THE CULT's Billy Duffy spoke to Yorkshire Post about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's new album. According to the guitarist, the "main bulk" of the follow-up to 2016's "Hidden City" is completed and mastered. The effort was tracked primarily at Rockfield Studios in Wales with producer Tom Dalgety, who has previously worked with GHOST and ROYAL BLOOD, among others.
"There are always a few scraps left over that we need to figure out whether to make a casserole of them, but the body of the album is done, what we consider to be the best songs," Duffy said. "Over the period of the next six, seven or eight months, songs will appear. We'll probably play one live."
Regarding how the album came together, Duffy said: "Because of the pandemic, it was sort of done long distance. For example, Ian [Astbury, vocals] never set foot in Rockfield. I was there with Dalgety and the band, but Ian was in America and things were done remotely, which was a shame, but it just couldn't be done any other way. Now it's the classic example for a lot of bands where you've made an album [and] now you learn how to play it. It's very different to what it was in the '80s."
As for the musical direction of THE CULT's new album, Duffy said it is "hard" to compare it to the band's past output.
"I said to somebody the other day I'm the guy in there plastering the walls and putting the windows in, I don't get to stand back and look at the finished house," he said. "I'm in there banging the nails in, that's my gig, but I will get that objectivity [later].
"I would say it's a rock album because all our albums are rock albums, but I would call it a bluesy-free zone. We consciously kept out some of the stuff that I might write that's a bit more in the blues rock 'n' roll genre. We just decided as a team. I did that stuff elsewhere [in COLOURSOUND] with Mike [Peters] from THE ALARM.
"I hate the expression 'it's like your early albums,' but with this one we wanted to keep things a bit more in that vein, more in the 'Love'/'Dreamtime' palate, and maybe like the album from '94 that the fans liked, our post-grunge apocalypse record that was just called 'The Cult'," he continued. "But it's also more than that because it is quite epic in its scale — it's quite a big-sounding record; it's not small and twee by any means because Dalgety makes big-sounding records. It's a bit thematic, a bit cinematic in places, but there's not a lot of that 'Electric'-era CULT, typical AC/DC stuff."
"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 CULT spent most of 2019 touring in celebration of the 30th anniversary of its "Sonic Temple" album. The LP 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 chart, and several of the album's songs remain rock-radio staples to this day.