"We were selling a ton of records," Astbury says, "and Mr. Man came along and said 'D'you want to continue the myth? Because here are the compromises you will have to make.' And I was just like 'Nah, I can't do that.' " After a few years of soul-searching, Astbury and Duffy reconvened as a different band: wiser, older, and less reckless. The Cult from the mid-'90s on became, in a sense, more of an actual cult, focusing more on their music and less on the wolfchild myth-making that marked their early days. "I think it's possible to retain your integrity and have great success, in commercial terms," says Astbury. "In the early days, it was more of a feral thing. When I went onstage, the music had to be loud, I had to be intoxicated, and it was about performance-as-ritual. It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I thought, 'This is a craft and discipline that I want to perfect.' "

>> Q&A: Expanded conversations with the Cult: Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury <<

This month's new long-player, Choice of Weapon (Cooking Vinyl), is, then, not so much a return to form as a typically strong result of said attention to craft, whether in the power of album opener "Honey from a Knife" or the screaming intensity of "The Wolf." "We've used the Cult to experiment, as journeymen," explains Duffy, "and in that sense what we're doing now is no different than what we did in the '80s." Hear, hear: may these particular feral deities continue to find a way to howl eternally, as the wolfchild slowly and inevitably shakes its way to becoming a rug on rock's rec room floor.

THE CULT + AGAINST ME! + THE ICARUS LINE | House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston | June 5 @ 7 pm | All Ages | $27 to $40 | 888.693.2583 or 

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: Review: Julian Casablancas at the Paradise, Tom Caruana Presents: Enter The Magical Mystery Chambers | Wu-Tang Vs. The Beatles, The Big Hurt: ICP take on magnets, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Music, Arts, rock,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE STROKES | COMEDOWN MACHINE  |  March 18, 2013
    The Strokes burst out in a post-9/11 musical world with a sound that was compact and airtight, melodies coiled frictionlessly in beats and fuzzed vocals.
  •   KMFDM IS A DRUG AGAINST BORE  |  March 13, 2013
    "In hindsight, honestly, it's almost impossible how it all happened."
  •   PALLBEARER SURVIVE EXTINCTION  |  February 20, 2013
    We all know that there is nothing more metal than a war.
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT? CHVRCHES  |  February 01, 2013
    If you are in a band and you've heard of Chvrches, you probably hate them.
  •   GLISS | LANGSOM DANS  |  February 01, 2013
    If rock and roll is three chords and the truth, then the mutant genre offspring shoegaze can be summed up as one chord, three fuzzboxes, and a sullen, muttered bleat.

 See all articles by: DANIEL BROCKMAN