The Cult's Ian Astbury checks in from Texas

Tripping over the moment

With the trilogy in the bins, the Cult tour through town to play House of Blues on Thursday, November 19.
  • With the trilogy in the bins, the Cult tour through town to play House of Blues on Thursday, November 19.
  • Image by Tim Cadiente

The Cult, fronted by Ian Astbury, invades House of Blues on November 19, stumping for their new album Hidden City, the final installment in a three-album trilogy. Astbury took questions over the phone — and through a tunnel — from Dallas.

What are your memories of San Diego?

“Let’s hone in on one thing. Best act we played with in San Diego would be Prayers. They’re boiling up!”

"Fire Woman"

...by the Cult

...by the Cult

How does the new record complete the trilogy?

Born Into This is kind of — you know Albert Camus, the French existentialist writer? — The Fall is one of my favorite books. Born Into This is a fall, a fall from grace, fall from status. And that evolves into Choice of Weapon, an Odyssian dark night of the soul, navigating, trepidation, a return to Ithaca.

“This record [Hidden City] is a redemptive theme, a conclusion to the journey, Phoenix arisen. Reborn, revitalized. When you put the three records together, you’ll see the common thread.”

Aside from Camus, who are your favorite and most influential writers?

“I’m very visual. In many cases, cinema has profoundly influenced the way I approach music. I think of things in cinematic terms. Andrei Tarkovsky, Akira Kurosawa, Francis Ford Coppola...

“On this record, [the poet] Federico Garcia Lorca, especially the Gypsy Ballads. Lorca was very present on this record. Orwell is very important to the Cult, because 1984 was the year the band started. 1984, the book, the dystopian future vision. 1984, the year of the Apple computer commercial that Ridley Scott shot.”

Past Event

The Cult and Primal Scream

  • Thursday, November 19, 2015, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Avenue, San Diego
  • $45 - $75

How would you contrast life in the U.K. and in the U.S.?

“I’ve been in North America since I was 11 years old. I grew up in Canada. I’ve lived in so many different places. I went to, like, 12 schools, moved around a lot.”

It must have been tough losing friends and things.

“We all go through it. Cycle of life. I think it’s been shown that musicians, artists, have a higher fatality rate per capita than combat zones.”

Do expect to live a long life?

“I have no expectations. I just turn up every day. Take it as it comes. That is the way. Make peace with that every day and you’re gonna have a good day. If you’re living the past, if you’re living in the future, you’re definitely tripping over the moment.”

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