THE CULT Guitarist BILLY DUFFY On 1989's Sonic Temple Album - "It Was Less Misogynistic; You Never Really Saw Scantily Clad Women In Our Videos, At Least"

October 23, 2019, 9 months ago

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THE CULT Guitarist BILLY DUFFY On 1989's Sonic Temple Album - "It Was Less Misogynistic; You Never Really Saw Scantily Clad Women In Our Videos, At Least"

The Cult are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their seminal 1989 album, Sonic Temple. In a new interview with, guitarist Billy Duffy looks back on the record.

According to, the band's 1987 album, Electric, was in many ways a template for Sonic Temple, which would transfer The Cult into the rock mainstream, shifting 1.5 million units in the US, making the Top 10 Billboard album chart. It peaked at #3 in the UK while producing a string of transatlantic hits that would soon become mainstays on American rock radio stations. It was clear from the cover alone that The Cult had made an all-out rock album.

“It was definitely mutually agreed by all concerned that we would go for that image,” Billy says. “It wasn’t really about me - it was more the symbolism of the guitar. We wanted to capture the essence of what a powerchord felt like and we managed to pull that one off, that’s what it was about.”

Sonic Temple managed to retain the band’s European sensibilities and avoided falling into the cliched terrain dominant at the time, allowing the album to age well. “It was a different take,” adds Duffy. “It was less misogynistic; you never really saw scantily clad women in our videos, at least. Ian wrote some of the lyrics in Paris and while travelling, it’s rock music from a European perspective with the sensibilities of punk, which was how we all learned to play.”

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The Cult, led by vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Duffy - recently announced additional dates through the end of 2019. The new US shows in December follow the band's UK dates and support the September release of The Cult: Sonic Temple 30 by Beggars Arkive. Spirit Animal will join The Cult for all the December shows. Tickets on sale now.

Set lists for the shows will draw from The Cult's 10 studio albums with the centrepiece being a super set that's focused on the core songs from Sonic Temple, a pivotal album that brought together the alternative and hard rock audiences; some of these songs have not been performed since the album (their fourth) was originally released in 1989. Produced by the legendary Bob Rock, Sonic Temple had four chart-topping singles: "Fire Woman," "Edie (Ciao Baby)," "Sun King" and "Sweet Soul Sister." Sonic Temple proved to be an important moment for both the band and the wider rock scene.

The Cult: Sonic Temple 30 has been released as a deluxe box set and a 5-CD set. Plus Beggars Arkive reissued Sonic Temple on Double LP, which has been out of print for over 20 years.

The album catapulted The Cult into superstar status and remains their most commercially successful release. It has sold over 1.5 million copies in the US alone and was certified platinum in 1990. It made it to #10 on the Billboard charts, and the aforementioned songs all remain rock-radio staples to this day.

The shows will be a gathering and celebration for Cult fans. As Billy Duffy stated about the tour in a recent interview, "I'd like fans to not only allow themselves a little indulgence into maybe simpler happier times of the late 80s for a few hours at a ST19 show, but also be happy that the music is now really their possession, not ours, and to do with it what they will."

Tour dates:

6 - Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theater
7 - Port Chester, NY - Capitol Theatre
8 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore Silver Spring
10 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
12 - Mashantucket, CT - Foxwoods Resort Casino - Fox Theater
13 - Atlantic City, NJ - Hard Rock Casino - The Sound Waves Theater
14 - Boston, MA - House of Blues

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