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Interview:
Cult at Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre, 5 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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It’s been 35 years since frontman Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy formed the Cult in England, first as Death Cult before switching to the current name a year later.

During that time the hard rocking group has released 10 studio albums and has been through 25 members. It’s also notched enduring rock radio hits such as “She Sells Sanctuary,” “Fire Woman,” “Edie (Ciao Baby)” and “Sweet Soul Sister,” while Astbury spent time filling in for the late Jim Morrison in the Doors of the 21st Century and has contributed to recordings by Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Slash and others.

Astbury and Duffy have no problem celebrating the Cult’s history, but the two are even more vested on its present (on this summer’s Revolution 3 Tour) and a future that will include more new music...

• Astbury, 56, says by phone that he tends to take career and other anniversaries with a grain of salt. “I don’t drive constantly looking in the rear view mirror, if that makes sense. I don’t count all the milestones as they go by -- year one, year seven, year 17. People have been objectifying me externally for a long time -- that’s projected onto you -- but internally I don’t have a lock or a sense of all of that. It’s hard to articulate.”

• Astbury does have plenty of “scars” to illustrate his time spent rocking, however. “I can look at my body and remember when I got that scar or this one, when I opened my head with a tambourine, when I put a cymbal through my phase or broke my foot. It still happens occasionally; I tore a tendon last year pretty badly in my leg and it’s taken well over six, seven months to rehab that. What we do is athletic, you know? We jump around a bit, and a lot of the time you’re performing on concrete so there’s a lot of wear and tear on the body. We’ve got to have a pit crew to kind of put you back together -- lots of tape and water and towels. And Advil.”

• Times have changed during the Cult’s run, but Astbury’s drive to make music has not. “It’s really about music as a cultural force -- I was going to say a revolutionary action, and it still can be that, too, when it’s done with an intention and with a focus and with a purpose. I know I’ve needed that in my life, when I’ve gone to a performance and just been lifted high above the fray and walked out feeling incredibly elevated. It’s a privilege to do that for people as a livelihood. It’s crazy sometimes when you look around and you’re going, ‘My God, we’re still doing it!’ It’s profound.”

• There’s a great deal of common ground between the Cult and summer touring partners Stone Temple Pilots and Bush, according to Astbury. “They’re definitely kindred spirits in the sense they’ve spent a great amount of their lives touring and writing and performing. There’s a certain camaraderie with people who have kind of grown up on the road like that, experiences that are very unique to that lifestyle. Very few people can actually relate to what it’s like to be engaged in this your whole life, touring and making music. So there’s a great sense of camaraderie there.”

• The Cult is “accumulating ideas,” musical and visual, right now, though Astbury says there’s not yet a follow-up to 2016’s “Hidden City” on the boards yet. “There’s been no formal writing plan or anything. That’s just something that happens organically with us. When it feels like time to do something, like we’ve got something to say, then we go in and do it. There are still some pieces we’re still working on from the last record that could possibly turn into something, so we’ll see. Our schedules right now are pretty erratic.”



• The Revolution 3 Tour with Stone Temple Pilots, The Cult, Bush and Julien-K takes place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 24 in the Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights. Tickets start at $25. Call 313-471-7000 or visit 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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