Tomorrow is a big day. Tuesday: album release day in the U.S. Been waiting months for the latest Cult release, “Born Into This“. Some of you know just how major of a Cult fan I am. And that being said it makes me sad to say I will totally confess that my rabid Cult tastes have been waning while waiting for this release. Call me miffed. The band gets a nice deal going with Roadrunner and the label seems to be doing everything that we, as fans, have been hoping for: there are contests to see the band in London, oodles of press coverage and a fall tour.
…but hold on a minute. Though some rocking songs are on the disc, the rocking isn’t confined solely to the recording. Remember a lot of the Cult faithful have been staunch fans since the 80s and really stuck with the band during all those hiatus periods (c’mon…they only broke up once and that was disasterous on so many levels). Back around 2000 when Atlantic signed them, the label created a terrific website that had a super-active board. I know a lot of people had an opportunity to meet one another during those 2001 concerts. I met boarders from Ill. and Texas that I had talked to on the board and there was a real immediacy and frenzy among everyone. Ian even chimed in (taking on a few different personas when the feeling struck him). That particularly made for some interesting mayhem! It was a great time in Cultland and there were many happy Cult children.
But things have slowly changed. The new site remains updated, but there seems to be a lack of soul this time around. And what’s so disheartening is that “soul” is the very element that has always drawn me to the band. Over the past couple weeks the concert dates have dribbled in. Having some exposure in the business I can totally understand how obstacles crop up. Things happen, you have to find the right dates and the right size of venue for the artist. But it all felt a little late for a band that has a fanbase that likes to travel. Let’s face it-we’re all getting older and need time to plan. Booking flights with little more than a month (and in some cases less) is not easy. I’ve had experience booking my travel around Cult shows – I think I’ve seen them in 6 different states.
But the final blow came when moderators on the band’s website announced that only points of interest from the new album and forward would be allowed on the board. Wow, that was a shocker. And what’s really surprising is that this is a group of fans that already lean heavily on the here-and-now as opposed to re-hashing days gone by. I’m not saying that never happened, but it by far wasn’t the majority of talk before (unless we were nowhere near close to hearing new material). I don’t know – it feels pretty cold over in Cultland to me.
I’ll be tracking through the album stream tonight over on AOL and buy the album tomorrow when it comes out, but my expectations have diminished along with what seems to be the band’s former DIY ethic.