In an interview with Spin, New York City based Indie Pop duo Cults discussed life around making their sophomore album, Static, which was released on October 15th. A former couple, bandmates Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion discuss their constant touring, the hardship of creating an album through a breakup, and the film score atmosphere that is pervasive throughout the album.
In response to a question about touring plans for the new album, given the 300 show tour schedule the duo had for their debut album, the band seemed positive. "We always say we're not going to, but then we'll get an email from a booking agent: 'Oh, hey, we have an offer in Brazil,' and okay, we'll take Brazil. And they'll be like, 'Oh, we have a month in Australia.' We'll try not to, but we like traveling. We'll probably end up touring a lot," Oblivion says.
The band notes their excitement about being able to play full sets. Follin jokes that they could have learned ten covers to fill an hour set, since their debut album did not last that long, but they did not want to do that.
Talking about the help they received from their backing band in the studio, Oblivion gives credit to guitarist Gabe Rodriguez, saying: "He played a valuable role in mediating between me and Madeline when we were super weird toward each other. But mostly it's still just the two of us." He goes on to explain Rodriguez's role in keeping the band on track in the studio after the couple's breakup: "it was nice to have that third person there for those moments when you needed to argue about something, and you didn't want it to spiral into something else."
Static features a much more full sound than their previous work, as the band wanted to focus more on a live sound. Follin explains the difference between the live work and the synthesized mood of their debut: "That worked for what we were doing. But this time I wanted to just do it real. A lot of it was about sourcing out a lot of really weird and expensive gear, and trying to have authentic performances and groove." They attribute specific movie genres to different songs, playing along with the movie score vibe that many listeners pointed to. Among the tracks on the album, "So Far" and "Good Day" are considered by Oblivion to be horror songs, "I Can Hardly Make You Mine" is sci-fi, and "Shine a Light" is Italian romance.
The group goes on to answer more questions, describing the advantage in upfront payment with their major label, and their negative opinion about publishing deals. The interview ends on an interesting note though, with Cults discussing their project with guest stars performing spoken word singles alongside the band. For the stars, Oblivion says: "we got Jim [Jarmusch] to do one. We got Sasha Grey to do one. We even got Bret Easton Ellis to do one."
Of course, the idea was scrapped. Oblivion explains their backpedaling: "But right when that happened, Loutallica came out. I was like, "You know what? This idea is not happening." We didn't want to embarrass anyone involved with comparisons to that."
Despite breakups, long tours, and Loutallica, Cults appear to be stronger than ever, holding to their indie sound with ambitions of worldwide acclaim.
Listen to their album Static in full on Zumic.