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Therapy? Frontman, Andy Cairns Discusses "A Brief Crack of Light," Hopes To Return To America And Why The Band Will Always Be Outsiders

Photo of Therapy?

Band Photo: Therapy? (?)

Now in their twenty third year as a band, Northern Ireland's, Therapy? are still going strong having released one quality album after another. Their latest record, "A Brief Crack Of Light" will be hitting the shelves in North America next month, and MetalUnderground.com had the chance to speak with frontman Andy Cairns about the album, as well as when fans can expect them to cross the Atlantic, plans for the future and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Diamond Oz: First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. I’d like to start with your new album, "A Brief Crack Of Light" which will be released in the United States next month. Can you explain the meaning behind the title?

Andy Cairns: Hi, thanks for the interview, we're really excited that this album is getting a release in North America.

The album title comes from a quote by the Russian writer, Nabokov "the cradle hangs above an abyss and common sense tells us our existence is a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness". We felt the title fitted in with all the existential themes on the album. Watching life in all it's little dramas and absurdities all played out in such a short time span.

Diamond Oz: The album has been available in Europe since February. Why did it take so much longer for the record to be released in North America?

Cairns: We had to get the right people to put it out. We wanted to make sure that our North American fans could get a chance to be aware of the record and get their hands on it. A few of the people we talked to earlier didn't understand the band so we held off.

Diamond Oz: I really like the first single, "Living in The Shadow of a Terrible Thing," for a number of reasons. The music video was eye catching as well, how well did it relate to song’s lyrical subject?

Cairns: The video was an interpretation by the Manchester video collective, 'Sitcom Soldiers'. We sent them the track and lyrics and they came up with the concept which appears to be an ominous dystopian vision set in bleak northern England. It fits the tune well although it differs slightly from the thought behind the lyrics which deal with awareness and consciousness of death as everybody's inevitable full stop.

Diamond Oz: I had the pleasure of witnessing you perform on the Jagermeister tour this past April with Skindred and one of the highlights for me was the dedication of the new song, "Get Your Dead Hand Off Of My Shoulder" to Prime Minister David Cameron, during which you firmly stated, "This country deserves better." Is the song a critique of Cameron in particular, more a swipe at the Coalition government in general or does it have a different meaning entirely?

Cairns: The song deals with trying to get rid of the chains of history. Many people refuse to look to the future and in the process condemn themselves to live the past over and over again. This also applies to Cameron and his government who would gladly see us return to the days of Empire where everyone should know their place and the whole country would be run by private school educated buffoons.

Diamond Oz: Speaking of the Jagermeister tour, I’d like to ask how that went. Were you familiar with the guys from Skindred beforehand and whose idea was it to price the tickets so low?

Cairns: The Jager tour was great. we've known the Skindred guys from way back, in fact we used to play shows back in the day with Benji's old band, Dub War, on the bill. Cool guys, fantastic band. The idea of the low ticket price came from the promoters which was a brave but successful choice as all the shows were packed with really up for it fans creating an amazing atmosphere.

Diamond Oz: I noticed that your set (at least in Bristol) seemed to focus heavily on the new album and the classic, "Troublegum." Was there a reason behind this?

Cairns: We only had 45 minutes and we've got 13 albums so we had to promote our new record and give the fans a bit of a 'party' vibe. Seeing as Troublegum was a big hit in the UK it made since to slay them with the ahem, 'hits'.

Diamond Oz: You’ll be hitting the road once again this Autumn for a European tour. I noticed that most of the countries are more in the West of Europe, do you see yourselves being able to perform in countries like Russia, Poland, Ukraine etc. in the near future?

Cairns: We play in the east of Europe quite a lot, earlier this summer we played a big festival in Moscow in front of 30,000 people and we've played the balkans and Poland on recent tours. This coming festival we're going back to Scandanavia, Spain and Italy which we've neglected of late.

Diamond Oz: There’s a few months between now and the start of the tour, how will you be spending your time between now and then?

Cairns: We have a handful of summer festivals yet to play, some press commitments, a new video to shoot and hopefully we'll get a chance to begin work on some new material.

Diamond Oz: Are there any plans to tour North America next year to promote the new album?

Cairns: Boy, we'd so love to come back. We've had so much fun in the 90's and early noughties playing in North America and hanging out with other fans, musicians, friends. It all depends how this album is received, if the record companies/promoters think there is a demand for a bunch of rowdy Ulster rockers then hopefully we'll be there in 2013. In the meantime, any US Therapy? fans reading this, please let your local clubs/promoters/powers that be know that you'd love us to come and would bring a ton of your friends, in return you can let us know what tunes you wanna hear.

Diamond Oz: You released your first live album, "We’re Here To The End" in 2010, would you like to release more live material in future (including DVDs) or is this an area you’d prefer to visit infrequently, to save overcrowding your back catalogue?

Cairns: Not sure about more live stuff, with youtube there now seems to be less and less point in doing a live album. best to try and concentrate on making the live experience itself special so people want to actually be there and be part of it.

Diamond Oz: How do you see the band in the current climate of rock music and where do you think you could go from here?

Cairns: I think of us as perennial outsiders. We've always got something fresh to offer, we always follow our own path and we're stubborn as heck. Because we're not tied to a genre the door is always open for open-minded heads to discover us.

Diamond Oz: Thank you once again for your time. Do you have any parting words for our readers?

Cairns: Thank you too. I'd just like to say to all the fans in North America and anyone reading this on Metal Underground, thank you so much for your support over the years. We ve been going for over twenty years and without the fans we'd be nothing. We really will try and get over to see you if we can, it's been too long and i'll be personally heart-broken if we can't make it happen.

Therapy? will be releasing their new album, "A Brief Crack Of Light" on September 11th in North America, and is out now in Europe.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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