Sunday 26 February 2017

Irish Drummers; So you were with My Little Funhouse and then you joined Therapy?. Was it as simple as that? 

I was with My Little Funhouse for three years, around the time the bass player Gary decided to leave the band. It was really cool because my best friend Joe (we went to school together) was here in Clane (Naas,Co.Kildare) and the guys needed a bass player and like who are you going to get in L.A.? So I said "Guys, my mate Joe would be really great for the gig" so they took my word for it and without even hearing him play, flew him out to L.A. So for the last year I was in the band, Joe Doyle from Kildare was in the band. It was really good, I had the guys from Kilkenny, I had my best friend with me in the band, which was brilliant, so everything was cool. Then after about a year or so (I was in the band for just over three years) I felt the band just wasn't driving me and around the start, the very start of 2006, Fyfe Ewing left Therapy?.

Irish Drummers; Then you get the call from Therapy?

And then through people that we knew, like Bob O'Brien, Tom Skerritt (they helped me get in to My Little Funhouse), Darragh Butler and Cormac Battle (from Kilkenny bands Kerbdog and Wilt), I got in contact with Therapy?. So I go along and jam with them and have an audition.

Irish Drummers; That must have been exciting!

It was fantastic. It was in The Factory in Dublin. They called me back that evening or the next morning and said "Hey, do you want to come back in and jam with us?", so I went back in and jammed. They are very nice and the following day they asked me if I would like to join the band. Talk about another mind blowing experience! My Little Funhouse was great and just as far as a band like Therapy? is concerned, like where they were at the time and with Fyfe Ewing being as expressive as he was, drum wise, so to have that kind of outing, I would be able to free myself expressively. So I was just overly excited, it was great, so I went on to be in the band for six years. I don't know where to begin or where to end with stories of what happened with Therapy?.  It was a fantastic time. I met three guys in the band because Martin McCarrick joined the band the same time as me. Martin played Cello. He was in Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil and Siouxsie and The Banshees. During those six years we just went through amazing times, headlining festivals all over Europe and the States.
Irish Drummers; What was your first festival with Therapy?

I remember my first festival with the band, playing in front of a hundred thousand people at Pinkpop and I think I just nearly puked before I went on because we were on just after Rage against the Machine and Alanis Morissette. After like all of these f****n bands and I was just like, "What? How? Where? When?". So then, like every festival that we do, that would be the scenario. After a while you just acclimatise to it in a really nice way, because there was such camaraderie with the family. It was lovely, a beautiful six years you know, it was great.

Irish Drummers; When you were with Therapy? you were playing live and recording with them so I suppose that meant bringing your own style to it all?

It changed; it changed the band I know without a doubt. Ah, yeah I wasn't going to change who I was as a drummer. Understandably, there was a lot of hardcore fans going, "Hold on, he has changed it!". Fyfe Ewing, a fantastic drummer, had a very signature sound which was incredible.

Irish Drummers; Did you find, Graham, at that stage when you were recording or playing live, that you had 100% control over what you were playing with Therapy? or did the lads say, "Look, we want you to play like this"?

No, not at all, that was the fantastic thing about being in the band. There was fantastic freedom in Therapy?. The lads knew they lost a good mate in the band. They knew things were sonically going to change, but they gave everyone in the band musical freedom. We just did whatever. They knew they got somebody else in, who was going to be a completely different player but there was nothing anybody could do about it you know, like Martin came in the same time as me so it's just everybody's free reign to do their own thing. I swear I wasn't overly concerned with what people thought musically, I was just going to play my heart out and have good fun. I was at such a young age, I was twenty when I joined the band. I wasn't going to get overly paranoid about my playing. I was like f**k it, I am just going to play the shit out of this kit. I really enjoyed Fyfe Ewing's playing, especially with that timbale thing. I did put a twelve inch snare at the side of my kit because there was so many songs which always had that so, of course, I had to play all of those bits like 'teethgrinder' but I was never going to emulate Fyfe's playing. I played those signature bits but I just played my own version of them and that was it. We never used to sit down and do assessments of the gig afterwards and listen to post gig analysis. That was never done. We would just go, get drunk and have a merry time. We never sat down and went, "Shit, why didn't you do this? Why didn't you do that?". That was never what Therapy? was about, which was fantastic.