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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  • GNR on

    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.

    • Warbo on

      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.

    • Warbo on

      Oops … ment PUDDING !!!

    • S.Falls \m/ on

      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.

    • Warbo on

      Where have I been, I think the question is where have you been ? Ian toured w/ the Doors for how long ? There new album and tour was short lived.

    • S.Falls \m/ on

      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?

  • James K. on

    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.

    • DR on

      Love is one of their most overlooked albums and has soooo many great songs besides Sanctuary. Brother Wolf Sister Moon is still one of my favs.

  • Mike on

    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.

  • bobbyd on

    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 –

    • GNR on

      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.

    • Jason Kentros on

      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”.

  • Speedking on

    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.

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