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Ian Astbury | Interview

By Hilary Saunders

Ian Astbury Talks First Album From The Cult in Five Years

Ian Astbury Talks First Album From The Cult in Five Years

The Cult’s Ian Astbury speaks with a lulling calm. This tranquility pervades all topics of conversation ranging from his band’s evolution, growth and forthcoming album, Choice of Weapon, to his passionate, yet dystopian views on the future of America and the world.

The British band, which burst out of the post-punk scene in 1984, has gone through numerous formations. Now on their ninth studio album, co-founders Astbury and Billy Duffy have teamed with John Tempesta and Chris Wyse and taken a mature musical and lyrical step. Each of the 10 tracks take listeners on a journey through pain and dysfunction but ultimately end in a place of release and acceptance.

When asked about the themes of Choice of Weapon, Astbury began by referencing one famous member of the Duwamish Native American tribe.

“Chief Seattle talked about the end of living and the beginning of survival and spoke about that in a way that’s prophesizing the 20th century and the future of mankind,” Astbury said. "We would stop living, really living, and we’d start surviving and being so dependent on an artifice to our spiritual and sexual needs. Became so dependent on a construct that we’re getting further and further away from our true nature and our true energies and look where it’s got us. We live in a time of heightened neurosis. We live in a time of heightened anxieties. And it’s fascinating to see that. Living in cities like Los Angeles, living in New York, living in London, intense metropolises. You experience everyday people unraveling in one way, shape or form.”

Astbury continued, explaining that he went through one of those unraveling times. Choice of Weapon, he stated, is about emerging from that head space.

“This record is about going through a dark self-destructive period of my life, where I definitely lost my way. I lost the vision of where I was going and I had no idea where I was anymore,” he said. “It’s about coming out of that and the redemptive qualities. …That’s why some of the song titles are like “Life > Death,” “The Night In The City Forever,” or “Wilderness Now” or “For The Animals.” They’re guttural, visceral, primal themes.”

Also included within those heavy themes lies an urgency to address a number of social and environmental issues; In conversation, Astbury referenced the benefits of a matriarchal society, the values of family and aging gracefully and his opinions on over-hyping celebrity. And while such ideas may scare off some listeners, Astbury believes that true fans will understand and recognizes that they provide the band a unique platform in the music industry.

“We definitely know that we’re outsiders in a way and we’d kind of like to smash our way back into the room,” he said.

“I’d like to have a shot because I think we have something to share. I think we’re bringing some heat, some knowledge. We’re watching people abuse their positions as cultural ambassadors or cultural icons and it’s like, enough of that shit. I think it’s time to shake it up a little bit.”

Astbury concluded, “I think we made a really strong album and I think we made a piece of art that we really believe in.”

The Cult’s Choice of Weapon is set for a May 22 release on Cooking Vinyl.


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Love Live Tour | Official Press Release PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 May 2009


The Cult announced today the launch of The Cult  - "Love" Live Tour, with confirmed dates in the U.S, Canada, and Europe.

The "LOVE" album is viewed by fans and world-wide media as The Cult's pre-eminent release.
From the immediately recognizable opening notes of "She Sells Sanctuary", through Billy Duffy's psychedelic guitar strains on "Phoenix", to the resolve of Ian Astbury's haunting baritone on "Brother Wolf, Sister Moon", the Cult created an album that maneuvers as a tour de force.

The Cult "LOVE" Live Tour will showcase the band's alternative roots as musicians and performers, and is sure to electrify new fans and devotees.
Performing in diverse venues from the grand scale excitement of London's, Royal Albert Hall, to the thrill of Los Angeles' Nokia Theater, to the intimate setting of Paris' Le Bataclan, the band will fulfill the ultimate dream of Cult lovers across the globe, performing the unimaginable; a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness one of alternative rock's most important records, "LOVE" performed in its entirety, live onstage.

"The band is redefining the live album experience with the "LOVE" Live Tour; nothing is comparable to witnessing The Cult, fully engaged in the live creation of arguably their seminal album. For fans this will be the greatest tour yet, and for those just discovering The Cult, this staging will envelop them in a pure performance experience," stated Cult manager, Tom Vitorino.

The Cult will be delivering spectacular production, along with the intense performances that fans have come to expect.
The evening's finale will include an encore of The Cult's greatest hits, spanning the bands' storied career.
The band has been working closely with their art / design team creating an arresting set, with dramatic effects, using state-of-the art technology.

Fans will be able to enjoy special access tickets in certain tour stops, along with "LOVE" Live exclusive merchandise available at
The band also has plans in the pipeline for delivering live select track audio and video streams, downloads, and hi definition video/audio capture for full show releases of select tour stops.
Continuing their historic creative partnership, Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy began writing together this winter, and have since recorded several songs at The Sunset Marquis Villa Recording Studios, in Los Angeles, CA.
Their highly anticipated new tracks will be the follow up to The Cult's 2007 release, the critically acclaimed, "BORN INTO THIS".
As of press time, the band is keeping options open to drop new tracks in conjunction with the tour.

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Comments (2)add comment

mandy vingerhoets said:

  The best two concerts of the year
No doubt about it smilies/tongue.gif
December 16, 2009

DJ Cooper said:

  This is excellent news! I'll definitely be at the Sept. 2nd Chicago show! If my job/money situation gets better I'll try to make the Minneapolis & New York shows, too.

Sounds like it'll be a really cool psychedelic experience. I'll try to get some images and sounds from the show, if I can.
May 16, 2009

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Last Updated ( Monday, 18 May 2009 )
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