Therapy? are back. Again. Time has been kind to the band; it doesn't seem that long ago when they were the darlings of the music press, with their dark hybrid of punk, metal and pop. But times have changed, and Therapy? have changed with the times. Literally. The sound has veered off into rockier territories and members have come and gone. But that hasn’t deterred Therapy?, who are still going strong, and with rock music outselling every other form of music at the moment, they're as relevant as ever. I caught the band at Birmingham Academy, and had a brief chat with vocalist Andy Cairns about how their new album is going down live.
How's Therapy? doing these days?
It’s going really well. We’re all really into it again at the moment.
Is this because you have a new drummer?
Yeah, Neil Cooper. After Graham left we found out that Neil, who used to be in some bands we liked, actually WANTED to play in Therapy?, and he’s such a good drummer. In many ways he’s kind of like Fyfe (Therapy?’s original drummer). He plays in a very similar way, really belts the drums.
You’ve been around for a while now, and you’ve seen the popularity of rock music come and go. Would you say that your audience has changed much over the years?
Yes and no. There’s still the old fans, but they tend to stand nearer to the mixing desk with their arms crossed! At the front there are loads of young kids who must have been around nine when 'Troublegum' came out, which I find amazing, and they’re really getting into it.
Do you find that radio stations have been supportive to Therapy? lately?
Well, XFM have been great; they’ve played the new single loads. Also a lot of rock stations. Steve Lamacq has played it a couple of times. Mary-Anne Hobbs absolutely hated 'Suicide Pact' and refused to play anything from it, and only played the singles off 'Shameless' once or twice.
Have you found that the internet has helped out, where national radio hasn’t?
Absolutely, it’s helped lots. To be honest, we were really slow to see the potential in using our website, but we’ve really worked on it lately. My wife called me up after the Manchester gig, and she told me that in the chat room there were people who had never seen Therapy? before, and that Manchester was their first gig, which is really cool. Also we have got loads of fan sites all over the world: Germany, Spain, even Chile!
That night’s gig at the Academy, it became apparent that as Therapy? have changed labels, lineups, and styles, their fanbase has definitely gotten younger. Opening with 'Hey Satan You Rock', the set was practically a greatest hits set, with 'Troublegum' material featuring prominently. It wasn’t all oldies though; there were also plenty of tracks from the new 'High Anxiety' album. 'If It Kills Me', 'Stand in Line' and 'Rust' all had the trademark Therapy? sound: heavy riffage, playful irony, and bucketloads of energy. New drummer Neil Cooper fitted in a dream and helped the band to play one of the hardest sets I’ve seen them play in a while.
If you weren’t lucky enough to see the band on this short tour, worry not; you’ll get your chance to rock like Satan in September, when they embark on a proper full UK tour. Or you can wait 'til the end of the year when the band will be releasing their first ever DVD, featuring loads of live material from the archives as well as footage from the two tours this year. Seems like we're all going to recieve lots of Therapy?