Therapy? - Summer 2023
Therapy? aren’t just one of the most original and influential bands to emerge in the early 90s. They are quite simply iconic. Throughout their career they have consistently delivered the very best in hard rock and now in their 33rd year they have released Hard Cold Fire, a wholly outstanding album which justifiably received cheers of joy from the entire rock community as it broke into the top 30 UK album charts. As the band prepare to take to the stage at Stonedead, we catch up with lead singer and guitarist Andy Cairns to discuss festivals, Hard Cold Fire, Marshall Records and the band’s autumn tour.
Therapy? have played hundreds of festivals over the last 33 years (the first festival I caught you at was the MTV rock and Ring festival in Germany in 1994). But what does it mean to be playing Stonedead and what is it about this festival that makes it so special?
I remember that festival very well! Well, Stonedead for us was a no brainer because we were aware of the festival for a start but our agent got in touch and went “Do you want to play Stonedead?”. We knew where it was and it’s not far from where Neil (Cooper) our drummer lives. With The Answer, Black Star Riders and Blue Oyster Cult, we love these bands, but then also what made it was that we like that is ‘one day, one stage, one monster rock show’. That’s what Donington used to be like and that’s what made it special: it was one day and you put everything into that one day. The one thing we found over the 33 years of touring is how bloated festivals have become and a lot of them have lost their original power, I think. And I think if you keep it exciting and concise – that’s what we liked about it.
One thing about this festival is that it actually gives fans opportunities to meet bands as part of the signing tent, and what I saw was a massive line to see Therapy?. How important is it for you to meet the fans and how do you feel when you see that almost endless line of people?
Well if it’s ever going to be an annoyance for me then I shouldn’t be doing this for a living because those people bought me my house. A lot of people say to Therapy? that the songs got them through dark times. We’ve been around over 30 years and we’ve had periods where we have been dropped by record labels, sold hardly any gigs and promoters won’t touch us but people will still come to the shows and tell us what we mean to them. So they’ve saved my life as much as I’ve saved theirs. So I will never forget them!
Now you’ve mentioned the other bands that are on today including The Answer and Black Star Riders and of course there is a strong Irish connection and feel to today’s event. What does it mean to have your neighbours-in-rock here with you today and how does it enhance your festival experience?
Well Ricky Warwick is a very, very good friend of mine and we actually used to live in Dublin together – not in the same house – but within a few miles of each other in the 90s. Before I got married we hung out a lot. The Answer we know very well and we’ve shared some crew with The Answer over the years, various guitar technicians and we know them really, really well. But it’s really sweet, we arrived at around 11 o’clock this morning and The Answer lads were there and it was great to see them and catch up! I haven’t seen Ricky yet but I did see him a couple of weeks ago when he played in London and it was great!
This year saw Therapy? release your incredible new album Hard Cold Fire, which is album number 16. I think one of the wonderful things about the new album is that you partnered again with the UK label Marshall Records which is part of the Marshall Amplifications Company, something which is clearly highly prestigious. What is it about Marshall Records that made you want to partner with them?
Well, this is our third record with Marshall. We did a greatest hits and we we’ve done a studio album and this is the second studio album. In 2018 we were looking for a record label and we got a phone call from a guy called Steve Tannett that works for Marshall Records. Steve used to work for Universal and on Ark 21, a sublet of Universal who did an album of ours in the 90s, and he started working for Marshall. He said “Look guys, I know you’ve got a new album recorded, we’d love you to be on Marshall”. We knew Steve, we’ve got history there, we know he works hard and he’s good. He introduced us to the team and the people loved it. Every record we’ve released with them since has done really well. The last one got into the Top 30 which is the first time in 20 years that one of our albums hit Top 30, and also in countries in Europe as well. They do a great job and I’d be churlish not to mention that I’ve been using their amplifiers since 1992 so there’s benefits for me as well! (Laughs!).
The great thing for fans is that you have a full UK tour later this year to support the new album Hard Cold Fire. How much are you looking forward to the shows and what can fans expect from a headline Therapy? show in 2023?
Oh, we’re going to love it because it means we can have fun with it and we get to play for fans. We’ll do our new album and we will do a lot of old stuff that people know. But it’s that kind of thing with us because we’ve been doing it for years, we love touring, once you get into the swing of it, it just becomes a festival of enjoyment. That’s why we still do it! When you’re out on the road and you’re playing to people every single night, you’re with all your friends and the band and crew, and the next thing you know it’s Christmas and everyone’s had a brilliant 3 months!
Check out the autumn tour dates and the video to Poundland of Hope and Glory from the new album below.