Legendary rock band The Cult has set "Choice Of Weapon" as the title of its long-awaited ninth album, due on May 22 via Cooking Vinyl Records. The group's first full-length work in five years (though the band has kept active by putting out "capsules" of new songs and live recordings in recent years) was co-produced by Chris Goss (Queens Of The Stone Age, U.N.K.L.E.) and longtime collaborator Bob Rock (Metallica, Aerosmith).
"Choice Of Weapon" was made in several studios, including the band's own Witch Mountain as well as spots in New York City, Los Angeles and the California desert.
A new The Cult song entitled "Lucifer" can be streamed at RollingStone.com.
Regarding the recording process for the new album, The Cult frontman Ian Astbury tells RollingStone.com, "We began with Chris Goss, who is a very close friend and somebody I've been friends with for over 20 years. And we always talked about doing a CULT record together. Chris did all the refinement, helping us find the material, craft it, and I think we've been at it for quite a while. It just became attrition. Everyone was getting kind of exhausted. Kind of wearing each other out in the studio."
On the topic of the "Choice Of Weapon" album cover, Astbury said, "This image has been with me for many years, since I was about 11 years old. I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. I immigrated there when I was a kid. I was exposed to Native American culture very early on. And that kind of piqued my interest in indigenous cultures. It had a quite profound effect on me. With this particular image, it had been hovering around me for quite a while. And it's almost like I had to manifest this image within myself. I wanted to have an image that in some way reflected the sentiment of not only the record, of the deepest sentiment of the record, but also the sentiment of what's going on in society. I mean, the fact that the shaman figure has a veiled face, there's a face mask pulled over, it's almost reminiscent of images we've seen from Libya and Egypt and also from things like the Occupy movement or the riots we had in the U.K."
He continued, "The title of the record reflects the fact that here we are, we have a choice to make right now. We can choose different modalities. We can either choose literal weapons, which, many people have picked up weapons in Libya, Egypt, Syria. Or picking up weapons and overtaking systems, physically, by force. In a more metaphorical sense, a weapon can be a camera, a weapon can be a pen, a weapon can be a statement, a verbal statement, a weapon can be an article of clothing. Tantric weapons are symbols they use in tantric rituals, like the dorje, which is an object that the shamanic figure is actually holding. The dorje being representative of a thunderbolt enlightenment, that moment of awakening, where you go, 'Aha!'
"Time magazine said this year the Person of the Year was the demonstrator, the image of the woman with the veil. So this is an icon that we're seeing more and more in our culture. It's almost like people don't want to come out and show their faces and say something. Because they're almost afraid of... I don't know. There's a lot of intellectual bullying going on. People are very quick to jump on someone if they say something that's maybe different. They're certainly not part of the status quo, of a moving force. Everyone's kind of pointing at it, but nobody's really saying it, what really needs to be said. So in some ways, this shamanic figure, the look in the eyes is almost like a wild animal, which I connect to nature."
Read the entire interview at RollingStone.com.
The Cult is Ian Astbury (vocals), Billy Duffy (guitar), Chris Wyse (bass), John Tempesta (drums) and Mike Dimkich (rhythm guitar).