It's clear Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin spend a great deal of time thinking about the power of the music they release with their band Cults. One man's summer anthem ("Go Outside" is another's ACTUAL reason to leave the house for the first time in years...seriously. In this extended cut of our interview the duo touch on some of the stories (such as the one above) their fans share with them, supernatural strategies for forming a rock and roll group, and the inspirations and experiences that power the band's new album, Static. Check out the interview and if you missed it dig into the band's full-length session.
about... it was called Supernatural Strategies of Forming a Rock 'n' Roll Group. In the book, he says something about reasons for being in a rock n' roll band. And he said, reason number one, you wanna make money. And he's like, "No, bad reason. There's a million other things you could do to make way more money, way easier. " He says to be more successful in your amorous relationships. And he said, same thing, no. Like, you think you're gonna get more girls, like, go into advertising. Like, do something different or movies, something that's not so demanding and weird. And then the third choice was you wanna impact some kind of cultural change. And he was sayin', well there ya go. Like, that's the way to do it. Like, rock n' roll can get into people's homes, and songs can make an impact on people's lives in a huge way. I'm keeping quiet I guess that's all you want from me. 'Cause if it's all spinning round at the ball And if your world's feeling crowded and small Maybe you could be the big star in tonight's show. But I should've took the high road. - High Road was one of the first songs that we wrote for the record. And it went through a few different cuts. And I remember at one time there was a version of it that was over six minutes long. And the ending had this insane, like, psychedelic swell that went on for three minutes, and there was, like, a hundred tracks. And when we finally were going to make the cut for the record we were listening to it, and once we'd heard that, like, immediately exciting, really long noise section for more than a hundred times, we were like, let's just make it shorter. It didn't really make any sense anymore. But that's what's satisfying about going out and playing live. I think that a lotta these songs were put together with the idea of being able to play them live, and to create a more exciting set. And so we get to go a little crazy with everything in a way that I think is gratuitous on a record. songs, like, learning all the new songs and playing them live just because we have been playing, I mean, the past two years touring on one record, so it's gonna be nice to be able to play a different set in every city every night, so... - I was talking to one of my friends in another band about how funny it is to play new songs because, you know, it feels like so much of ... I mean, I'm a victim of this, too, what audiences do when they go to shows. There's, like, a set of cues that the bands create, and people respond how they know they're supposed to respond, you know? And, you're like, you hear, like, the hook of the song you like, and you're like, woo, you know, and everything, like, kinda goes the way that you expect it to go most of the time. When you play new songs that people haven't heard, it's really like the only moment you get a real dialoge with people. 'Cause they don't know how to act yet, they don't know how to respond to each moment, they don't know when they're supposed to be excited or sing along, and there's a real conversation happening. Like, for the first-- you'll look at some dude's face in the front row who is just, like, wigging out, and he'll just be, like, sitting there just like... just listening, you know? Which is really awesome, 'cause, like, I-- - Yeah, not much movement going on. A lot of, like, studying, like, is this song gonna suck, - Everyone's like, - or what's gonna happen? - what's gonna happen, you know? And by the end, if you can, like, win everybody over with it, then that's, like, the most exciting feeling. I think the genesis of I Can Hardly Make You Mine was a selfish endeavor of just really wanting to play guitar, in a big way. 'Cause our band has, you know, never really been a guitar forward band. Whenever we work with new sound guys, we always tell them, like, electronics, drums, vocals, guitars, you can leave 'em kind of in the back, don't worry about it. And I'm proud of that about our music, and I don't agree that the guitar is dead. I was reading an article about that recently. I think, like, every five years someone comes out and says, "The guitar is dead!" And they're never right. But, you know, like, I mean, now that we're, as a band, able to do... shred some solos, we kinda figured why not. The name of our new record is Static. It's something like... you know, even with the last record, we've always been an artwork first kinda band. Like, we'll kinda, we'll sit around and we'll come up with the idea of what the record's gonna be before we make it. And I think that that's like a constructive thing for us because, for one music wasn't always the first thing that we did. We're kind of visual people. Plus, you know, most of the time it's just the two of us in the studio working on everything, and we don't really jam with, like, a full band. So we have to have, like, an idea of what we're gonna do. Otherwise we just end up running around in circles. And for this record we knew that we wanted to have more of an emphasis on distortion rather than reverb, like the last record. And we knew it was gonna be called Static, and we had a bunch of TVs set up all over the studio, just kinda like, blasting. Not necessarily the sound of static, but just, like, you know, ornamentation. And we'd, like, always kinda stare at them for a weird inspiration. You and me always forever We could stay alone together You and me always forever - I was more nervous recording the first record after the EP than I was about this record. Just because we had only come out with a few songs. And then we had been touring, maybe we were playing a six or seven song set for a year straight. - And it was just-- that was like the real make or break moment, you know? Like, we had gotten this goodwill from people off this, like, thing that we offhandedly did in our apartment over a weekend. And then we had to make, like, a real record, which is like a big, scary word. And we did it and this time around it felt like, "Well, we've done that before. We know how to do that. " And so it felt a lot more natural. And we were-- - And it's like, we toured a year before on the EP, and then we did a year touring on the record. And I mean, opposite of what he said, kind of, I felt like we did work to make fans that actually, like, enjoyed our music. And I figured that they'd be curious to hear a second record. - The first, like, tours were so funny. Like, we would, we'd play New York City. And we would play in front of, like, a sold out show of 250 people. And that, at the time, was like inconceivable, amazing. And then we'd go play Lawrence, Kansas. Headlining, and play to, like, six drunks who wandered in the bar. You know? It's really confusing these days how, like, what internet attention will actually do for you, you know? Like, it's still, like, I think that, with bands, it's the, kind of, boots on the ground thing still makes a huge difference. and stop to see your day You really want to hole up You really want to stay inside and sleep the light away I really want to go out You know, like, even a song like Go Outside, we get emails from people saying that they-- like one dude emailed us saying that he works in a dark lab with bacteria all day. He doesn't see sunlight all day long. And that he'd listen to our music and it would make him feel better about his, like, very important and smart job. And that's like, that's amazing. And one dude was agoraphobic and hadn't left his house in 20 years and listened to that song and was, like, this is the time to do it. So you never know, you know? I mean, to think, if you're just emotionally, like, honest as a band, and smart about what you do, you just hope that people are gonna take the songs and turn 'em into whatever they need to be for them, you know? Like, it's cooler to not have an agenda. I mean, you wanna have an agenda, but you almost don't wanna talk about it. You just want people to make up their own history or their own feeling on what it is. But hopefully they take something like that from what we're doin' over here. I really want to go out I really want to go outside And stop to see your day You... - Hey, I'm Brian. - And I'm Madeline, from Cults, and you are watching Baeble Music.
Cults' twinkling experimental pop arrived in a shroud of mystery early in 2010, when the group posted three songs on its Bandcamp page. One of those songs was "Go Outside," which mixed dream pop haze with girl group harmonies (and, fittingly, samples of Jonestown leader Jim Jones) and earned the band acclaim from publications including Pitchfork and NME. Eventually, Cults' core duo was revealed as guitarist Brian Oblivion and vocalist Madeline Follin, who were also a couple. Later in 2010, Cults released Go Outside as a single on Forest Family Records and performed shows with bands including Best Coast. Early in 2011, the group made its U.K. debut and signed to Columbia Records; Cults' self-titled album, which featured production by Shane Stoneback, arrived in the middle of that year.
Their sunny pop tunes were well received by critics and fans alike and they went on to tour heavily across America and Europe. The duo ended their relationship in the wake of their debut, yet continued to progress with the band. Together they wrote material during 2012 for their second album, which focused on their split and the pressures of growing up. The result was their sophomore record, Static, which arrived in October 2013.