Corona beer isn’t the only thing that has a different ring to it after the coronavirus. There’s an Irish indie-rock band called the Coronas that will also now be forever associated with COVID-19. But the trio — which drops its sixth album, “True Love Waits,” Friday — had already made a name for itself since …
Corona beer isn’t the only thing that has a different ring to it after the coronavirus.
There’s an Irish indie-rock band called the Coronas that will also now be forever associated with COVID-19.
But the trio — which drops its sixth album, “True Love Waits,” Friday — had already made a name for itself since its 2007 debut, topping the charts and playing arenas in Ireland.
Here, frontman Danny O’Reilly, 35, reveals how they got their now-notorious moniker, why he didn’t mind quarantine and the story behind the Christmas Eve he spent with Bono.
How did you first come up with your band name?
We’re actually named after an old-school vintage typewriter called Smith Corona Deluxe. It was in this movie “Almost Famous” that we loved. So we just called ourselves Corona, and then we had to change [our name] because there was another band called Corona. So we became the Coronas.
What was your reaction when you realized you were sharing a name with the virus?
It made an already strange situation a little bit more bizarre, you know? . . . Initially we wanted to poke fun at our name, but it was obviously a serious thing, it was a serious situation, so we couldn’t really poke fun at it. There were definitely moments where I was worried it would have a negative effect on our band. But if anything, our social media engagement and our Spotify numbers are actually up. I’d like to think that’s because we’re releasing good music, but who knows?
So you never considered changing your name?
No. We’ve been at it for so long, and I think that would be sort of a defeatist attitude. We want to beat this virus, and we want the Coronas band to be a reminder that we’ve beaten it. We want to stand up to it.
How did you spend your quarantine?
I’m based in Dublin, but I got lucky in that, just before lockdown happened here in Ireland, I escaped to this lovely, isolated placed called Dingle in County Kerry. Initially, I thought I’d go to Dingle for just a week maybe, and then I was stuck down there for three months. It was absolutely beautiful. I had a little studio down there, a piano, and I got to write some music. To be honest, the isolation side of lockdown didn’t get to me.
Your second album, “Tony Was an Ex-Con,” won over U2’s “No Line on the Horizon” for Best Irish Album at the 2010 Meteor Ireland Music Awards. Did you ever imagine you’d beat U2?
Not in a million years. The Meteor Awards were like the Irish Grammys, and we were just happy to be at the awards. We were genuinely shocked. U2 is such an amazing band. What they’ve done for Irish music is just incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Bono a couple of times . . . Every Christmas there’s a charity busk where a lot of musicians get together and busk on Grafton Street in Dublin. The Christmas Eve before last, Bono came down, and we had a nice pint with him after, just was sitting there having a pint of Guinness on Christmas Eve with Bono. He’s so lovely. They say don’t meet your heroes, but he definitely didn’t let me down.
The Coronas also share a name with the beer. Are you a Corona drinker?
Funny, I used to drink it a lot, but then people would just make bad jokes, so it wasn’t even worth it. Now I tend to just drink Heineken.