Doug Pullen of ElPasoTimes.com recently conducted an interview with THE CULT frontman Ian Astbury. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
On THE CULT's "Love" album:
"I think out of all THE CULT albums, it was the one that wasn't made with an agenda in the sense that when the band first formed it was formed out of a love of music. It wasn't sort of a careerist venture. It was never meant to be a job or an occupation. It was just driven by the love of music. As the course of the band progressed and we got to the 'Electric' album, the agenda was to follow up 'Love', and we got in that cycle of touring and making records.
"Something that's really interesting, being that young and not having that kind of perspective, we didn't realize we were doing anything to run out of energy or run out of fuel. But when you tour he way we used to tour and record and tour an album, it just didn't stop. We did that for 12 years and the wheels just go off and you're putting the pieces back together."
On the current state of rock music:
"Rock 'n' roll now is pretty much in the garbage. It's barely alive. Everybody has taken from it. Nobody has given back. There are a very few who have given back. It's a very selfish occupation. A lot of people never really returned. That's why we have a lot of pastiche and we have a lot of artists who are never involved beyond their sophomore albums. It's a travesty."
On whether THE CULT has been working on material for a new album:
"There will be no new album. I don't think we'll ever see a CULT album. Albums are dead. The format is dead. iTunes destroyed albums. The whole idea of an album. Albums were established in the '70s and '80s and into the '90s, but they've been dead for a long time. Nobody buys albums. It's been proven. It's an arcane format, as much as the 78 rpm or writing sheet music for an orchestra. It's an old form and, for me, it's much more about if we have a great song we really believe in, then we'll record it and release it."
"For me, the idea of making albums is dead. The idea of spending a year and a half in the studio arguing over agendas and trying to fit into a format that's settled before we started the creative process (is unappealing)."
On "Guitar Hero":
"I've been talking to some bands and they'll say, 'Aren't you excited for people to discover your music through 'Guitar Hero'?' No. That's not the way to discover music in a contemporary format that's pop. If you are in the music business, you should consider that as an end result to introduce people to music."
On the band's approach to recording and touring:
"We choose what we want to do. We have our criteria in terms of we're offered so much work and so many opportunities but those things don't interest me any more. What interests me is going to woodshed, create music that I'm proud of and keep the door open to guerilla gigs.
"We don't have a record deal and I'm completely fine with that. We have a body of work ... but THE CULT started as a live band. We still have that and we are engaged in that."
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