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thecult400 The Cult’s frontman Ian Astbury does not like the term classic rock and says it has marginalized certain bands.

The outspoken frontman is preparing for a North American tour with The Cult, but does not want to be branded a classic rock band.

The singer tells the Vancouver Sun, “I despise the term classic rock. Whoever came up with that should be publicly shamed. It may be convenient for VH1 or certain publications, but this particular period of rock music has become nothing more than a scrap yard for ironic T-shirts. It has been marginalized and pushed into a certain space, and that’s unfortunate. There’s so many artists still making vital music.”

The Cult are working on their 10th album, and first since 2012’s Choice Of Weapon. But Astbury is thankful of a break from the studio to hit the road.

He adds, “The Cult started as a live band. The idea of making records was a fantasy – that was something someone else did. We had done hundreds of shows before we even had the chance to make a record, so a chemistry evolves. We’ve got to play. It’s our lifeblood.”



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  1. I am a huge fan of The Cult who are, in my opinion, one of the most underrated rock bands of all-time. I have to agree with Ian Astbury as a group still making music and touring regularly should hardly be labeled “classic rock”. Choice of Weapon was easily one of the best albums of 2012 and I look forward to the next release.

    1. But they haven’t been touring ” regularly. ” This is just Ian’s way of making sure the bands name & music is tied into what ever ” classic rock ” conventionally is. Its Ian being wise without coming out and saying , ” yeah we are a classic rock band ” ( which they are ) in my mind, no one cares to hear there new stuff except maybe the few die hards. Proof is in the putting when you ask anyone on the street what Cult song they like or can remember. The Cult’s problem is and will always be the lack of albums after 1994, Ian touring w/ the Doors and some not so memorable new songs. I hope they can strike something w/ the new album. The only thing I can remember from Ian/ The Cult is not from the Cult but the song he did w/ Slash ( Ghost ) and I honestly believe if it wasn’t for that song they wouldn’t be resurrecting again.

      1. They haven’t been touring? Where have you been?
        Few diehard fans? Most of the Cult fans ARE DIEHARDS.
        They may not be selling out big venues but the last four tours i’ve seen them the club was either packed to capicity or damn near.
        Choice of a Weapon IS a solid Cult album.

          1. You’re funny.
            You just come on here spouting nonsense.
            Ian toured with D21C NOT the Doors, get it straight and the was very SHORT lived although I saw them twice and anyone who missed them, REALLY MISSED OUT.
            Ah gee, they happen to be touring behind COAW RIGHT now, hello.
            Haters like you make me laugh. Don’t like the Cult all you want, but PLEASE do some research on how long they HAVE been touring. I’ve seen them on tour the last 3 years and will be catching two upcoming shows. I guess the last three years plus 2014 aren’t recent?

  2. Great band. Fire Woman still gets airplay on mainstream rock radio to this day. It’s a shame that song and their older material in general is all a lot of people think they’re about. After Ceremony they seemed to lose a lot of support and got the same treatment most hard rock bands got in the Nirvana/ Grunge wake, which is a shame. They’ve been one of the best and most consistent bands in the world and Ian and Billy have always delivered great music. Choice Of Weapon was a great album. They deserve to have more exposure and recognition these days and maybe people will realize they are still relevant and important, not some “classic rock” dinosaur band.

  3. America has a problem with Rock music and Metal, in fact it’s died a horrible death. Rap grabbed the hearts and minds of the last few generation here in the States. Not true in Europe and other places. Rock and Metal still bring in huge crowds. It’s really very sad and disappointing, especially for all the bands. There certainly is what people call “classic rock” out there. Ted Nugent, Foreigner, Zep, Stones, Boston etc…, all have been played in constant rotation for decades now. Follow the artist on their state fair tours so they can play all the hits, usually with about 20% of the original band present. I can’t stand any of it anymore. Why can’t we just call it Rock? Because only old people liked it? It’s why I can understand why Robert Plant is hesitant to revisit Zeppelin. If it’s not new and dangerous, it isn’t rock, it’s “classic rock”.

    Alarmingly, I find my radio dial stopping on some easy listening station, or 80’s station to find something vaguely interesting to listen to. That’s a sad day. The metal stations are nearly unlistenable, usually because of some jackass DJ.

    Maybe we spend too much time with our eyes peeled to our devices, or plopped down on our ass watching some concert in HD, pumped through thousand dollar speakers on your 56″ flat screen boob tube. I hope The Cult conquers the world, but it won’t happen here in the States, we’re complacent and lazy.

  4. i agree with GNR’s comment , they are one of the best rock bands period, they are underrated for sure- as for memorable songs, rain, she sells sanctuary, sun king, sweet soul sister, fire woman, love removal machine, wild hearted son, heart of soul, this is timeless music – not classic rock- why radio has all but abandoned hard rock and metal is astonishing to me- the term classic rock should be replaced with timeless rock –

    1. Thanks bobbyd, and the list of songs you put there is a reason that this band is a lot better than they are given credit for. They have an amazing catalog of music and Choice of Weapon added to it with songs like For The Animals and Lucifer, among others. Timeless music is right.

    2. bobbyd nailed it, GNR too!
      I consider “Classic Rock” to mean “timeless” and that list of songs mentioned above by bobbyd all fall under that category. Perhaps Ian feels like that term should be reserved for bands who are no longer active, but I don’t consider anything “Classic Rock” based on how old it is (or whether the artist is active or not) but how well it will stand the test of time. Perhaps eventually Ian will learn to appreciate having The Cult’s music recognized as “classic”.

  5. Mike,
    You nailed it about rap. And there’s a culpability among many hard rock/metal acts for doing collaborations with rappers from Aerosmith to Anthrax to Slayer to the pathetic Black Sabbath “Forbidden” project. Shame on all of them. Sellout is too a kind a word. That “Judgement Night” foolishness in ’93 made me boycott some acts. And seemingly every NYC based act got into this idiocy. Clowns like Biohazard.

  6. Sonic Temple is one of the greatest hard rock albums ever- 25 years after it’s release, it still sounds as fresh and kicks as much ass as it did when I bought the album back in 1989

  7. Not Sure why people get hung up about titles anyway. Either it is good music or not. for Ian to get upset with the title Classic Rock makes no sense. He is older and the band has mostly an older fan base that is a fact not fiction. This does not mean they don’t make great music but they do not have the pulse of the Youth anymore get over it and embrace where you are and be happy anyone still wants to listen to your band. that goes for all bands over 10 years of grinding it out.

  8. jim from houston makes a great point , about not having the youth audience, its a sad but true fact radio has all but abandoned hard rock and metal, i would almost bet my life if you put a great new song by the cult or any great hard rock/metal artist on the radio in heavy rotation the response would be great ! people like what they know/hear on the radio – if you are a rock fan , the music you hear on the radio today is for the most part garbage, the crazy thing to me is why has radio given up on hard rock/metal what is wrong with loud guitars and huge drums driving a hooky chorus ? there are some really great new rock bands out there- who deserve to be on the radio winery dogs is just one example- i have my opinions , but i would love eddie or dana to weigh in on this-

    1. “why has radio given up on hard rock/metal what is wrong with loud guitars and huge drums driving a hooky chorus?”

      I’m not Eddie or Dana but I pay attention to music and I wave the flag for Rock and Metal (and independent music stores) so here’s my $.02….

      I think the biggest reason that Rock has taken a backseat is because of shows like American Idol and The Voice who turn music into a popularity contest and focus on Pop/Hip Hop/R&B. Additionally, today’s youth are not concerned with the credibility of artists, which is why there are so many soundalike artists out there with the same recycled beats and tired cliches in their music. If there was a “Metal Idol” or primetime version of “Battle of the Bands” which focused on new Rock artists and bands, it would help bring Rock and Metal back into the spotlight. Back when MTV was watchable, “Headbanger’s Ball” was a great example of a show that helped bring exposure to Rock and Metal acts.

      Regarding a “hooky chrous”…what happens when Rock bands make radio-friendly music? The trolls come out! I’d venture to say a band like Nickelback strategically crafts songs that will get huge airplay and people say they suck for it (I’m not a fan) but it works because they’re on the radio and not just on Rock radio stations. Basically, Rock/Metal artists have to either sell out to get on radio or stay true to themselves and hope their fanbase sticks with them and spreads the word. Of course, the opposite extreme of radio-friendly rock is just noise and when people hear some dude basically growling over double kick drums and screaming guitar, they are turned off completely from what they perceive all Metal to sound like.

      The reason I mentioned independent music stores is because I feel like people discover better music in the right environment in those kind of stores because all the box retail stores play is Top40 garbage. I’ve never been in a Best Buy or Target store and heard Winery Dogs or Sabbath or The Cult, and people are like sheep when it comes to following music; whatever is “mainstream” is what ends up on their iPod.

  9. Hey the Cult are the best!! Electric maybe my fav but 1994 the Cult CD & Born into this & choice of weapon fucking kick!! Beyond good & evil prob. Killer too but must have been pretty busy in my life working for a living & DIDNT find ENUFF time to listen to but I will soon!! Whatever happened to that podcast release from MAYB 5 years ago I can’t find anything about it now!? Ian & Billy kick ass & are always creating great cult lineups & music, live & on CD!! Do YERSELF a favor & try to catch em live!! They Rock!! & do YERSELF another favour & start listening to their music!! Prob. Best Rock Singer & guitar player alive!! Trust me IVE been listening to Rock for many decades & these guys are possibly my favorites!! Choice of weapon is killer & I can’t wait for more releases from the Cult!! & want to see em live more, more , more!! I hope these guys take care of themselves so they can keep creating & putting out the best Rock music Ever!! Love the current line up guys!! Please keep rocking SO WE can all Rock out to the Rock Gods & be inspired to they to imulate what you have accomplished in YER short lives!! Ok Thx!! YER # 1 fan!! Greg Hunt!!

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