THE CULT has scrapped all of its previously announced 2021 shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The band, which spent most of 2019 touring in celebration of the 30th anniversary of its "Sonic Temple" album, announced the cancelation in a social media post on Wednesday (August 25).
"THE CULT will regretfully be postponing all upcoming shows for the rest of the year due to the ongoing flux in the world while we continue to adjust to the 'new normal'," the statement reads.
"Our shows are a communal space where we share the celebration of live music. It is apparent that the optimism we shared in the performing of live shows for 2021 was premature. We refuse to put a single fan, whom we love and respect in harms way.
"Please stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all in the Spring of 2022."
This past April, THE CULT guitarist Billy Duffy spoke to Tone-Talk about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's new album. The follow-up to 2016's "Hidden City" is being helmed by producer Tom Dalgety, who has previously worked with GHOST and ROYAL BLOOD, among others.
"We've been digging away at that over the last year and a half," Billy said. "We're working with a great young English producer called Tom Dalgety. And, obviously, with the circumstances of the last year or so, it's been a little challenging. But we're making some progress.
"The philosophy in THE CULT camp, really, is about quality, not quantity," Duffy explained. "We don't just need to keep putting out records for the sake of it. Without being ridiculous, we wanna, within a certain realistic time frame, make sure that the records that we put out are as good as they can be. So sometimes that takes a bit longer. And that's kind of where we're at."
He reiterated: "We're well into the process of the new CULT album."
Speaking about THE CULT's songwriting approach this time around, Billy said: "One of the things about THE CULT, I think, that may be worth mentioning is it's always been a collaborative creative effort between me and Ian [Astbury, vocals]. And as you can imagine, like any kind of situation, there's pushing and pulling, and Ian wants to go a certain direction, and I might resist, or I might wanna go a certain direction. And that tension creates [THE CULT sound]. It's not like Ian writes 'Ian songs' and Billy writes 'Billy songs,' and we record them as THE CULT. There are no 'Ian songs' or 'Billy songs' — there are Ian and Billy songs together. And over the time, there's a bit of a creative — it's not always tension; I don't mean that in a bad way. That's what makes it good. It's that blend. We sort of respect each other to the extent that I think there's a trust there, and I think that, after this many years together, and a few years apart, I think we trust each other and respect each other enough.
"I think it's healthy to have creative tension," he continued. "There's nothing worse than walking into a room where nobody's got any ideas. I'd rather have an argument about something creative than to have nothing, just the sound of crickets: 'All right. What are we gonna do now?'
"We see things very differently," Billy admitted. "In a lot of ways, we're very alike. Our birthdays are one year and two days apart. So we're both Taureans. Our birthdays are both coming up very soon. We're very alike in a lot of ways and very different in a lot of ways."
"Hidden City" was released in February 2016 via Cooking Vinyl. The follow-up to 2012's "Choice Of Weapon" was written by Astbury and Duffy and was produced by Bob Rock, who has previously worked with METALLICA and MÖTLEY CRÜE.
In May 2020, it was announced that THE CULT had inked a deal with Black Hill Records.
The aforementioned "Sonic Temple" album catapulted THE CULT into superstar status and remains their most commercially successful release. It has sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone and was certified platinum in 1990. It made it to No. 10 on the Billboard charts, and several of the album's songs remain rock-radio staples to this day.