Neil Cooper interview



1 What is in your pockets right now?

A snotty hankie, £7.20 and some chewing gum

2 Tea or coffee?

Tea. Yorkshire Tea to be precise.

3 If you could only watch one film and listen to one album for the
rest of your life what would they be?

Mmm? one album/film for the rest of your life?!!!! jesus! Well, one of my fave films is The Shawshank Redemption (triumph over adversity etc,etc) so maybe that and the album would probably be either Slayer's Reign in Blood or Public Enemy's Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Bloody hell, one film/album for the rest of your life? Are you sick?

4 What do you think of the British music scene at the moment?

I like a lot of up and coming UK bands. I've got my own DIY label which I've put
a few bands out on and a lot of the demos etc I receive sound really good. I
think it's great that bands and scenes tend to do the whole thing themselves these days.
With the obvious advantages of the internet etc bands don't need the helping hand they
once did. I feel the main problem new bands have got is that the media in the uk can be quite damaging to any new scenes that spring up. Without banging on for hours and hours, I think certain magazines and radio programmes are fantastic for new bands to get noticed but sadly I also feel those great mags/shows are far outweighed by the shit end of the media who will give new scenes a hot gimmicky title and hammer it as the next big thing without actually letting it grow in it's own way. Before you know it the scene's got some kind of "coca cola" type branding and is fucked within six months! and another thing!, recently I've met so many young bands who seem to be doing it for all the wrong reasons, and the sad thing is I don't feel it's their fault!! What do we expect from new bands when we've people like Jo Whiley spouting off  more about hair styles and what skinny jeans someone's wearing than who's actually any good? I'm sick of seeing bands spend more time in the fuckin barbers than in the rehearsal room! Bah humbug, it wouldn't happen in my day…….. etc etc. (Don't even think about getting
me started on Pop Idol. The damage being done, oh, the damage being done….)

5 Have you ever been attacked by an animal?

i was bitten by a dog and a horse when I was a kid.

6 Who are you're influences? Favourite drummers, songwriters etc?

Fave drummers – Neil Peart (Rush), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Stuart Copeland (The
Police) The bands/songwriters that influenced me – Dead Kennedys, Metallica, The Police,
Fugazi, Shellac, Slayer, Rush

7 When did you get into music and what bands did you listen to growing up?

I started having drumming lessons when I was 11 yrs old. The first band I got
into was Kiss (Kiss Alive 2 – what a record!) Then my older brother gave me Rush
"2112" (and my life was never the same again etc etc). The 2 bands I loved around the age of 13/14 were Metallica and Slayer – class! Around 17yrs old I started listening to/drumming along to Mudhoney & Fugazi etc and loads of techno white labels.

8 What advice and tips would you give to any up-and coming drummers?

Whatever band you're in, play with conviction – obviously it helps if you're into the band you're playing in!! Never simply copy your favourite players. Have influences and use them but always make your playing your own.

9 What is your favourite Cable song and which was your favourite to play?

Fave to play – Oubliette or Hydra Fave to listen to – Choice or Murdering Spree

10 What is your fondest Cable memory?

Shit, that's a tough one. I've got so many brilliant memories from that time.
A period I loved was when we were recording those first 7" singles. We were
simply doing what we did and genuinely didn't care what anyone thought – it's amazing
how rare that is. Or maybe – playing in Amsterdam or doing our first "Peel" session for
radio one or hiring Atwal vans that you could see the road through the floor of… brilliant.

11 What was you're favourite / worst gig you played with Cable?

Not favourite/worst but probably one of the most 'memorable' was a gig we played
in Coventry (can't remember the name of the venue) and you could  sense before we even sound checked that it was going to be an odd one. Even the support band seemed completely off their heads. Anyway, Matt decided to get not just pissed but out of his mind! We started with Blindman which was outrageously bad then into Choice. Matt could hardly stand never mind play guitar and sing. We got half way through Choice and Pete began smashing up his bass whilst Matt attacked his amp and Darius, in a moment of  pure genius in my opinion, calmly put his guitar down and walked off the stage.Through the bedlam I jumped off the front of the stage and went to tell our sound engineer (Fuzz of Silverfish fame) that we had finished the gig! He had his head down behind the mixing desk sorting out some effects and hadn't noticed the carnage on stage! Because it was early days for us, we were unknown and basically playing in front of the support bands crowd. Well they went mental, literally. A bouncer had to stand in
front of the stage to stop them trashing what gear was left on the stage!! At the time the gig felt like a nightmare, but now I look back and it's probably one of my fondest memories. Gigs like that are legendary!!

12 Were you ever injured during any of the Cable shows?

An occasional stick in the face etc and knackered hands but the funniest injury
was the time the valves in Matt's amp popped out. We were doing a "live" radio session in Amsterdam and Pete had been telling Matt not to put his amp on it's side cos of the valves coming loose. The first song went well, then Matt's amp "died". Pete started grabbing at the valves pushing them back in. The thing is, these valves were red hot and we've got another two songs to play 'live'. On top of that, as Pete starts grabbing at the valves he turns to me, realising he needs a few extra seconds to sort this out, and says
"Hold on" I miss hear him and shout "ok!" and promptly start counting in the next tune "1 2 3 4 " bish bash bosh. Pete's stood, startled, hands blistering and scrambling to get in to the song on time. They were the days!

13 Do you remember your last show with Cable?

Yep, supporting Ash at the LA2 in London. A sad but brilliant gig, I loved every

14 What ultimately made you decide to leave Cable?

Long story really. Basically I was playing in another band at the same time as I was playing in Cable. Both bands were releasing singles, getting great reviews and touring and it started getting mental. I would be coming back off tour with one band and going straight back out with the other. A couple of the members from that band were in The Beyond with me before I started playing in Cable. Because I'd known them since school that was probably the main factor. Nothing at all to do with musical preference.

15 Tell us about Sumo records and how you and Pete came to set that up?

Sumo is my label which sadly I've had to put on hold recently due to the lack of
time I have at home. I'm always away touring/recording with "Therapy?" because I
do the whole thing on my own it's difficult keeping things ticking over. I still organise the "Inner City Crawl" which is an annual event in Derby which involves 3/4 venues and 10-12 acts playing throughout one day.

16 How did you come to join Therapy?

The band I first played in, The Beyond, toured with Therapy? in 1990. That was one of the first tours both bands had done and we were put together due to us both being seen as "full on" without being "metal". So I'd met the fellas before. Then in 2001 I bumped into Andy Cairns(guitar/vox) at a 'Rival Schools' gig in London. He told me they were looking for a drummer and would I want to do it. Simple as that! I had a rehearsal with them which in fact was one run through of 16 songs (yep, you read correctly, ONE run through) and then flew out to Portugal to headline a festival. Following that we went into rehearsals for the next album "High Anxiety" and I was asked to join the band.

17 What's the best thing about being in Therapy?

I love what we're doing as a band. It's great playing as a three piece alongside
two amazing players, writing and touring the world. And the icing on the cake? Making a living from it. Brilliant!

18 What's the most rock n roll thing you've done whilst on tour?

Erm? The most "Motley Crue" moment would involve a gig in Edinburgh,
a 'victim', a kidnapping and dog meat in places you wouldn't , erm, want dog meat.
I would just like to add – this happened a long, long time ago!
I'm very civilised now, don't you know?

19 Tell us about what you're up to next with Therapy?

Were about to support Motorhead in Ireland then we're off to tour Germany. We
finish off in Romania before Christmas which brings to a close the touring for our
latest album "One Cure Fits All", although more dates are already coming in for early next
year. The rough plan is to record a new album next summer for a release in 2008.