’ve opened for Paul McCartney, and played a live set for the Obama’s on their trip to Ireland in 2011. Now The Coronas have their sights set on North America, with plans to release their fifth studio album, Trust the Wire, in the U.S. on September 1, followed by a tour that begins in November.

Trust the Wire, topped Irish music charts with its debut in June, edging out Ed Sheeran to claim the number one spot. Even more impressive, the album was released on their own label imprint and netted their biggest live audience to date, playing for 15,000 people at a sold out venue in Dublin.

Allow us to formally introduce you to The Coronas, a band whose honest brand and unique sound, fills a void in modern alternative rock stateside. We sat down with lead vocalist and co-founding member Danny O’Reilly. He gave us exclusive insight into the making of their music, behind the scenes access to the band and what they are most looking forward to in touring America, (including their favorite sweet treat).

Marian: You’ve created quite a presence in the music industry over the last 10 years in Ireland and Europe. Let’s start with what it means to bring your music overseas to America after a decade of work?

Danny O’Reilly: It means everything to us. Playing live and touring are our two favorite things about being in this band. And, thankfully, I think our live show is probably where we are best. We’ve been playing venues of all different sizes for ten years, and we’re so excited to see some new cities and see how crazy the American audiences are.

M: Ideally, if you could choose, what first impression would you like to make with new listeners here in the US and Canada?

DO: We’d like them to experience our honest, energetic and passionate live gigs. We love putting on a great show no matter where we play and, hopefully, we’ll have some amazing nights.

M: How has your experience working both with record labels and independently changed your perspective on making music and the industry, if at all?

DO: We’ve tried not to let it change our perspective. One of the main themes lyrically on this new album is about reminding ourselves of the reasons we do what we do, because we love it, and not getting too caught up in the business side of the industry. We have tried to learn what we can use, though, whether it be about streaming or social media, and continue to evolve as we can with regard promoting our music.

M: What is your writing process like? Is it collaborative or independent and what continues to inspire you after a decade?

DO: It’s very collaborative, often I (Danny) would arrive with just a couple of chords and we would write it from scratch. Every song is different. Sometimes myself and Dave (guitarist) will just sit down and write a song from scratch. Everything inspires us; other music, relationships, friendships, our ambition, our experiences.

M: Let’s talk about Trust the Wire and the success it’s had. What sets this body of work apart? Is it the creative control you gained by producing and releasing it on your own label, or the evolution and maturation of your sound over time? A little bit of everything?

DO: I think the fact that we took our time with the album and tried a few different things with regards to production definitely sets it apart. At its core, it’s got strong songs that are produced with subtlety, but also with some interesting atmospheres. I think we always had creative control, regardless of what label we were with. But the control with regards to promotion has helped us get it to as many people as possible. Also I think maybe the fact that it was our own label made us work a little harder!

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M: Can you give us a glimpse of what band life is like for The Coronas on the road? i.e. Are you independent off stage or do you hang out together? Friendly, competitive? Who lightens the mood? Feel free to go any direction with this :).

DO: We are all best friends and have been our whole lives really. We’re a close knit group of hairy Irish messers!  We enjoy a drink, watching sport and playing some PlayStation on long drives. Our crew are also very close to us, and we really just enjoy ourselves on tour, we love it.

M: What are you most looking forward to in touring Canada and America?

DO: Everything! Seeing some new cities, meeting new people, playing this new batch of songs that we’re so proud of in new venues! And Milk Duds! You can’t get them here!

M: Over the years, what would you consider a defining moment for The Coronas?

DO: Selling out the 3Arena in our hometown of Dublin to 15,000 people was pretty unreal! It was the culmination of years of hard work and was an amazing feeling to have our family and friends there with us for it

M: What are some of the obstacles and challenges you have overcome, or are still overcoming to accomplish what you have today?

DO: I think there are always obstacles in this industry.  We try our best to work hard and appreciate that we are lucky to get to do this for a career. That mindset has stood us well.

M: Looking back over the last decade, what is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had as a band?

DO: When we opened up for Paul McCartney, it was pretty incredible.  We got to meet him and he was lovely. We’re all huge Beatles fans so seeing his show was amazing!

M: What music is currently on replay on your playlists?

DO: The National, James Vincent McMorrow, Bon Iver, Alt J, Radiohead, London Grammar.

Watch the Coronas official video for single, “Real Feel” here:


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