History of Hinterland
Donal Coghlan: Vocals, keyboards, bass guitar, lyrics.
Gerry Leonard: Guitar, programming
Formed on the 7th January 1987
Hinterland was the collective name for Gerry Leonard and Donal Coghlan, a musical partnership
based in Dublin between the years 1987-1994. Although both had been in a verity of local bands
during the eighties, Leonard and Coghlan did not get to know each other until they moved to
Copenhagen in 1986.
Coghlan had decided on Denmark because he had spent the previous year in Dublin going in and out
of hospitals until he was diagnosed with M.S. and he felt he had to escape the "intensive care"
he had found himself in after he had left hospital.
Leonard moved to Copenhagen in pursuit of a romantic affair. Leonard had been given the word
that another young Irish musician was recently resident in the City and, one night, turned up
on Coghlan's doorstep. It was the start of a friendship which soon turned to musical matters.
From 1978, Coghlan had been in "The Departure", a popular Dublin band much influenced by
XTC and The Stranglers. Four years later he quit the local rock scene, vowing never again to play
live in this way. He opted instead, to concentrate on song writing and bought one of the first
Porta-studio's which he operated from his bedroom. One of his first clients, co-incidentally,
was a band featuring Gerry Leonard. This was in 1984, two years before their friendship was
Leonard meanwhile was also involved in the Dublin burgeoning rock scene. Soon after leaving
school he landed a job as tape operator in a twenty-four track studio. During the subsequent
three years he worked his way up the ladder, becoming a studio engineer.
At the same time Leonard was playing with Dublin outfit "The Spies" also attending the local
school of music studying guitar. After "The Spies" broke up he joined a group called "Above
When Coghlan and Leonard returned to Dublin they decided to get a musical partnership together
and to cut a long story short, Hinterland was formed. Having caused quite a stir in the music
business with own produced demos they signed to Island Records and publishing in 1989.
The group spent a lot of time in the USA promoting their first release on Island Records,
finally parting company with the label in 1994.
Copyright © 1997 Donal Coghlan