ö The Cult +


Online chat with Ian and Billy - June 12, 2001 on AOL

(edited for voice-recognition transcription errors where obvious.. some remain a mystery)

Host: hi, everyone. I'm your host Brittany. I'm in the studio with Billy from the band The Cult. Welcome. Thank you for coming. He was nice enough to come here today and answer questions from the fans. This is what I need from you guys go to keyword AOL Live. Type in your keys and I will ask Billy the questions. Ian is on his way. Some of the questions might be more directed toward him. We will answer the ones that pertain to Billy. So do you want to say hi to the fans at all?

Billy Duffy: hi, fans.

Host: what is the worst and best thing about being on tour?

Billy Duffy: the best and worst thing about being on tour. Well, some people say it's like, you know, you do the hours in a day, mostly on stage, the rest is kind of a drag. I would say the adrenaline you get from the gigs. The after-show activities can be quite good fun. Downside, it is the traveling and stuff. The fact that you're constantly in different environments and aren't necessarily places you would choose to be, other than on the stage. You have to constantly be in different places. It is not all hotels.

Host: you think it is because you are rock stars. I read in one of your press releases that you did 187 shows one year, or 185 shows in one year.

Billy Duffy: yeah.

Host: that is a show every other day. How do you do that?

Billy Duffy: well, it is nasty. I think might have been 1989 or 1990.

Host: yeah. It was a while ago. I read it and thought, is this a typeo. That is a lot.

Billy Duffy: we are a fairly hard-working band. There are bands that do 250 shows a year, no problem. The thing we do is kind of high energy rock, punky, rocky kind of thing. That tends to be -- takes it out of you a little bit. We don't do ballads. It is an energetic experience going to see The Cult. That is why we take a beating sometimes.

Host: OK. Another question from m. 11170. The band was on the road when you split up in 1994. Are you worried that the pressures of touring will impact The Cult going forward?

Billy Duffy: Hmm well, yeah. I mean I would say that probably -- I personally try to pace myself more. Some people don't know that, but, yeah. I guess you have to pace it. You have to kind of make sure you don't get overfatigued. The band broke up because Ian got kind of tired of being -- doing it. We did it for 12 years straight, most of our adult lives. The pressures of being in a band there are certain disciplines. You have to be places. You have to do things. The downside, there is a lot of discipline involved.

Host: yeah. Hi. Welcome.

Billy Duffy: hi.

Host: OK. We can wait for Ian to get miked up. I will ask another question. Rock and roller as the says, have you noticed any difference in the crowd you appeal to this time around?

Ian Astbury: yeah, sure.

Billy Duffy: there are a lot more younger kids. That is one of the things we have noticed being away. A whole generation seems to have grown up. A whole generation haven't been exposed to the good rock. They are the post-grunge generation. There has been a lack of decent rock 'n' roll. I think that is what we are about. We see kids coming to the show going, oh, wow. That is what I was missing. That is what my sister or brother told me about the 1980's. The good side of it. Not big hair and Spandex.

Host: I was in junior high when you were doing your thing.

Billy Duffy: cool.

Host: I told a friend I was meeting you today and he was, like, you are kidding! You are different from other bands.

Billy Duffy: we have a fairly royal response.

Host: I want to welcome Ian. You are here at AOL new music Tuesday. Go to keyword AOL Live. Type in your question. They will pop in on the computer screen. These are real-time from your fans. I'm going ask a question from bloom boy: What is everyone's favorite past time on day's off from the tour. Do you want to take this Ian?

Ian Astbury: sleeping.

Host: you, too Billy?

Billy Duffy: I generally watch the ballet.

Host: really?

Billy Duffy: yeah. Some kind of ballet, girls and rock music and taking their things off kind of thing. Some of us do that.

Host: that sounds like my kind of ballet.

Billy Duffy: we do the gamut. Sometimes we watch baseball game.

Host: OK. We'll go tycobbemf.

Billy Duffy: Ty Cobb. We are doing the sound garden. Baseball fawn.

Host: here is the question. Directed at Ian. What are the symbols you have tattooed on your shoulders?

Ian Astbury: they are flowers, jungle flowers. They are the warriors in Borneo have them tattooed so when they go into the spirit world they are recognized. That is what they are.

Host: cool. We have a question from ajmfsm. Out of your albums, excluding the new one, which do you think is your best work?

Ian Astbury: wow. That is a very subjective judgment, really. I don't know. I mean, we made three good albums in the 1980's. Great albums. I don't know.

Billy Duffy: Ian likes the last album we did in 1994. So a lot of the fans really like that. It is not my particular favorite. Ian really likes that one.

Host: is there a reason in particular why you like that one?

Ian Astbury: yeah.

Host: what's the reason?

Ian Astbury: because it is a very expressive record. Probably a lot more introspective record lyrically. It is more lyrically-based record. The classic Cult, to me, is when there is a great chemistry between Billy and myself. It is unquantifiable. The last Cult album, I was almost trying to use the band as a vehicle for more introspective things. There was a build up where I had so many experiences I wanted to maybe express that kind of outweighed -- like a burning desire. Something I had to do. I think Lennon and McCartney, during the "White" album. It is a combination of very melodic songs. McCartney's things are -- McCartney's things are accessable. If they made a Lennon album, no one would buy it. "Sonic Temple," the last Cult album might be compared to the "White" album by the Beatles. This relates to a mass audience because maybe they are more based on experience, depth of experience and stuff as opposed to musically oriented. I like experimental stuff. It is dark. I love our new record.

Host: it's good.

Ian Astbury: I'm excited.

Host: we have a question from rock 'n' roll kazz. what is your favorite song on the new album and why? Billy, do you have a favorite?

Billy Duffy: I don't have a favorite. I cannot pick a favorite off the new album. We pretty much stand by all of it. It is one of the better records we have made. All the 12 tracks are really good.

Ian Astbury: you know, the record like, it is a total reflection of our collective characters. It is hard to objectify one aspect. It is like saying, what is the favorite part of your anatomy. What do you think? It is hard to objectify yourself. I could say what my favorite David Bowie song is.

Host: yeah. When is the tribute c.d. "Fire Woman" going be released?

Billy Duffy: we have no idea.

Ian Astbury: know nothing about it.

Host: do you think the chemistry has changed since the first time around between you?

Ian Astbury: we have evolved. We have more understanding.

Billy Duffy: we find ourselves thinking the same things. At similar times. Or know what the other person is thinking. We pimp on each other's vibes really well. When we play soccer together, Billy plays the forward, I find myself in the positions where I assist him or look out for him. It is strange.

Host: you are bound together so much.

Ian Astbury: I spend more time with Billy and this than my blood family.

Billy Duffy: it seemed like a fun idea at the time. 1983. I would like to do a rock band. We put a couple of songs together. It wasn't much more complicated than that at that point. The rest of it evolves and unfolds in front of you. You can either embrace it, which we did, or run away scared and live in a cave somewhere and not do anything.

Host: plus I would think even your family and close friends aren't part of the band, even if they are there and see what you guys do there. Can they really understand?

Ian Astbury: no. You have to experience it.

Billy Duffy: yeah. You have to be there.

Host: OK. Do you consider yourself punk with the rock 'n' roll edge or rock 'n' roll with the punk edge?

Billy Duffy: good question. That's a very good question. I think Ian is punk with a rock 'n' roll edge and I'm rock 'n' roll with a punk edge. How about that

Gost: that work. Ea music says, nice shirt. Can I buy a vowel.

Ian Astbury: my t-shirt.

Host: OK. Toto says what is the best venue you have ever played in.

Billy Duffy: we played this place in portugal, an old theater, 19th century theater. The whole place was decaying. It was like playing on a movie set. The fact it was in such decay, there was amazing ambiance. There were beautifully structured balconies. It was a derelict 19th century theater. It was pretty amazing.

Host: elvis tcb 72 asked Ian, how does it feel fronting the Doors? Those were mighty good shoes to fill.

Ian Astbury: Morrison had only 8½ shoes. I have bigger feet than Morrison. I was fully aware of where I was standing. It is quite overwhelming. One thing that freaked me out about the Doors is how powerful they were as musicians. They sound thin on recording. But when you actually play with them, there is a lot of muscle in what they do. At times quite violent and aggressive. A lot comes out of three guys. We played with the bass player. It was intention. It was a wonderful experience.

Host: those of you joining us, go to keyword AOL Live. The questions will pop-up on my screen. Why do you think The Cult gets so much respect from so many other bands. The Cult is probably the most covered band across America with possibly a few exceptions. Billy, do you want to take this.

Billy Duffy: my theory, the reason why that happens, The Cult's music basically is very straight forward. There is this great punk shirt that says, here is a chord, here is another chord, here is a third one, now form a band. We have come from the generation where, you know, anything in excess of four chords in a song is wasteful. I think a lot of bands feel it is the easiest way. It is not complicated. The way we put ourselves into it --

Host: the energy.

Billy Duffy: that is what makes it special, but it is fairly straight forward. Or maybe people just think we are brilliant.

Host: and just good. Do you have any theories on that Ian?

Ian Astbury: I think Billy answered that well. The melodies are strong. "Wildflower", "Sanctuary". That says a lot.

Host: OK.

Ian Astbury: I'm in my own Cult.

Billy Duffy: he plays lead guitar. Ive seen him once.

Host: OK. What new music, if any, are you into these days? Anything out there now that inspires you?

Ian Astbury: I found a band called White Stripes, they are brother and sister. The guy, young guy up front plays guitar is, obviously, his name is White. But he plays like Jimmy Page. He does sound like an old Smithsonian Institute black, blues recording. It is phenomenal. White Stripes, they are touring around the country. Primal Scream. They are like family. It gets sickening after a while. We love each other so much. Big family thing. There are a lot of bands -- kid a and am these yak are the best records they have made. They are phenomenal.

Host: hey, 7689, are you happy with the new video, whose idea was it to work with the director?

Ian Astbury: Gregory Dark. It was our manager's idea.

Billy Duffy: he has done a bunch of videos. Any band going has done a video, Britney Spears, Tommy Lee. A lot of the male viewers might be familiar with the name Gregory Dark.

Host: what is the crazyiest thing that has ever happened on tour. I bet that will be hard to answer. Does anything stick out?

Ian Astbury: I have a crazy one.

Billy Duffy: Ian left the band. That was crazy.

Ian Astbury: that was crazy.

Host: have you had fans that have done anything that you can't believe?

Billy Duffy: we are going to tell you about the boy. We are playing in Toronto two years ago. We come off stage in a warehouse. We are stand around talking about the gig. Five minutes after we come off. We are sweaty, everyone is naked. Out of the corner of my eye I see this elf-like figure pop-up from the stereo. The cabin boy. Activist kid.

Ian Astbury: really?

Billy Duffy: yeah. Anyway, Dave the cabin boy frightened the life out of me. You are supposed to secure the area. It is a private dressing room. He has been in there crouching, hiding.

Ian Astbury: there was an American kid who stowed himself in the dressing room. Plus, everyone was like a bit -- trying to work out what his gender was, boy or girl. That went on quite a while.

Billy Duffy: about two years. I was given some tapes and documents by him that were very interesting about pollution. Stuff he had been checking on. It was in Ontario. Amazing stuff going on in Canada. Native Canadians. Indigenous people.

Ian Astbury: heavy stuff.

Host: actually, I took a native American class in college. I learned about the language. It is so interesting. I thought -- have you done much with the hopi tribes at all?

Billy Duffy: they have prophesies that come true.

Host: the blue corn. yeah. It is amazing. OK. Back to your questions. sorry. Dls, what was it like working with Bob Rock, the producer of this album?

Ian Astbury: well, for those of you --

Billy Duffy: no. Bob is great. I think probably -- probably the album could not have been this good. We found him up in Canada in 1988. as a matter of fact, in 1987 we kind of discovered him. He was an engineer up there. Subsequently since doing "Sonic Temple," he has done quite well for himself. He is a great guy. An amazing guy.

Ian Astbury: he has an incredible work ethic. Not a lot of producers -- I have met a lot of producers who don't even come to the studio. Bob is there 16 hours a day. Not only does he produce, but he engineers and arranges songs. He really, really believes in the band we have great love and much alrespect. He is a great Patriarch. We look up to him. It is like making a record with your dad. It is strange. He talks to you like that. He gets the best out of you as well, I think.

Host: that is important.

Ian Astbury: yeah. It is incredible. It feels like family.

Host: OK. Slade asks, any chance of a live album?

Ian Astbury: I'm sure you can Download it somewhere.

Billy Duffy: there is always chance of a live album. I don't think they are relevant. Digital technology records the show. Back in the 1970's, live albums were huge, for example "Frampton Comes Alive." There was no video in those days. People were lucky to see a band once or twice a year.

Host: that is a good point.

Billy Duffy: live albums belong to a different era. 99% of videos you dance around like an idiot to your song for two days, trying to make this marketing thing, like a commercial. Not all videos, but to an extent. A lot of people do crazy stuff in videos, but they seldom get shown.

Ian Astbury: I would like, at some point, to put out something.

Billy Duffy: we've got a couple. We used one as a tour in 1984. We put it out at the same time as our debut album, which wasn't available in the United States. That was cool. "Dreamtime."

Ian Astbury: it was a live album.

Billy Duffy: the first album was originally released in the package. We wanted to show people we were for real, could rock and could play. Most people would listen to Howard Jones, Thompson Twins, Flock of Seagulls. You know what we are saying? We were out of step with what was going on. We had guitars and a bit more rock 'n' roll attitude. You have to put it in a different context.

Host: good point. OK. We have time for one more question. Coming from tad 89. Looking forward to your tour. Are you guys excited to tour for your new c.d.?

Billy Duffy: most definitely.

Ian Astbury: touring is a task.

Billy Duffy I love doing the show. I love doing the shows and meeting people after the shows. The travel gets hard after a while. You have to find a way of, you know, dealing with the road. When you first go on the road when you are young, you do everything that is available to you. After a while you realize it will kill you. You have to moderate your behavior. Especially with the touring we do, extensive. We finished 25 shows in a block. We didn't have a week off. We did the Leno show. We will do another four. Then we are going to Japan, Europe, then probably come and do the states again.

Ian Astbury: we are already booking shows in October.

Billy Duffy: in America. By this time we have already navigated the globe.

Ian Astbury: it is OK if you get to go to Prague or Tokyo or Paris. You never see any places. You are in and out.

Host: stadium to stadium. Thank you so much for coming in. Thank you for answering the fans' questions. Thank you for joining us at new music Tuesday. We'll see you next Tuesday.

AOLJanaM: Be sure to pick up the new The Cult cd, 'Beyond Good and Evil' on Atlantic Records in stores now! Or catch them on tour -- they're doing a 38 date tour. Thanks for joining us tonight! Thank you for joining us! Remember to check keyword: LIVE often for upcoming news and political events, celebrities and renowned personalities.

Copyright 2001 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



| news | why | tour | catalog | free | soundtracks | rarities
this is an unofficial site
photos, lyrics, album art, music owned by respective copyright holders
design and all other content copyright ©2000-10 the-cult.com