"Not that many bands seem to give a shit but we do. We always have" : DiS meets Ian Astbury of The
A year short of their thirtieth birthday, The Cult have become something of an institution in rock and roll circles. Prior to forming in 1983, frontman Ian Astbury had already started to make his mark on the post-punk scene with Southern Death Cult and its later renamed guise, Death Cult. The latter's line-up being a prototype for The Cult, it's perhaps no surprise several songs from that era made it onto the next phase.
Alongside his Death Cult bandmates - former Theatre Of Hate guitarist Billy Duffy and bass player Jamie Stewart - Astbury recruited drummer Nigel Preston (now sadly passed away) and The Cult were born. Debut single 'Spiritwalker' announced their arrival in style, its tribal rhythms blending with Duffy's trademark guitar sound and Astbury's unique vocal styling to create one of the 1980s most pivotal records. Inaugural album Dreamtime soon followed to a wave of critical acclaim, but it wasn't until the arrival of follow-up long player Love a year later that commercial success ensued. Regarded by many including Astbury himself as the band's definitive period, Love spawned a trio of hit singles including 'She Sells Sanctuary', arguably their signature tune and most instantly recognisable five minutes of their entire career.
Worldwide mainstream success continued with 1987's Electric and its successor Sonic Temple two years later, although a succession of line-up changes and internal wrangling between Astbury and Duffy led to 1991's Ceremony underachieving both critically and in terms of sales figures. By 1994's self-titled and sixth long player, it seemed The Cult's best days were behind them, and came as no surprise after that record's tour that the band went their separate ways.
Having re-united briefly at the turn of the century, Astbury and Duffy recruiting ex-Guns'n'Roses drummer Matt Sorumand Porno For Pyros bassist Martyn LeNoble culminating in 2001's Beyond Good And Evil, the band went into hiatus once more. It took a further three years for yet another new line-up to emerge, this time featuring Astbury, Duffy, bassist Chris Wyse and drummer John Tempesta, ironically the longest running version of The Cult in the band's history and the same one active today. Reinventing themselves with the vibrant Born Into This, produced by Killing Joke bassist Youth and easily their most exquisitely crafted record in two decades, The Cult's subsequent live shows reaffirmed the notion that any assertion they were a spent force was decidedly premature after all.
Now, with ninth long player Choice Of Weapon ready to go, DiS finds itself in the company of a resolute Ian Astbury, proud of a record he calls "possibly the finest I've ever put my name to." For the next hour and twenty minutes the conversation covers his musical journey from his beginnings with the Southern Death Cult through to the present, his uneasy relationship with the music press and his fledgling career as a promising young footballer in Glasgow.
DiS: The Cult's new album Choice Of Weapon is released in the UK on 21st May. I remember you saying a couple of years ago that The Cult wouldn't be making any more albums as you believed that particular format to be dead. What's changed your mind and do you think Choice Of Weapon will surprise a lot of people that had previously written the band off?
Ian Astbury: Two years ago we'd just finished with Roadrunner Records. It wasn't a brilliant marriage. We didn't have a particularly good relationship. They were always trying to push The Cult as a metal band. The main marketing guy on the project also worked with Slipknot, so obviously we were never going to be the right fit for each other. I think it was just the demise of the industry and labels in general that prompted me to say that. We'd been making music for the best part of thirty years so we wanted to try something different. I came up with the idea of the format for the Capsule EPs. What I wanted was a title that would be relevant to both the twenty-first century and the format, and having an EP pretty much refers to putting three or four tracks out on vinyl, which I guess is quite twentieth century in many ways. What I wanted to add were some visual elements, so we did dual CD/DVD sets and digitally available FLAC, MP3 and MP4 files. Which sounds great on paper but then you have the fact we became our own label. We got bogged down in a lot of administration and marketing tasks and it became a bit of a drag. That's one of the reasons why we stopped with the EPs after Capsule 2. The other reason was that we'd built up a great relationship with Chris Goss when were making the EPs, and we had this batch of new songs that we'd started to record with him and it was going really well. Once people started to hear the songs, mainly hardcore Cult fans, it seemed to trigger an unprecedented demand for more music. The next thing we had labels banging on the door, and a few deals were offered our way and even then our initial response was to just carry on releasing the songs as multiple EPs, but Cooking Vinyl who we signed to insisted they were good enough for a full album so we thought "What the hell? Let's go for it!"
DiS: It must be quite challenging and also bizarre for someone who's been making records for so long to find yourself part of an industry that's now geared more towards making individual tracks for downloading than full albums.
Ian Astbury: Again it comes back to formatting, and after a while you start to subconsciously write songs specifically for a certain format. So when I think back to the early days of The Cult, when we were putting together Dreamtime or Love, we specifically set out to create albums. We grew up with that culture. At the same time, I think we've experienced the other side as well, particularly when it came to writing Capsule. Not that we've ever been cynical enough to put any real emphasis on something like that. Once we're in the studio we tend to forget about formatting. It's all about trying to make the best record possible. I do agree that there are artists out there who specifically gear their songwriting towards that single track/download audience. I think a lot of it is down to having too much information readily available. It's almost as if music's become a distraction. Video games have taken up a huge chunk of young people's lives. Somewhere along the line that rite of passage has been taken away. A combination of video games, the explosion of hip hop and also dance culture as well. For want of a better word the marketplace has become a lot more congested with other options. It's a cultural black hole.
DiS: That's a valid point. It's also worth mentioning how many artists and their labels push for their songs to be included on the soundtracks for certain high profile video games.
Ian Astbury: Totally, although for an artist to get their music featured on a video game can be a major platform nowadays. When I was working with UNKLE 'Burn My Shadow' got picked up by 'Assassin's Creed 2' and it got millions of hits on You Tube as a result. I'm not sure how many bands deliberately set out to make music specifically for video games but in terms of raising an artist's profile it's essential to get associated with that industry as it has become the most contemporary platform available. The big myth was to get 'Guitar Hero' to sell your music. Soundgarden tried that with their greatest hits compilation a couple of years ago. They reported to the American recording history that they'd sold a million copies which was complete and utter bullshit! It wasn't even a hard copy, it was just a digital download that came free with 'Guitar Hero'. But then at the same time you don't get video game companies talking about what they haven't sold in the same way you do with record labels. They don't report failure; it just goes away. It's like when you take your iPod to the Apple store to get it repaired only to be told they don't service that one any more as it's out of date now.
DiS: Moving onto the album, it's quite fresh and revitalising as a whole body of work. Songs like 'For The Animals' could quite easily slot into the Love era while 'The Wolf' sounds like it could have been made around the time of Sonic Temple or Ceremony. It almost feels like a celebration of the band's history, yet at the same time, there's quite a dark side lyrically. For example 'Wilderness Now' mentions "Death walks right beside me, a light shines bright behind me." Is the record a reflection of different moods or personal issues that were happening in your life at that particular time?
Ian Astbury: The main writing period took about two to three years. The majority of the record was written in New York, part of it in the Himalayas. I guess you could say that a lot of it is about questioning my own relevance. The meaning of life. Where am I at. What is the point of continuing with this? Reaching that kind of place. The Cult pretty much started off with a strong profile. We came out of the post-punk scene and never really looked back for about twelve years or something after that. Everything seemed to be ascending at lightning speed. We didn't really grow up. I mean, we grew up inside the band but anything that was experienced from childhood became skeletons in the closet. I don't think we consciously dealt with any of that stuff, and so as time passes on you become more introspective. It was a combination of that and reaching my early forties and thinking am I relevant now. A lot of self doubt, and then there were other things going on. I went through a really bad relationship break up and also one of my best friends committed suicide. I've destroyed my left hip in several motorcycle wrecks. When I was sixteen I was living in Canada and I actually got dragged through an intersection by a Porsche. Despite that, I still used to jump around on stage and climb up PA and speaker systems for twenty years until one day I had to be carried off stage crying in agony. I had to see a surgeon in New York and my hip was resurfaced. He said I wouldn't be able to run again but I'd still have an active life, and I was like "What?!?" That wasn't what I wanted to hear. It was quite soul destroying. So I tended to stay in my apartment a lot, which was almost quite monastic. I wouldn't come out until dusk, just aimlessly walking the streets and basically spending a lot of time on my own. This went on for a couple of years and then in late 2009 I started to come out it. My friends actually helped haul me out of it. So when I write a lyric like "Death walks right beside me" it has a fairly autobiographical ring to it because I certainly contemplated it. After my friend committed suicide, that no longer became an option.
DiS: The song 'Lucifer' also seems to be about a specific person or event, as well as being one of the heaviest pieces of music The Cult have recorded in years.
Ian Astbury: I guess that would also be quite autobiographical as 'Lucifer' could almost be me in many ways. It's about my more indulgent period during the 80s and 90s. Things that happened after midnight with Primal Scream. It's been quite well documented in certain quarters! It's also inspired by my mind's idea of a narcissistic, rock and roll icon's lifestyle. The kind of icon whose haircut and lifestyle takes precedence over their actual creativity. The real thing that made that song was a billboard I saw in Los Angeles of Bunker Spreckels, who was a famous surfer that died in 1977. I didn't know a lot about him until I saw that, but his story is fascinating. Kenneth Anger made a film about him called 'My Surfing Lucifer', and this advertising billboard depicted him surfing this huge wave that had been made through flames with the film's title scrawled beneath in Anger's handwriting. When I saw it I had to go out and buy it and the whole thing is just incredible, so I took part of the idea for this song. Bunker Spreckels family were incredibly rich. They owned this sugar plantation off the coast of Hawaii, and he inherited around fifty million dollars when he was just twenty-one. He was this maverick guy with a ridiculously incredible lifestyle. Clark Gable ended up marrying his mother. He believed his own mythology, if that makes sense...
DiS: It's probably fair to say The Cult have enjoyed something of a mixed relationship with the music press over the past three decades, particularly in the UK. Do you pay much attention to what people are saying or writing about you? Has there ever been a point where it did affect the band?
Ian Astbury: When we started the band we were all big music fans, so we used to buy the NME and Sounds when we were teenagers. To then actually make records and be able to read about them was genuinely exciting at the time, but I was never prepared for some of the reactions we received. It probably sounds quite cliched but all we really wanted to do was make records and go on tour and hang out with our friends. We weren't trying to become critically acclaimed or anything like that. We just wanted to get on with it but then all of a sudden we started to get noticed and some of the reviews were quite negative so at first, we would say, "Why don't they like us? We haven't done anything to offend them." After a while you kind of realise that from the record company's perspective you are a commercial vehicle and so it becomes an expectation that people will critique what we do. Initially I'd read some of the more character slanderous pieces - someone once wrote that my mother was sniffing glue when she gave birth to me - and it would tear me apart. My mother died of cancer when I was seventeen. One of the biggest misconceptions about The Cult was that we were these guys from the north of England that liked to hang out and talk like they came from LA, yet I grew up in North America! I grew up in Canada, and that's where my accent comes from so it's actually quite legitimate. That became a reference point so people started to question the credibility of the band and what I was saying and what my experiences were. Yet a lot of what I went through in my childhood was very painful, especially between the ages of fourteen and seventeen. It was almost as if it became the norm to denigrate The Cult because of this. Even Q magazine recently did a retrospective piece on us and seemed to focus on it, Mojo magazine as well four or five years ago. The headline read "Wigwam Bam: The return of The Cult".
DiS: For me, one of the greatest facets of The Cult has been that you've never been afraid to change direction, pretty much with every record. Surely that's better than sticking to the same formula and churning a record out in a similar vein every so many years?
Ian Astbury: It's just lazy journalism. To a lot of those people we're either goths or wannabe hard rockers that live in LA, ride Harley Davidsons and hang out with Billy Idol and lots of other ex-pats. I've never lived like that. Just because I live in Hollywood Hills doesn't mean I drive a range rover! Even some of the more positive reviews seem to focus on negative aspects. I read one from an Irish newspaper recently and it seemed to talk about The Cult bucking the trend for middle-aged rock stars rather than the actual music itself. I try not to buy into it. There was a time when it would bother me but nowadays I try and transcend it. But then at the same time we've always been ostracised. We've never been invited to any of the major awards ceremonies, especially in the UK. I think we've contributed a lot to music during the course of The Cult's existence. We've had our audience, and we really care about music. Not that many bands seem to give a shit but we do. We always have. It's my life, it's my way of life. I don't go out there to be a pastiche. This is real. People ask me why I take it so seriously and I always answer, "Why, don't you take what you do for a living seriously?" I guess whenever I come back to the UK I do feel like an exile. It's difficult when we come back to the States, places like North America where The Cult are genuinely embraced by journalists and different sections of the media. We had a Top 40 hit in Seattle on their mainstream radio station, which is pretty much unheard of for a UK artist. We played a gig there and anyone who's anyone from what later became the grunge movement was there, so we're kind of influential in that way. We took Guns'n'Roses on tour before most people knew who they were, even worked with Def Jam when most rock bands gave that whole a scene a wide berth. But then we'd come back to the UK from New York and people would ask why did we go there to make a record when we could have made it over here. So I explain that we made an album with Rick Rubin and they still can't understand why we didn't do it in London instead! I don't know if it's naivety or jealousy. So then I'd be walking through Leicester Square in a Mariachi suit and get chased by skinheads. It was almost like I became a target in the UK wherever I walked. I hated being objectified in that way, and after so long I just burned out, lost it. Adam Ant style.
DiS: You and longtime Cult guitarist Billy Duffy have had quite a few ups and downs over the years, although things appear to be settled at present. In fact, the current line-up has been together seven years making it the longest unbroken, and possibly most stable Cult line-up to date.
Ian Astbury: Billy and I, our relationship, it just is. We're family. This is what we do. This is what gets us off. It's just like any other relationship. You have to work at it and there's a lot of soul searching to do in order to get to that special place. Now's really good. We're really tight as a unit. We've been playing some great shows. We did South By Southwest last month which was fun. The current line-up is definitely the most stable one we've had.
DiS: Do you regard it as the definitive line-up of the band even...?
Ian Astbury: In some ways, yeah. I mean, at one time the definitive line-up would probably have been the one with me, Billy, Jamie Stewart on bass and Nigel Preston on drums. That's the one which recorded 'She Sells Sanctuary'. But then Nigel had some lifestyle, substance problems and so he wasn't on the video for 'She Sells Sanctuary'. That was Mark Brzezicki from Big Country playing, and he ended up recording the Love album with us. Most bands could have probably retired at that point. We'd made our seminal record, now we can just cruise along. Except we didn't. We went away and made a completely different record to anything we'd done previously. We did go back to Steve Brown who produced Love with the demos for Electric, but when we played them back it was obvious something wasn't working. I remember suggesting Rick Rubin to the rest of the band at the time and when the chance came to work with him, we decided to re-record the whole thing. Then we followed that with Sonic Temple which was even more different to the last one. We met Bob Rock and he was a really cool guy. We knew that he was the right person to take all the finer elements of Love and Electric to the next level. At first I thought it was going to sound something like Disraeli Gears. I just wanted to make a classic record. I think the only time I'd maybe want to retract anything from our previous records would be off Ceremony. That's the only time we've made an album with a self-conscious agenda because Sonic Temple ended up being so big. It kind of dominated our lives making the follow-up to that, and if there's one period of my life with The Cult I didn't enjoy it would have to be then.
DiS: What's your relationship like with former members of the band? I noticed both Jamie Stewart and Mark Brzezicki came on for the encore during the Love tour a few years ago for example.
Ian Astbury: I don't really have one to be honest. I'm not a great person for keeping in touch with people. There are some people that I've known for the best part of my life and haven't seen for thirteen or fourteen years and they're still active, still creative, still passionate about making music. The thing with Jamie (Stewart) was that he just drifted away. His wife pulled him off the road after Sonic Temple and so he pretty much left the band after that. I hadn't seen him in over a decade so it was amazing to see him again at that show. There was a lot of incredible love there. But at the same time, he's moved on with his life. It was great playing with him and Mark again. We had a completely different chemistry together. It felt like the old days when we were playing small venues and clubs, so much raw energy. Some people like Nigel Preston for example, I was very close to. Once you lose a friend like that....you know, they slip this mortal coil, you tend to keep certain relationships very close to you. I have a very small, tight circle of friends. They're based all over the world, some in New York, some in London and wherever, but we have a tight bond and communicate with each other fairly regularly. It's almost like having relationships with characters from a dream.
DiS: I guess it also didn't help that Britpop had come along and made a lot of artists seemingly redundant over night.
Ian Astbury: Yeah, totally. It was also the first time that we'd experienced a real generational shift. I was twenty-seven going on twenty-eight years of age, yet we were now considered to be old because we'd been around a while! We were now "those guys". It wasn't as if we weren't aware of a lot of the music that influenced that era. I was obsessed with both Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses especially. I love The Second Coming. I think it's one of the most underrated albums of the last thirty years. When you consider all the legal wrangles they had to go through first to make and than release that album. It's an incredible record. I can kind of empathise with them because people obviously had different expectations of what that record was going to sound like, and for many they didn't meet those expectations. Yet the fact they dared do something completely unexpected for me suggests they actually exceeded them. I think we've been in a similar place so many times, and after Sonic Temple we felt we'd reached breaking point. Before that we'd always viewed making a record as being a way of keeping us on our toes. It's not like we're doing anything else. Making a record should be about making you feel good, and that's what I'm getting from Choice Of Weapon. The way the songs developed to the recording and playing them live. I feel like we're playing our ace card, revealing all and giving everything we've got.
DiS: It's interesting you say that because one of the things that strikes me about Choice Of Weapon is it almost feels like a live album, or at least a setlist played in order.
Ian Astbury: We set out to make this in a similar way to how we would play the songs live. There's nothing on Choice Of Weapon that I wouldn't include as part of a live set, put it that way, whereas looking back through our back catalogue there are some songs which would sound out of place in that kind of setting.
DiS: With such a vast amount of songs to choose from stretching back thirty years, how do you decide what to include or omit from the setlist? It must be a fairly laborious process I would've thought?
Ian Astbury: I thoroughly enjoyed doing the Love Live Tour a few years ago. We did fifteen dates or so and every one was amazing. I think we may even do something with that record again because the reception was bonkers! I guess the main part of choosing our setlists is trying to centre them around the audience and the venue we're playing. It's also important that we play songs that are representative of where we're at now, so 'White' for example off Ceremony is one which is a regular feature at present. Obviously a lot of the material from Choice Of Weapon is in there. 'She Sells Sanctuary' will always be there as well, for obvious reasons. We also go through periods with certain songs where we just don't want to play them. 'Firewoman' was one that we omitted from the live show for a long time until recently, and then we re-worked it to fit in with the new songs and it's become a regular in the set again. I don't tend to have the final say on what goes in because I'm not a musician. It's down to Billy and the rest of the band really, purely because there's a lot of different instrumentation across all of our records. A lot of it is about guitar changes as well. He's playing a Gretsch on one song, a Telecaster on another, several with a Les Paul. The tuning of the instruments tends to be quite different between songs as well, and if there's one thing Billy hates it's having too much down time when he's on stage. He feels the spotlight's on him. He's just an affable, humble guy from Manchester that doesn't like the spotlight. Then of course there's ones he can remember and others he can't!
DiS: What was it like working with Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore during your spell as The Doors lead singer? That must have been an incredible experience.
Ian Astbury: Crazy! When I got asked to do that it was like the musical equivalent of getting a scholarship at Oxford or Cambridge! It was one of those "Why me?!?" moments, but in a good way. The courtship for that lasted over ten years. Initially, their manager Danny Sugerman approached me when they were making The Doors movie. He wanted me to meet Oliver Stone with the possibility of me playing the part of Jim Morrison in the film. Acting was something I'd never ever considered, and after some consideration I realised it wasn't for me. I don't even know if I'd be capable of doing any acting. Gradually, I was introduced to Ray, Robbie and John and we struck up a really good friendship. Danny and I were also very close, and if there was a launch for a new book or compilation I was always invited. They considered me to sing with them at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 1993, but chose Eddie Vedder instead because he was younger and had more media credibility at that time. Then in 2000, the VH1 opportunity came along, and I remember going into rehearsals with them and I'd just shaved my head. When they started playing we just really connected together, and then a couple of years later Danny Sugerman invited me for a meeting with the band at his house. When I got there Ray had a proposal for me; "Do you want to do a show with us?" and John's response was "If you don't do it now when are you going to do it?" They'd waited thirty years to play these songs and they wanted to play them again, initially just for one show. So they were all going "Are you in?" and I was like, "Shit yeah!" I remember having six weeks to learn forty songs, and then reading through some of the lyrics and on reflection, thinking I couldn't go through with this. After about two weeks solid of intense rehearsals, I decided to give it a go. I can't actually remember that first show now, it just flew by. And then another offer came along to do a show three weeks later, and then we kept going for the next five years or so.
DiS: Were you concerned about the perception of long term fans of The Doors or even the media? I'd imagine some people would have seen it as a form of sacrilege in many ways.
Ian Astbury: Initially the response from the music press was quite negative. It was difficult getting the whole thing off the ground. We were accused of being very reverential. One gig I decided to wear a pair of leather pants which in hindsight was a big mistake. John Durrell from the New York Times was at the show and he absolutely slated us. Eventually, Ray and Robbie decided to cut all the reverential pieces and focus more on my strengths instead. They told me to get into the space, feel what this is about, forget about Jim Morrison. Have respect for him, but ultimately forget about his spectre. That kind of encouragement really helped me get into it and eventually everything started to click. I knew it was a dirty job and somebody had to do it, but you know what, fuck it, I decided to take the risk because I really want this to happen. I wanted to see it as much as a fan as anything else. When we played live in Paris on what would have been Morrison's 60th birthday I'd never seen anything like it. It was how I'd imagine a medieval banquet to have been like. There were people crushed against the barricades, tears streaming down their cheeks. The emotion was incredible. It was so respectful, 10,000 kids coming to a show arm in arm singing these songs and sharing bottles of wine, passing joints around. Incredible scenes that I haven't seen at any other gigs. I remember us playing really intimate versions of 'People Are Strange' and 'The Crystal Ship', just Ray on keyboards, Robbie on guitar and me. You could almost hear a pin drop. Those are moments that I really cherish the most.
DiS: Moving away from music and onto one of your other great passions, football, I believe you're quite a keen fan of Everton?
Ian Astbury: Yes, although the word "fan" to me implies casual interest. I regard myself as a devotee of Everton Football Club rather than just a fan.
DiS: You must be fairly pleased with how this season panned out after a difficult start, particularly finishing above your main rivals Liverpool.
Ian Astbury: The game isn't what it was. David Moyes has done a great job against all the odds, but you know it's only a matter of time before he ends up at Manchester United. The writing's on the wall. I think the only way we'll be able to mount a realistic challenge for the title is to attract a similar kind of cash injection to the one Manchester City have had.
DiS: It's a shame because back in the 1980s, Everton really were a dominant force both domestically and in Europe.
Ian Astbury: Absolutely. When I lived in Glasgow, I used to play for this amateur boys club called Possil YM. Archie Gemmill and Kenny Dalglish both played for them when they were schoolboys. I used to play with Graeme Sharp back then. He used to live very close to where I lived at the time. He got taken on by Dumbarton when he left school, and I could have played at a similar level but I chose a different path. I had trials for several different clubs back then. I used to play on the wings. They'd always cut me down on the football park in the same way they do now. The same kind of cynicism. Fair play to them. I had the speed and flair of an Argentinian. I was pretty gifted, very creative as a footballer, but the opposition full backs were always instructed to chop me down. Football's one thing that I find it difficult talking about to be honest. I was so passionate about it, still am. But it also brings back some painful memories. Sometimes it can detract from your music. I mean, Billy's in seventh heaven at the minute. He went back to Manchester to watch City win the league and he hasn't come home yet!
DiS: So, what does the future hold for Ian Astbury and The Cult?
Ian Astbury: Immediate future? Something I've always been taught is to deal with what's in front of you. Don't get too hooked up on the future trip. Have an idea of what you want to do, but don't spend too much time dwelling on it. At this moment in time I'm really focused on rehearsals for the live shows. We're doing the Jimmy Kimmel Show on Friday, which is a pretty big deal in the States. I think we're scheduled to play two songs. Then we're going on tour with a band called Against Me, who are supporting us. We're doing twenty-two dates in the US and Canada, and then we head into Europe at the end of June. A mixture of headline shows and festivals. We're doing one show with Black Sabbath. I just have to experience that! We're playing with some astonishing bands actually. Animal Collective, The Horrors, Axl's new incarnation of Guns'n'Roses. My favourite line-up was last year in Belgium when we played with Patti Smith, The Mission and Diamanda Galas. A pretty eclectic line-up, and because of that we're playing with The Mission on the UK leg of our tour in September. Billy saw them at that show and he said they were incredible. Some people might see it as a cynical nostalgia cash-in but you know what, it's 2012 and it isn't like we've had 1000 opportunities thrown at us. Initially we tried to get The Horrors for the tour as well but they weren't available, and then who do we get instead? Only the mighty Killing Joke, who are quite frankly incredible. We've always had a great relationship with Youth, and he produced Born Into This five years ago. I'm a massive fan of that band, going back to before I even started playing in bands myself. I always used to go apeshit down the front at their gigs. Already the label are sniffing around asking when the next record will be ready.
DiS: And are there any new songs in the pipeline?
Ian Astbury: Not yet. Maybe. Who knows...?
The Cult play the following UK dates with Killing Joke and The Mission in September:-
11 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
12 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
14 Manchester Arena
15 Birmingham LG Arena
16 London Wembley Arena
The album Choice Of Weapon is available now on Cooking Vinyl Records. For more information on The Cult visit their official website.