Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy: ‘Don’t Dis The Cult’
On the eve of the release of The Cult’s brand new album Choice Of Weapon, Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy say it’s about time the band were given the respect they deserve.
In an interview in the brand new issue of Classic Rock, Cult guitarist Billy Duffy claims the band have “had very little recognition”, while frontman Ian Astbury rails about “some brutal things” that have been said in the past… including uncalled-for jibes against his mother.
The British music industry has shunned The Cult throughout the band’s career, Astbury says. “I think Billy and I have been invited to one music awards event, which was the Kerrang! party about 10 years ago.”
Duffy adds: “Not that I picked up the guitar to win awards, but when you see the amount of shite out there that gets all these things. It’s not been the easiest of rides as The Cult. We’ve really had very little recognition, and I think we’re just destined to be one of those underground bands.”
“It doesn’t rankle with me [now],” Astbury says. “When I was younger I really cared about being accepted and being a part of it. It just didn’t go that way for us. I think we just sort of kept out in the field, so to speak. Maybe that’s just the nature of who I am. Maybe I kept us out there. Sometimes it’s nice to feel a part of what’s going on.
The singer continues: “There’s been some brutal things said about me as an individual and the band as a whole. In one article it said my mother ‘must have been sniffing glue when she gave birth’ to me. One of the worst things to do is to put down someone’s mother. Especially my mother. I watched my mother die in squalor in a Glasgow tenement. She died of cancer. That was pretty brutal. I was a young musician as well. I was in my early 20s, so getting that kind of stuff thrown at you was pretty heavy.”
“Johnny Marr [Smiths guitarist] said to me once that I almost tell it too plain,” Duffy says. “He said that he’s read interviews where I really tell it like it is, and he doesn’t necessarily know whether: A) anybody wants to hear it like it is or, B) whether that serves me as best as I should. But I don’t really know how to do it any other way.”
Astbury concludes: “It’s weird when you’re being interviewed, because you want to be as honest as you possibly can but even in the depths of yourself you’re going: ‘I can’t say that.’ There are some things you shouldn’t share. There are some things I share that are dangerous to share.”
The Cult’s new album Choice Of Weapon is out on May 21.
The brand new issue of Classic Rock, with Slash on the cover, goes on sale next Wednesday (April 25).
Classic Rock’s Slash Fan Pack isn’t out until May 21 – but you can pre-order it here.