News Segment


September 17, 2007

If the Cult’s 2001 reunion album, “Beyond Good and Evil,” was a heavily produced, muscular rock affair, the band took the opposite approach on the forthcoming “Born Into This,” due Oct. 2 via New Wilderness/Roadrunner. The Cult cut the disc in 36 days with a mind toward re-embracing its punk-rooted past.

“Our last record, with all respect to [producer] Bob Rock … we were guilty as much as he was, it was an overproduced record. We just went too far with it. It took about a year-and-a-half to make [and] an exorbitant amount of money,” singer Ian Astbury tells “This one was far more economic. We didn’t want to get entrenched in debates of whether this is working or is this not working. If anything got a little bit drawn out, we just moved on to the next track.”

The band, now featuring bassist Chris Wyse (Ozzy Osbourne) and drummer John Tempesta (Exodus, White Zombie), began demoing the disc in Argentina last year, and completed the core of the album over three weeks in West Hollywood, co-producing with Youth.

Astbury says the new album is also much more personal lyrically, based on experiences he’s collected splitting time between London and New York and traveling to India, the inspiration behind the track “Holy Mountain.”

“Going there put a boot up my ass,” he says. “When you see people at that level of poverty and what they make of their lives and that humility and humbleness, it wakes you up. All the nonsense we go through each day, it’s like the MTV awards the other day in Las Vegas — that was obscene. Anybody who says that is cool needs their head examined.”

“Born Into This” is the first album since the departure of drummer Matt Sorum, now one-fifth of Velvet Revolver. With Sorum gone, it became easier and somewhat of a no-brainer to adopt a more indie rock approach, says Astbury.

“Matt’s a very grand figure, and a very theatrical figure. He’s a big guy and he holds a lot of space. A lot of our songs — especially the stuff we’ve been writing recently — we broke the kit right down, and made it smaller,” he says. “The kind of beats that I was going for were tribal beats, more punk rock, more direct. At some point, I got out the drum kit and started banging out some beats myself.”

“These songs are filled with experience,” he continues. “It’s a passionate record with intent. It’s full of real events, real observations and real people. All the ingredients were retained in making this record. We didn’t filter it out. It’s a real, true Cult record.”

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