► We have seen a lot of bands come and go in NI, for various reasons ; what do you feel is the secret to your longevity and continued success?
I think we’ve always been into music…we like playing it, we like touring, we like recording, we like hearing new bands. The idea of being in a band was never to become famous or kick start a movie career…our main focus from day one was always to write and play music that excited us and that’s still the same today.
► Last year, Belfast Music Week gave you the opportunity to play a home-turf show at the Ulster Hall alongside The Answer and LaFaro, but having extensively travelled the world as a touring band, how does it compare to playing in front of a home crowd?
N.I. crowds are fantastic and it was such a great show playing alongside those two other killer bands. I suppose ‘hometown’ shows can be a bit nerve-wracking with so many friends and family there but I learned years ago just to approach it like anywhere else and to just do our thing. SO far that’s worked!
► Your forthcoming album “A Brief Crack of Life” seems to be one that you’re especially looking forward to, what is the main message behind this record? and was creating it any different to the creation of previous records?
We wrote the record pretty quickly and it all fell into place well…the main difference was the fact we co-produced for the first time so I suppose we personally took a bit more time making sure our sounds and parts all fitted. Sometimes you need a producer to be the ‘bad guy’ and give you a hard time just to get decent performances and make you up your game but I think the fear of screwing up the record made us all really focused.
► The album seems to have been heavily influenced by writers and philosophers, is this something that you found difficult to weave into music?
That’s one of Andy’s skills, he can take very complicated, quite heavy subjects/concepts and present them lyrically in a really clear and entertaining way. I really don’t know how he does it, it’s amazing.
► What musical influences have helped shape this album?
Lots and lots of stuff…quite a bit of electronic music which probably isn’t that obvious on first listen plus some of the older T? influences…Fugazi, Big Black, Die Kreuzen…there’s tons of music we were listening to. Hopefully once the album is out and people have had a chance to digest it we’ll do a little ‘mix’ and upload it to Soundcloud so folks can get a better idea of what we were into.
► With the new age of dubstep and electronic music, how important do you believe storytelling is in music?
That’s an interesting thought…I suppose it depends on the mood. A lot of electronic music is instrumental so that can be quite immersive, just having your own ideas and thoughts triggered by the melodies/sounds. I find well written lyrics just as immersive, it really depends on the artist and what kind-of attraction I have to the words.
► The upcoming tour next year sees you travel to the UK and around Europe, are there any cities or venues that you’re particularly excited about playing? What audiences never fail to go nuts when you visit?
Pretty much every crowd and night is different (even in the same venues and towns) so that’s what makes it exciting…keeps us on our toes so to speak. I’m looking forward to all of it to be honest…we have some awesome fans across the world so it’s always good to play live, especially that the new album will be out by then and we’ll have 10 or so new tunes to add to the set.
► We think your new live album is a great idea! It gives fans a chance to simulate a therapy gig atmosphere. How often do you get to see live music yourselves? And who was the last band who blew you away live?
Yeah, I suppose you could get a few drinks in and your friends to jostle you in the living room…give it that authentic gig vibe. Thankfully we get to see a lot of great shows…festivals are brilliant for that, we got to see the “BIG 4” from side of stage a few years back in the Czech Republic which, for a big thrash fan like me, was amazing. Other recent good stuff were The Secret in the Limelight and last week I went to see Luke Haines down in the Black Box…that was cool, he read from his books and played a few acoustic songs, not quite a brutal sick show but highly entertaining.
► Are there any Northern Irish bands that you hold in high-esteem?
Obviously The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers are a massive part of our musical background and of the ‘newer’ bands I like…Dutch Schultz, LaFaro, Burnt Reynolds, Desert Hearts, Lantern For A Gale, Robyn G Shiels, Cashier No9, Stand-Up Guy, Kasper Rosa….there really are a ton of great bands in NI now….I’m forgetting loads so apologies.
► Having achieved pretty much everything a band could ever achieve, what tips would you give to Northern Irish bands who want to follow in your footsteps?
Just to do your thing…first off you have to be playing music you love and don’t get bent out of shape if ‘success’ doesn’t come right away…if you’re any good people will eventually come round to your way of thinking. Also, have fun with it…enjoy yourself; music should be a positive experience! Also a sense of humor/the absurd goes a long way in dealing with the music biz 😉
► More than 20 years later and showing no signs of stopping, what can we expect of Therapy in the future?
This year (and beyond) it’s going to be a lot of touring for the new album, possibly work on some new stuff. We have very rough ‘concepts’ for the next two albums so we probably will start to work through those and see where that takes us. There’s a lot more to come!