CraveOnline.com recently conducted an interview with THE CULT frontman Ian Astbury about his collaboration with Japanese rockers BORIS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
CraveOnline.com: How did the collaboration with BORIS come about?
Ian Astbury: It was kind of a long time in the making, I'd say about two years. I saw BORIS play about five years ago at the Knitting Factory in New York and seeing them perform was such a profound experience. I tried to get them to perform with THE CULT, I kept emailing their manager, but our schedules never matched up Eventually being a big fan of SUNN O))) I got to meet up with Stephen (O'Malley) and Greg (Anderson) at a performance and they kind of made the introduction to BORIS a lot quicker. The collaboration was something BORIS instigated knowing I was a big fan of them and their music. They sent me ten pieces of music and worked out when the best time for me to come out and do vocals. I had a long time to live with the music and become very familiar with it so I choose three pieces I liked and went to Tokyo to do vocals.
CraveOnline.com: What was it about BORIS that drove you to want to work with them?
Ian Astbury: I was just struck by the commitment of what they do and the totality of their music. There's no sort of jocular joking around or high fiving or "rock 'n' roll" (does it with a high voice) stuff, none of that. It's all about business very serious, it's fine art and Shakespearean in the scope. Very layered, very textured, the performances are incredibly committed. Every note they play, every sound the play is very serious.
CraveOnline.com: I was curious where the connection between the singer for THE CULT and a band like BORIS might come from musically speaking.
Ian Astbury: Well you have to understand when I was a kid I was into JOY DIVISION and PUBLIC IMAGE so I've always had an interest in the avante guarde. The kind of persona I have the kind of voice I was born with, this barrel chested voice was what I would perform with. As I got older I wanted to try new things so I went off and made solo records, worked with Trent Reznor, U.N.K.L.E. and THE DOORS, so I was heading in that direction. Working with more serious artists. Not to say that THE CULT aren't serious about what they do but THE CULT very much revolves around Billy Duffy's guitar, he's the lead musician, so I'm kind of restricted to that. It's not as experimental, as I'd like it to be where as THE DOORS who I worked with have a history of experimentation and in many of ways they are the roots of a lot of experimental rock, psychedelic rock and tonality and texture and depth and invention. It's just a desire to collaborate with other artists who are serious about what they do.
CraveOnline.com: What does this involvement in experimental music mean for the future of THE CULT?
Ian Astbury: There's new CULT stuff coming out in September but THE CULT are like children I had a long time ago. Especially the "Love" album or "Sonic Temple" or "Electric", those records are very dear to me, the legacy I'll maintain. I don't want to see it rot in a ditch somewhere I want to keep it alive and we're becoming more prolific in terms of our writing. We've recently started working with Chris Goss and having him in the room has really pulled the band more towards where I see it going than the arena-rock stuff, which was more of a goof or more semi-serious. It was of its time and a place to be and we just embraced it and held on for the ride. Then it became more introspective and self destructive and darker. Now it's at a place where there's a balance between that. I think having the experience with THE DOORS helped me walk into a studio with BORIS. It was a university education. Ray (Manzerek) is unforgiving as a taskmaster and was in the day from everything I could tell being around those guys. Ray ran the ship in much the same way Atsuo is the driving force behind BORIS. Not to say that Takeshi and Wata don't contribute but Atsuo is really the visionary. He's a funny fucker, too.
Read the entire interview from CraveOnline.com.
Mojo Radio recently conducted an interview with Ian Astbury about his collaboration with BORIS. The chat can be streamed in two parts below.
Mojo Radio Interview Part 1:
Mojo Radio Interview Part 2: