Five Minutes Alone - Andy Cairns
Total Guitar|December 2018
Five Minutes Alone - Andy Cairns

The Therapy? frontman and guitarist on transitioning from trombone to punk and alienating audiences

I got my first real six-string . . .

“I was 11 or 12. The happiest accident came when a neighbour of ours rapped the window one day and said, ‘Your son likes all that punky music that’s about. I’m going to throw this out but would he want this semi-acoustic guitar?’ I didn’t know how to play guitar. I was a trombonist in the school orchestra, so I could actually read music. But whenever I looked at people on the TV playing guitars I just thought what they did was pure sorcery.”

A word for my idols

“I’ve always had guitar heroes. When I was a kid, I could listen to and watch Geordie from Killing Joke play all day because he looks so effortless. But it’s an absolute symphony the sound that he has. And it’s the same when I watch someone like Duane Denison from The Jesus Lizard, or Kurt Ballou from Converge, or even Wes Montgomery. They are guitar heroes to me. I like people who viscerally move me.”

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December 2018