[Originally posted on UK Arts Directory 20/1/14]
I am very excited to be featuring one of my favourite bands here today. I’ve been a fan of Therapy? for many years and have seen them in concert a couple of times. They’ve consistently produced great rock albums over the years.
They recently released a box set containing previously unreleased music from 1989-2011, along with some remastered albums. The Gemil Box.
Therapy? have a UK tour lined up for April this year, and they’ll also be playing some festivals. They are an excellent live band so if you get the chance you should go and see them.
INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL MCKEEGAN
Therapy? has been around for over twenty years and you have been more or less active as a band throughout that time, with 13 albums to your name so far. What factors do you think have helped you survive in the music industry for so long?
Probably because we like music… we enjoying creating it, recording it and playing it live. We were music fans when we started and the band was a way of us playing the music we liked, that’s pretty much the mission statement today. We never latched onto any ‘scenes’ either, which meant once those hypes came and went we still were out there doing our thing. Also I imagine the fact each record has its own stylistic character means we’ve managed to avoid stagnating musically, we draw from a wide range of influences so that keeps it fresh for us (and hopefully the audience).
Have you noticed a change in your musical style or direction over the years?
It varies from record to record to be honest. I’m maybe not the best judge of that though I often hear people say they want to hear our new album to see ‘what we’re up to’ so I think it’s expected we’ll try different things on each album. I don’t think we’re similar to bands like the Ramones, Motorhead or AC/DC in that they work within a very strict set of musical parameters (and obviously do it really well).
You’ve had chart success, and have been on tours with major bands. What have been some of the highlights of your career to date?
Pretty much all of the past 24 years have been one big highlight, one thing that comes to mind recently was the box set we put out which had stuff right from our very 1st year of rehearsing (1989!) right up to tunes we recorded in 2011. Seeing all the songs and DVDs and the archival pictures in the book really brought home what a big body of work we have. Pretty amazing when I consider our humble beginnings in Northern Ireland. Of course the travel aspect is amazing as well, we’ve been lucky to go to and play all over the world and get to play and meet with some of our favourite musicians which is always a huge thrill.
The way people buy music has changed since you first started out. Which do you prefer CDs or downloads when buying music?
Purely for convenience I normally buy downloads unless the band is a favourite in which case I get the CD, or if it’s a nice package, the vinyl.
What do you think of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and do you think there are any sites in particular that can help musicians promote their music effectively?
I quite like them, though for rock/punk/metal bands nothing beats actually going out and building a fanbase via gigging and getting in people’s faces. Online my favourite has to be YouTube, that’s pretty much the first place I go for a listen when someone recommends a band or a track I haven’t heard.
I agree, YouTube is probably where I go first too!
Do you have any tips for bands that may be starting out as to how best to promote themselves?
As I mentioned above probably one of the best ways is to actually go out and play and talk to people and be social. Spread the word like that, support other bands/shows/releases and generally get involved. You might not become a huge star/band but if not you’ll still have a great time doing so, hopefully make some good friends and have cool experiences.
Do you have a favourite Therapy? album, and if so, why would you choose that one?
It’s a cop out but I always say “the next one”. Forward motion and all that!
You have a few tours planned for this year. Which ones are you most looking forward to, and why?
I pretty much look forward to every show regardless and the band always takes each show as ‘seriously’ as the last. We have some good festivals booked for this year (2014) so that’s always a good way to see other bands and enjoy a communal day out. Our own shows we’ve booked are to celebrate the 20 anniversary of “Troublegum” so the set list will be exclusively from that ‘era’, so we’ll be dipping into b-sides/rarities alongside the album tracks. Once the new album is out we’ll probably be touring for that and that’ll be the focus at those shows. So yeah, a varied batch of gigs to keep us on our toes.
Troublegum was probably the album that made me a Therapy? fan. It’s great 🙂
I read on your Facebook Page that you’re working on a new album for 2014. Can you tell us a bit about what fans can expect from the album?
We haven’t recorded it yet, so not really sure how to describe it. We’ll know better once it’s been tracked and mixed.
Any other news for your fans?
Basically there are “Troublegum” & “Infernal Love” ‘deluxe edition’ reissues (with extra discs of b-sides/EP tracks) are due March 2014, “TG20” shows April, festivals over the summer and brand new album end of the year. Other than that big thanks for everyone’s interest and support over the years, it’s very much appreciated. If you want to know more what we’re up to all the official news is at…
Thanks, Michael! Wishing you continued success!