“Under the Midnight Sun,” the 11th album from British rockers The Cult, won’t be released by Black Hill Records until October 7 but lead vocalist Ian Astbury can’t hide his enthusiasm for the new material. The band’s latest tour, “We Own the Night,” which makes a stop at the Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Friday, July 15, is a reference to a forthcoming song.
“We’re dropping some breadcrumbs to give a taste of what’s coming with this album,” Astbury said recently, speaking by phone from his home in Los Angeles. “It is a different animal. It destroys ‘Hidden City’ and anything else we’ve done in quite a while. We dug deep and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this record. It’s a brave new world out there and we want to be a part of it, but you don’t get to be a part of it unless you’re doing your best work. There are no free passes for anyone. You’re only as good as what’s happening today.”
Guitar rockers required
The tracks on “Under the Midnight Sun” were produced by Tom Dalgety, the first British producer the band has worked with since its second album, “Love” (1985). The full-length is the follow-up to the Bob Rock-produced “Hidden City” (2016).
“There are very few guys doing guitar-based music in the UK,” Astbury said. “There are a lot of great digital producers, electronic producers, hip-hop producers and pop producers, but when it comes to guitars and vocals, it’s a very particular animal. You really have to be in the room. You really have to be present. Sometimes you become a member of the band. Tom Dalgety immersed himself into the infrastructure and ecosystem of the band. He became like another member. He did some dope work on this record.”
Having a break from touring gave the members of the Cult more time to work on the material with Dalgety.
“We got the opportunity to really let songs be fully realized,” Astbury said. “Usually, pre-pandemic, you’re on a cycle of tour, record, tour, record, tour, record, but with this album, we had a lot more time for introspection. A lot went into this record. I believe the subject matter and the sound of it will resonate with people. True to form, we’re not repeating ourselves. There will be some familiar stuff, but it’s not like people will be able to access it very quickly. It’s very strong on content. There are strong guitars. It’s quite visceral, very emotional, because it’s channeling the moment. I guess it’s our take on that.”
Astbury is also excited about having special guests Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Zola Jesus on tour.
“This bill is unlike many of the other rock bands and artists who are trying to group together with similar, familiar peers,” he said. “Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Zola Jesus are both exceptional in their own right. We’re community based and we’re kind of outsiders in some ways so we’re gathering with like-minded artists we identify with and respect. We don’t really conform to the normal programming. If you want to see a bunch of guys in black T-shirts up there shouting, you ain’t gonna get that with us. There’s nuance, finesse and drama. There’s tension, aggression and humility. It’s a broad spectrum of human emotions. Our intention, if we have any, is for the people to feel elevated or uplifted when they leave the room.”
In the moment
With the release of “Under the Midnight Sun” still months away, Astbury and his bandmates are focused on entertaining audiences night after night.
“The shows just get better as we progress,” he said. “Every night is different. The Cult is definitely not a phone-it-in-band. We’ve never done that. We’re always present with our shows. What we’re channeling with each audience is unique. Whether we’re going to Dayton, New York City or Tokyo, we’re going to be present. We’re not trying to do a pastiche or mimic anything. We’re open to any situation that may arise with the show. There’s a lot of spontaneity. It keeps it fresh and keeps the edge for a live performance and that’s what’s compelling about live music.”
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HOW TO GO
Who: The Cult with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Zola Jesus
Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights
7:30 p.m. Friday, July 15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $23.50, $37, $47, $57, $67
More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com
Artist info: https://thecult.us
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