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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
So this isn’t the start of a Bressie-like move into solo work?
“No, no, not at all! The only time I ever thought about going solo was just before Dave [McPhilips] joined the band and we were a three-piece. And I think that if you’re a three-piece, you have to have an amazing frontman, who’s just a whiz at pedals and guitars or samples and all that stuff, and I’m definitely not. So I felt we had gone as far as we could go as a three-piece.
“I never said this to the boys. And Dave always says he came in just at the start of the party because he didn’t have to do any crap gigs – because when he came in we already had a following. But the way I look at it, he saved the ship. I don’t think we could have gone further. But it wasn’t just about finding a fourth member. The way we work as a band, how we get on – it wasn’t getting a guitarist, it was getting a Corona. And now I wouldn’t do it any other way – if you go solo, when it’s good you don’t share it with anyone. And when it’s bad you can’t share the blame either! I dunno, maybe in ten years I’ll do a solo album for the craic, but probably not. I’m a Corona. That’s the way I like it.”
So if it isn’t a career-focused move, is it safe to assume it might have something to do with a certain blonde-haired MTV presenter?
The singer doesn’t even try to suppress the ear-to-ear grin that instantly spreads across his face.
Though he’s been seeing Laura Whitmore for a year now, it’s only recently that their relationship has started to attract real attention, at least in part due to Whitmore’s rising profile in London. The Bray beauty is not only a successful presenter and DJ but she has become the face of two clothing campaigns as well as RoC skincare products, a spokesperson for charity, and was recently voted ‘Sexiest Woman in Ireland’. You go, girl!
It’s interesting. While Danny has always been an essentially shy character, never seeking press attention, Whitmore’s personal life has fast become a source of fascination for many. And as she tweets about her loving boyfriend or mentions him in interviews, it means that O’Reilly’s life is coming under closer scrutiny too.