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Therapy?: Like A Phoenix from the Flames

Andy & Co.

Andy & Co.

Ireland has a habit of producing moany, whining singer songwriters, whereas the North….Fighting With WireIn Case of Fire… Just some of their exports over the last year, I’m telling ya, the place is bursting to the seams with some of the best fucking rock bands at the moment.

But it’s more than likely that Cahir O’Doherty or Steven Robinson pretended that they were Andy Cairns on more than one occasion whilst standing in front of their mirrors.

I know I did. And I imagine they too are delighted to hear that Therapy? are back with album number twelve: ‘Crooked Timber’.

Once contenders with Nirvana and Faith No More, Therapy? kept the scene alive while others crashed and burned. With their small but loyal fan base, they were able to continue recording and releasing albums over the years. For a band that’s been together nineteen years, Therapy? could write a handbook of the highs and lows of the music industry; at one point band members came and went through revolving doors, but still the fans hung on.  Sad to say their last few albums were lacklustre affairs, disappearing into the endless rows of shelves in HMV stores across the nation. Therapy? seemingly having lost their edge, misplaced the spark. Dare I say it, burnt out?

Losing as many records deals as drummers, 2001 found them wanting both a drummer and label after Graham Hopkins left, to seek centre stage fame with Halite, shortly after being dropped from Ark21 Records.

Rather than sit and throw a pity party for themselves, they fulfilled outstanding obligations to Universal Records with a compilation album before being picked up on Spitfire Records.

COMPLETING THE JIGSAW

Label sorted, Andy and Michael recruited current drummer Neil Cooper from Derby prog-metal band The Beyond, who comfortably slotted into the fold, completing the jigsaw that is Therapy? and continued their battle onwards.

But Spitfire, wary of Therapy? lack of commercial appeal, ended their relationship after only three albums.

No doubt a weight was lifted when Demolition Records took them in 2008, when morale in the Therapy? camp was low, and judging by this album, Demolition Records’ belief restored Therapy?’s song writing ability, as tunes sprang forth, forming what would become ‘Crooked Timber’.

Michael MacKeegan, Andy Cairns & Neil Cooper

Michael MacKeegan, Andy Cairns & Neil Cooper

REBIRTH

Their latest album is a nod back to the heydays of ‘Infernal Love’: epic old school Therapy? Older, wiser and back with a vengeance is the loud, brash, aggressive Therapy? Not since ‘Nurse’ or ‘Babyteeth’ has such a fire burned inside the Therapy? train of rock.

Of their new album, Andy says: I can honestly say it’s the proudest we’ve been.  A lot of the stuff from around ‘Babyteeth’ and ‘Pleasure Death’ will go very well with the new album”.

As the interview progressed onto the scenesters of today, hid behind his words, lay a tone of bitterness at the commercialisation of the scene that inspired him to ‘speed across Northern Ireland in order to make it to gigs after putting in a full day of work.’

Speaking of his disappointment of the current scene he said: The thing about punk that has got to me recently is that it’s so lucrative with certain types of punk. ‘The Jonas brothers’, ‘Mcfly’; they’re all pop punk: it’s completely cheapened the currency of that melodic pop punk music, so I can’t really listen to that sort of stuff anymore. But early ‘At The Drive-In’ and those kinds of bands that influenced slightly more intelligent, more diverse, more hardcore [bands] I’ll always have a place for.

NON-CONFORMISTS

While other bands changed and moulded to what’s popular at the time, Therapy?’s countless refusals to conform has cost them a couple of labels and a few more headaches than average, but what’s their secret to their longevity? What keeps them motivated? Andy explains: When you look at it, there’s two types of musicians out there; the ones that absolutely adore it and that will go on and keep on making music because they just love music, but there will be ones who will get into it as a step into show business. And I think with us we’ve always seen it about the music really”.

Watching the scene grow, explode and then die repeatedly, Andy believes the scene goes in circles… when Therapy? had started, if you told me 20 years later that ‘Guns N’ Roses’ or ‘Whitesnake’ would be bigger than ever. [laughs] I think everybody would of said Kurt Cobain did it all for nothing ”.

Therapy?, Looking Forward To Playing Dublin this May

Therapy?, Looking Forward To Playing Dublin this May

BACK ON THE ROAD

Demolition Records restoring faith, a European tour has been announced for this summer. With tickets purchased and trunks packed, this year’s European tour is going to be one to remember, as it’s also their 20th year together as a band.  Andy and co. are making this one a one to remember.

We never really made a song and dance about anniversaries of any of our big records and we thought with our 20th, it’s a bit of an achievement so we’re really going to pull out all the stops… We want to make this year’s tour about the new album and any golden oldies that complement the new album”.

In a world where bands are lucky to still be together after their sophomore effort, Therapy? have strived on, their love of music and adoring fan base being their driving force, pushing them forward, compelling them not to quit.

Therapy? are crashing into the Academy in May to bring their raw brand of schizophrenic, anger-filled music to the ears of their ever supportive Irish fans.

And I’m going to be there cheering on the rebirth of one of Northern Ireland’s greatest exports.

Are you?!…

www.therapyquestionmark.co.uk

Therapy? Tour Dates:

Apr 30th         Sky Club, Paceville, Malta
May 3rd          02 Academy 2, Newcastle, UK
May 4th          ABC 2, Glasgow, UK
May 5th          02 Academy Islington, London, UK
May 7th          Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
May 8th          University, Frankfurt, Germany
May 10th        Underground, Cologne, Germany
May 11th        Kato, Berlin, Germany
May 12th        Tivoli, Utrecht, The Netherlands
May 14th        Nerve Centre, Derry, UK
May 15th        The Academy, Dublin, Ireland

Therapy? – Crooked Timber

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