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Ian Astbury | Interview

The Cult's 'Choice of Weapon': Ian Astbury Explores Violence, Politics on New LP

On May 22, the Cult will be releasing 'Choice of Weapon,' the group's first studio album in five years. For the new collection, they started the project with producer Chris Goss (Queens of the Stone Age) and closed it out with their longtime collaborator Bob Rock (Metallica, Bon Jovi), who also produced one of band's most successful albums, 1989's 'Sonic Temple.'

The Cult vocalist Ian Astbury spoke with Spinner about the new album and how living in New York City inspired it.

The last thing The Cult released was a "capsule," featuring two new songs, live recordings of some of the band's huge hits and exclusive video footage, in 2010. Can you reiterate why you did that then and chose to do an album now?

We wanted to release music, but didn't want to get entrenched in the process. We didn't want to go back to a label and were not in the space to do an entire album. We were accumulating material, and wanted to get songs out there and the idea of an EP didn't fit contemporary modality of the digital realm. I was looking at fashion collections, in high-end street fashion, where branded designer labels did smaller collections.

Yes, diffusion lines, like Marc by Marc Jacobs or See by Chloe.

Yes, so you know the concept. It's smaller, quicker, easy to digest, you move on. It's a wonderful idea for music.

How did you get to this point, where you wanted to make an album again?

For the second capsule, we thought, "Now we have an album's worth of material." We were looking at each other, thinking, "There is an album there." We had people banging on the door, wanting to work with us, so we acquiesced. We can go back to the capsules anytime.

What was your headspace with the record?

Over the course of making this record and the genesis and origins of this record, in terms of material, there was a lot of real life happening and real life celebrations -- things were affected by, like, political situations. I was in New York making this record. I left about a year ago, after three years there. It's a constant muse. I've lived there on three different occasions and probably will again. Something about that city, it's like a monastic existence. The streets became like canyons to me. I'm still in the psychoanalysis phase, doing first interviews for the record.

What is the weapon of choice, or choice weapon?

'Choice of Weapon' is the title, and it evolved through many permutations, like 'Weapon of Choice' or 'Choice of Weapons.' I had like 30. 'Choice of Weapon' struck me, since you're having a choice, as individuals and society, and the weapon is a metaphor or it could be a mantra. Or a knife or a gun. Or a pen. Your art, creativity can be your weapon of cultural revolution.

It's spiritual, too. We can inflict violence or share knowledge, and this permeates throughout the songs, which are about experiences where I had to make a choice or decision. It's lyrically very intimate. It's loss, celebration and how can we not be caught up in the Occupy movement or the farcical political circus that we see every day? It's blasts of feel good rock 'n' roll, and it's more cinematic.

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Monday, 21 December 2009

Los Angeles // Dec. 20, 2009

Another day of hard work in the studio!



  Chris Goss and John Tempesta relaxing


  Billy Duffy creating some new 2010 amazing guitars


Los Angeles // Dec. 21, 2009

Chris Wyse  is doing some more upright bass with a bow on the second track today... Two new CULT songs with bow work, wow!

Let's hope to see soon pics of Ian in action singing or playing something!  Smile


photos // thanx to Johnny T.


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Comments (1)add comment

Tracy Potts said:

  Cool pix! I'm looking forward to the new music and hearing Wyse's upright bass. Yeah, where's Ian?
December 21, 2009

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Last Updated ( Monday, 21 December 2009 )
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