One of the greatest songwriters of our, or any time, gives the Enmore crowd many reasons to Smile.

As a musician, producer and songwriter, Brian Wilson redefined the possibilities of a pop song. His recorded legacy will stand up in history. So many of his songs are timeless, yet time hasn’t always been so kind to him. The mere fact he is able to take to the stage at all is a minor miracle in itself.

When Wilson does take to the stage, and sits behind the keyboard where he spends the bulk of the night, the crowd erupts. The adulation is humbly waved off and he says “Okay here’s the deal, you sit back and relax and we’ll take care of business!” before launching into ‘Californian Girls’. There are few people that can afford to have such a classic used as a mere loosener. But this just isn’t like any normal show, this is a rare and privileged chance to hear some of the best regarded songs of our era performed by the man who wrote them.  While on the surface the themes and concepts are pretty simple, cars, surfing and girls, the music that accompanies them is vividly complex and rich. Such was the depth of the musical mastery Wilson was able to create on his own in the studio, it takes ten people on stage to recreate it live.

A song made famous by Barry Mannilow, which was written about Wilson, contains the line “I wrote the songs that made the whole world sing”, and it was certainly the case tonight as most of the utterly elated crowd sang along to these words that mean so much to them.

While a prompter screen at the front of his keyboard is a clue to some of the damage he has suffered during his lost years, Wilson remains bright and alert throughout and offers numerous introductory asides for the songs. ‘The Little Girl I Once Knew’ was “In my top five favourite songs I’ve ever written, but we released it and it never even made the charts” and ‘Surfer Girl’ introduced as “the first song I ever wrote”. At one point he urges anyone in the crowd that has a cigarette lighter to get them out before belting into ‘I Get Around’. A brilliant version of ‘Heroes and Villains’ described as “a chance for the band to show off their singing”.

The most uttered comment of the night was “the band are amazing”, and they truly were. His backing group, The Wondermints, containing in their ranks a mixture of long time lieutenants and hot young bucks, all giving Wilson and his music the upmost reverence. The size of the occasion not lost on Dewey Bunnell of touring partners America who when invited up to assist with part of what has to be one of the most epic encores the Enmore has ever witnessed (‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Johnny B Goode’, ‘Help Me Rhonda’, ‘Barbara Ann’, ‘Surfin USA’ and ‘Fun Fun Fun’) spent his whole time on stage taking photos with his phone of the magic unravelling around him.

A bow and then one final send off “We’ve rock and rolled all night and now we are going to leave you with a little love message – ‘Love and Mercy’” bought to a close a heartening night showcasing some of the best moments of music ever made.

The floors of the Metro were sparsely populated for Melbourne lass Pikelet, but made the most of her time with some intriguing guitar and gadget wonky pop.

The crowd swelled immensely in time for the Texan headliner, who had bought along his backing band The Grogs for his first visit to our shores since 2004. Banhart bounded out with a grin and graciously individually introduced the band as his first order of business before they got things going with ‘Long Haired Child’. There were extravagant arm movements and bad dancing aplenty contributing the whole ‘gosh darn’ pleasant vibe permeating through the room.

The band weren’t mere backing musicians, with the drummer giving an intro worthy of a TV evangelist “here’s Devendra coming at you with some words of love” for the jaunty ‘Baby’. An intimate solo bracket followed, of just Banhart with an acoustic, no fuss, low lights and it resulted in big cheers. Banhart’s between song banter ranged from the almost sermon-like ‘I take everything as a sign from God’ to rants against smokers, to observations on Eddy Murphy’s Raw to reminiscing about things that took place at “an intersection in San Francisco”.

So while you have this uniquely entertaining and endearing individual – who everyone had been waiting years to see and with people hanging of his every word – he was diluted somewhat by his egalitarian belief in sharing the spotlight with his bandmates. Everyone got a turn singing, songs gave way to jams, and we even got “a reggae song played by white people”. While the set was enjoyable enough, it all just got a bit ‘holiday resort’ in its tone, which for a big room of folks on a simmering summer night probably isn’t such a bad thing, really. But I was left to ponder how good a smaller venue, solo scenario would have been to showcase this idiosyncratic individual, though I ‘spose he at least got shirtless for the encore, if you are into that sort of thing.

Girl Talk – Feed the Animals”

Hearing Feed the Animals is like listening to ten albums at once. Girl Talk – or Gregg Gillis to his mum – creates excitable party music by the seamless and meticulous melding of numerous samples into eminently danceable pop-tastic blasts. Feed The Animals contains more than 300 samples ranging from hilarious hair-metal, hands in the air party anthems, riff-filled classic hits to bad-ass rap, yet Gillis comfortably sees disparate genres snuggle warmly side by side for the common good of getting’ down and has pretty much made the ‘shuffle’ button obsolete.

Jack Ladder – Love is Gone

The lady’s left, the heart is broken, love is gone – what’s a poor feller to do? Grab his hat and guitar and head to New York. The Big Apple has given formerly folksy lad Jack Ladder some pomp, sass and soul. He’s always had the compelling, deep rich voice and the ear for the classic songwriters; this newfound worldliness has seen him take great steps to becoming one. Love is Gone is a whopping great swaggering leap forward from Ladder’s 2005 debut, showing a new level of assuredness with his music and song writing and lyrical truths that are just that much more universal.

Rolo Tomassi – Hysterics

Sheffield-based, sibling-led sensations Rolo Tomassi have unleashed an album that is destined to be played at objectionable volume in teenage bedrooms the world over. This is a band that would just go completely ape-shit live and they’ve managed to capture that unrestrained, throbbing manic energy onto tape. Its all-jarring tempo changes, searing riffs and the throat-grating curdling wail of scorching singer Eva Spence. Throw in a bit of misdirected angst to spice up the lyrics, add the unrelenting urgency of effusive youth let loose on all manner of instruments and you’re left with a pretty damned exciting debut

Amaya Laucirica – Sugar Lights

You don’t always need a TV show to unearth Australian talent. It just took a move from rural SA to the big smoke of Melbourne for Amaya Laucirica’s talents to be discovered and realised. Laucirica sings with a languid, unhurried breathiness and a stark honesty, with the songs providing a glimpse into quite a transient and troubled heart. While some of the lyrical matter may be rustic, the musical accompaniment is anything but, with Mick Harvey assisting the spirited and haunting arrangements. Sugar Lights is an ultra-assured debut combining an illuminating and delectable display of influence and insight.

An investigation of the important and iconic album covers for the photography issue of Kluster.

A short 50 second battle hymn escorts us into Institut Polaire’s debut album; leaving us with a mariachi blast at the door before the lovely, sprawling ‘Leaving Her Shook’ drags us in. “A history book that was yellowed like the teeth of the dead” is the first of many lines that stick with you through the hazy strumming. It has taken the band six years to get an album on the shelves, and you can see why when you hear all the musical craftsmanship that goes into their songs. Currently numbering seven members, Institut Polaire have made their mayflowers utilizing everything from banjo, accordion and trumpet to embellish and accompany the ‘twang on the breeze vocals and strolling song structures.

The sounds are so well constructed that no tone or mood ever dominates, with each element only adding to the occasion. Keyboards tinkle teasingly ahead of ascending verses, handclaps and harmonies pop up to push along an already pleasing chorus. Throw in sone lush female backing vocals and some cheeky riffs and this album will indeed take you on an adventurous voyage. They sing “A mild form of fame is all we’re after” and this impressive debut will go a long way to making it so.

Early Summer is the second album from Melbourne’s Amaya Laucirica and it solidly builds on the sounds found on her impressive debut Sugar Lights. Laucirica’s striking voice has that almost rustic inflection that sits comfortably above some snap and twang, yet on Early Summer layers of keyboards, piano and strings add more weight, tension and ambience to the music. This album also sees a wider vocal range exhibited, with restrained, breathy tones and affecting moments of yearning and lament arising as Laucirica delves lyrically into some emotional introspection. While the voice is very much immediate and illuminating, it is no mere torch singing, as Laucirica and her band of Andrew Keese, Richard Martin, Andrew Cowie and J.P. Shilo have crafted some wonderfully dense and complex arrangements to accompany it. A promising step forward from an emerging talent that your love for will still be strong after Early Summer has gone.

The reverential Roky Erickson has experienced a most tumultuous existence since composing the generation-crossing cult hit ‘You’re going to Miss Me’ aged only 15. His band, The 13th Floor Elevators, were pioneers of psychedelic music, and proponents of psychedelic substances in general, which resulted in Erickson being arrested for the possession of a solitary spliff. His pleading of insanity to beat the charge would see him endure electro-shock treatment which in all likelihood sent his already apparent schizophrenia spiralling. While there was a smattering of solo work in the subsequent decades, it took the establishing of a trust in 2001 by Erckson’s brother before proper treatment for Roky’s condition could be ensured. Nearly 45 years since writing that definitive single, Erickson is back, this album his return from the abyss. Musical accompaniment is provided by fellow Texans Okkervil River, whose singer Will Sheff produced the album, narrowing down these dozen tracks from more than 60 unreleased works which includes songs sourced from manuscripts Erickson wrote whilst being incarcerated in the Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.


The songs are grittily honest tales of a muddled and marginal existence, and Erickson dealing with, and putting behind him, that chapter of his life. He sings of his house – which he used to have to fill with the noise of various turned up radios and TVs to drown out the voices with his head on ‘Be and Bring Me Home’ where he positively sings “suddenly I’m in control”. You can almost hear the rueful ‘what if?’ flowing through ‘Please Judge’ where Erickson urges said judiciary not to lock a boy away. The next track is just pure menace, with just three lines “I kill people all day long/ I sing my song/’cause I’m John Lawman” repeated over and over and guitars loom and wail. Okkervil River are an almost perfect accompaniment to the raw and ragged musings of Erickson, being used to adding some sonic sheen to the twisted-literary-toned pain of Sheff. The band remain respectfully restrained at times – just leaving the slightly tattered, but still deeply rich voice to shine through – and buoyantly uplifting in others, providing the emotional crutch to help him through the other side. The album is at times sombre, often startling, strange and perverse, but endlessly rewarding.

Pretty much one of my musical, and of late, music critique heroes Robert Forster took my call ahead of his appearance at a special gig (the review of which you can read somewhere on here too) for the Sydney Writers Festival. I was nervous as anything and he was as dapper as a man can be across telephone wires.

YG: Did you ever imagine when you first started for The Monthly it would ever get to the point where you were now appearing at Writers Festivals?

RF: No, not at all. I never thought of that at the start, for the first long while at The Monthly I was just trying to write as well as I can and getting the pieces in and decide what I was going to write about, and that was my main concern.

YG: Do you think the fact that you are given a really wide brief at The Monthly contributed to the success and development of your writing?

RF: Yeah definitely, it helps a great deal if you are writing about things that you know. Being allowed to choose what I like helps with that, I obviously try to play to whatever strengths I think that I have.

YG: If you did have to write to deadline and about set specific things that your enjoyment of it would be different?

RF: Definitely, I’d have to do a lot more research. If someone asked me to write about Cristina Aguilera – I’d have to go back and listen as I don’t know her albums – I may know one of her clips from MTV or the internet or something – but I’d have to go back and I’d have to delve into her back catalogue, which if nothing else would mean I’d have to take a lot more time than I already do compared to what I do with writing for The Monthly as I’d have to do a lot more research.

YG: Do you have developed a structure or routine to how you go about your reviews?

RF: A little bit, it is a little bit more settled but you know, because I don’t have a brief, it’s a lot more random and I have to generate it, so it can be a lot more scattered. For The Monthly, for July I was going to go along to the Vampire Weekend concert with my son – who is 12 – so it’s an all ages show and I wasn’t really planning on reviewing it, but I got really excited, because I love Vampire Weekend, so I came home and wrote a review of it and that’s it. Often things just pop up – someone will tell me something or I’ll see something or I’ll hear something, it is very much ‘search’ all the time. It’s unpredictable.

YG: When you listen to an album do you have a certain number of times you listen to it to fully appreciate it?

RF: Normally I try to listen to it over four or five days, once a day. Earlier you would listen and then you start to get doubts and then you criss-cross a bit – so I leave myself five listens over five days. I think the time is important as you hear it, and then it jangles around in my head a bit – then I listen to it the next day, then thoughts form – but first impressions are important though I think, because a lot of people – that’s how they rate music, people don’t listen to an album once a day, for five days normally. So people just sort of hear it once, so it can be good to write something of that big first impression and after that it is mainly just small changes. You don’t often get to an album on your fourth or fifth time and get a whole new take on it, it’s not like one day you think oh this is great and then suddenly- ’this is the worst album of all time’ that is not going to happen, it’s small changes I find.

YG: Do you find that you do listen to an album so much when reviewing it again you don’t ever want to hear it again once the review has come out?

RF: That can happen – it burns you on albums, and also just thinking about it, you don’t often go back to albums you’ve reviewed. Which is a sad thing, but it’s sort of like making a record when you think about it. There is so much mixing and you’ve written your songs, you’ve rehearsed them and recorded them for a couple of weeks maybe and you’ve listened at mixing and it gets mastered and listened again to make sure the mixes are okay and by the time it comes out you really are burnt on the album. It’s a little bit like that with reviewing.

YG: Do you think that criticism helps people just not passively listen to music and engage it more?

RF: Yes, I think it’s good, I think it can let you say some things that sticks in people’s minds, some people have told me they’ve bought albums because I’ve reviewed them a certain way, I think it can influence people.

YG: All your own musical background – does it help you put yourself in their place?

RF: Oh yeah. Just the other night when Vampire Weekend were on – I’ve played that same room – The Tivoli Theatre in Brisbane, I’ve been on that same stage. So even before they came on I could sort of see things on stage that I recognized through my experience. Whether or not that means I write better or am more insightful is a moot point, it might not help at all. But I can see it, you look at the stage and see they’ve got two big bass amps and I know that one of them is just there in case one breaks down as only one of them is miced and you see the guitarist and the spare guitar amps and all that sort of stuff – but it’s just mind chatter, it’s no great revelation, but you just see these things and I think it helps you understand the situation a little bit better.

YG: Do you almost wish you could then just appreciate music as a fan sometimes?

RF: Oh no, no, no, no no – it never crowds my mind, it never takes away from the enjoyment of looking at the band.

YG: Having gone through it all and knowing what goes into an album do you think it makes you more compassionate towards the effort that has gone into it – how do you feel when you do see people who may be less qualified slagging things off?

RF: Sure, I do think that could be true, especially with younger bands can be effected, hurt even, by reviews as they are quite wide eyed and innocent because these are their first songs or their first album or second album and they’re only just starting to gig or something – it all means a great deal to them and they’ve had no knocks and they are very precious about what they’ve done. The mindset when you are 19 or 20 or 23 is very important to what you are doing and getting a crack on the head from a reviewer can be tough and I think that can happen, I think you are right.

YG: Did you ever pay much attention to reviews through your career?

RF: Yeah I did, probably more in my twenties and early thirties and what was written about The Go-Betweens and myself. Not to a fanatical degree, but I read reviews and I was very interested in them and occasionally I would learn things. You think that’s the way the press views me, or that’s the way the band is seen and you see what box the band’s been put in. Which is interesting and you can see the process of how you are being defined which is interesting. After a certain amount of time I would still read it, but I don’t go searching for it but now I don’t read it as thoroughly as I would before.

YG: What do you think about the proliferation of people now writing about music via blogs – and do you think it makes it harder to stand out as a music writer and do you think it has had a positive effect on the way people appreciate music?

RF: I don’t think it affects much – I don’t know though. I write for The Monthly, I read around a bit, I feel like I’m doing what I’ve always done. I don’t read – well it doesn’t affect what I do.

YG: When you do sit down to write something for The Monthly do you find your mindset is similar as to when you write songs?

RF: No, I think it is quite different, I’m trying to craft words obviously on the paper whereas music is just up in the air – it’s luck. If I’m lucky I write two songs a year that I like but I write a lot more bits in the hand that is visible from writing for journalism that are a lot more substantial – in the hand, where songs are more up in the air. It is a lot more you are searching for them and it’s more ephemeral, it’s quite different to me.

YG: When you are writing songs there are influences of things that you may have listened to that may seep into the songs, do you get the same thing by reading other writing and having aspects of that flow through into yours?

RF: Definitely, that’s true – I’ve read Proust, there’s Proust in what I do. I adore Jane Austen- she’s in what I do, I like Chris Isherwood, the short stories of Truman Capote is that in what I do? I really like the novels of Raymond Chandler – it’s hard to know what filters through compared to music. With music it’s much easier. I know earlier on Velvet Underground – I could hear it- Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers, Bob Dylan in the mid-sixties, Talking Heads – y’know I could see it in the music. It was mainly when I was younger, but now I just sort of go – all of these writers may have something in common, like their poetic intent, they’re real, they’re picking up on detail – their interested in detail, there is certain humour in the way they write. If that’s the common thing then that’s the hope I’ve written, maybe I’ve drawn that from all those people.

YG: Music sometimes is such an intangible thing to capture the feeling of, was that at all a problem for you initially?

RF: No. I got that right from the word go. It surprised me. But in a way whenever I’ve ever bought records I’ve sort of decoded them and reviewed them in a way in my head back since the late seventies and initially you would sort of write little reviews in your mind. So this has just given me the opportunity to write it down on paper. Of course it was a whole new form for me but the actual will and having enough thoughts, there was never a question of have I got enough angles on this, have I got enough viewpoints, have I got enough insights – I always had enough of that – but getting that down on paper and being able to express it and having the patience to get it all down, that was the question.

YG: Do you think this will lead towards other forms or writing for you – are you at all interested in running interviews and writing feature stories – and with who?

RF: Yeah a little bit, I’d like to interview people, but I haven’t got to that yet, that will come one day, that’s coming. I’d like to interview people. I’d like to interview Vanda & Young – Harry Vanda and George Young, I want to get to the heart of ‘Friday on My Mind’.

YG: Do you often try and find the story behind the band as much as the music itself?

RF: I do, I think things can spike out suddenly that you find interesting detail – it’s the detail, interesting details of people. Like Jack White changed his name – his real name is John Gillis – and he married Meg White and then he changed his name to hers – I found that interesting – just why would he do that, I think it’s fantastic – but why did he do it, he got the change, he got the good and to slip into something unorthodox like that, something fresh like that. I mean frankly that small thing tells you a lot about the man.

YG: When you did come up with your ten rules of Rock n Roll were they always things that you noticed and observed?

RF: Yes they are definitely things that I did just notice and observed – that’s exactly it. They’re just little things, things I saw and things I felt around Rock n Roll.

YG: Do you think it is a reflection of the industry and the way it has manipulated music that some aspects of it can so easily be classified and generalised in that way?

RF: I think there have been rules in Rock n Roll for a long time, that’s just the nature of the beast. And the rules aren’t terribly serious. Part of the fun of the book was just putting the word ‘rules’ beside the words ‘Rock n Roll’ they are historically supposed to be MILES apart. But in reality I don’t think they are, I think they can be quite close.

YG: Which of your rules do you think has been the most contentious?

RF: The second last song of every album is the weakest. People of course then find all these albums with great second last songs. Someone pointed out the second last song on The Queen is Dead by The Smiths – which is ‘There is A Light that Never Goes Out’ and they were saying that’s a second last song and its fantastic – and it is, it’s a great song – but y’know Morrissey enjoys fucking with the rules of Rock n Roll, if anyone is going to do it, it would be him. But that’s a contentious one.

YG: Have you got another book planned?

RF: Yeah I do. It is going to be non-fiction again, sort of memoir based, that’s all I can say, but it is not going to be an autobiography, but it is going to be memoir based.

YG: How do you think, if at all, your writing for The Monthly has affected your song writing?

RF: Mainly just in terms of the fact I do song writing a little bit more on the side now, I can grab it more in between times, which is sort of helping it – I enjoy just its almost become something I do besides song writing, and the pressure is off so I find I am writing more, which is a good thing.

YG: When you prepare for going to something like speaking speak at the Sydney Writers Festival is it a similar feeling to preparing to perform your music?

RF: Yeah yeah yeah yeah, it is the same thing. This is only my second writers festival so I’m just getting used to them so I don’t really want to generalize about them, but I’m looking forward to this one. The other one was in Perth, which was really enjoyable, but this one is a bit bigger. But I’m just really looking forward to maybe seeing Peter Carey munch his toast, see if he takes Vegemite or Peanut Butter,that could be the highlight of my whole weekend.

YG: Do you find it easier to speak about words you have written or songs you have written?

RF: Both. They’re both easy.

Robert Forster’s Ten Rules of Rock n Roll

1 Never follow an artist who describes his or her work as dark.
2. The second last song on every album is the weakest.
3. Great bands tend to look alike.
4. Being a rock star is a 24 hour a day job.
5. The band with the most tattoos has the worst songs.
6. No band does anything new on stage after the first 20 minutes.
7. The guitarist who changes guitars on stage after every third number is showing you his guitar collection.
8. Every great artist hides behind his manager.
9. Great bands don’t have members making solo albums.
10.The three piece band is the purest form of rock and roll expression.

Billy Duffy, blond guitar icon of The Cult responsible for some of my fave few riffs ever in ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ and ‘Wildflower’ was a smashing fella to boot as he dissed 80s haircut bands and seemed unaffectedly humble for his revered status in rock.


Billy Duffy is widely regarded as one of the most influential rock guitarists going around, the Cult axeman spoke to us ahead of the bands Love Live world tour, which hits Australian shores in May.

yourGigs (yG): How has the reaction been to the tour this far?

Billy Duffy (BD): It’s been really positive, its so good that some promoter paid us a large amount of money to come down there, and bring it. The response had been very good, we’ve done US, Canada and Europe, Europe was really phenomenal, it was emotional as Mick Jones once said.

yG: You’ve been playing some atypical venues over there  – such as the Lisbon Coliseum and the Royal Albert Hall – what was  that experience been like?

BD: Well the whole idea of the tour started where I had this idea – The Cult weren’t playing together, Ian was singing with The Doors and I was doing something else – I ran into him playing football somewhere and I said ‘I’ve had this idea that we should play the Albert Hall and do the Love album – cause we’ve never played the Albert Hall – it’s the only venue in London we haven’t played – and I sort of floated the idea past him and it stuck in his mind, and it got stuck there. So we got back playing together in 2006 and we’d been going 25 years since the album came out so we floated the idea around promters about doing the Love album and everybody Bit. So [for the tour] we just basically worked back from doing the Love album at the Albert Hall. So when we finally did it we were so nervous, it was really trippy, all our old friends showed up it was a trippy time to play the Albert  Hall, some legendary footage has been taken there y’know Cream, Zeppelin and we just thought if we were ever going to play the Albert Hall this would be the one we would do it at. It was really special, really good.

yG: Did it take much preparation to put the show together – did you have to go really revisit the songs and get back into them?

BD: Yeah, I did, I had to practice a lot and the band did a great job of getting their heads around it and trying to serve the songs and trying to capture the spirit of it. We are never intending to totally recreate it, we were going to try our best and not bludgeon the songs to death and be true to them. Given it was 25 years ago and we were young men when we did it. We actually got Jamie Stuart and Mark Brzezicki up at the Albert Hall to play a special encore, and that was kind of cool. It was great to see Jamie back up there because he was a special part of the band and in it a long time. And Mark was on the whole album even though he was never in The Cult – he was in Big Country – but the two of them played such a big part to play in the creation of the sound of that record, y’know everybody played their bit.

yG: How does the passing of time affect the way you think of the songs?

BD: I like it – I still really like them, I always thought they captured a sort of honest organic – it was the spring time of The Cult and it really captured that. I can’t really put it any better than that, it just all came together – it just felt like spring when we came up with the songs and the sounds started coming together and we had to get rid of our old drummer and Mark Brezicki came and sung with us and he bought that dimension and his owns tyle to the cult and this kind of thing just happened. We bought in some backing vocalists and the producer – Steve Brown – it was a gamble using him. He was never supposed to produce it  – we thought we were  sending a CD to Steve Lillywhite – who was the hotshot rock producer – he still produces U2 – and when we did our first album Dreamtime we sent a copy of that to him and we didn’t end up sending it to the right management company. Steve Brown picked it up with instead! He was  another producer who hadn’t produced U2 – he produced Wham! We though he was completely out of his mind. I remember when we met him I looked over at Ian – cause we’ve got like a bit of a weird sense of humour in the Cult that nobody has ever really got – thinking we’re all deadly serious and po-faced or whatever – and we  though this is just too weird –he must be out of his mind, I mean we were called ‘The Death Cult’ and he’s come to produce us and the last album he did was Wham! and Hey Elasitca and all that. And we sat down with him and he said he grew up as an engineer and recorded all the 70s bands I liked in Phonogram in London  – like Sensational Alex Harvey band and Thin Lizzy  – a bunch of stuff I liked – so we gave him a  shot – that shot was ‘She Sells Sanctauary ‘ it went up the charts and while it was in the charts in England we recorded the Love album so we took a gamble and it sort of paid off.

yG: It seems like it was a case of a bunch of things aligning that caused it to be such an important album – could you sense at the time what it would do for the band?

BD: At that point I thought we were at a crossroads before we released ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ which we recorded as a single before the album. ‘Sanctuary has our old drummer Nigel on it, and between the two we had to fire him because he got a drug habit and we had to let him go, he’d become a  bit of a liability. So we didn’t have a drummer and had to get Mark Breziki in – he was managed by our same mangers- and all these fluky things just came together to do it.

We were at a bit of a crossroads because all these bands around in England us were having hits – Killing Joke and all these bands you could loosely call post-punk, were charting, and we hadn’t and I remember feeling some pressure. So I came up with ‘Sanctuary’ – I came up with the music and Ian came up with the vocals for it and a few things aligned and that was it we were up and running. Once  ‘Sanctuary’ was in the charts, the record company just said ‘whatever you’re doing, keep doing it – here’s a load of money to make the album – see you later’’. It was around the time of Live Aid – to put it in context, there were a lot of dodgy mullets and all that going on, there were only two songs in the charts that had guitars on them, Howard Jones and fucking Haircut 100 – right at that point there was a bit of a lull in 1985, and we came right through it. Adam and the Ants were kind of cool, they had a really good album, but he was still like a bit of a cartoon character and all that kind of stuff. But it didn’t feel super special but it felt super pure and good and right.

yG: Even the success of that song along – did that bring with it expectation of further success for the band?

BD: Well we had three hits and I don’t know what we did with the rest of the world with it – but we had three hit singles when it mattered – I the eighties. We had ‘Rain’ and ‘Revolution’ were also hits and we probably could have kept going – it was quite a commercial album, it was quite poppy. I said to Ian many times The Cult is more of a pop/rock band, I mean that’s what we are better at. Everyone like Goths and we have played with and done tours with Metallica but I always thought we were more a rock/pop kind of band at our core.

yG: Do you still have a notion of what The Cult stands for as you play now?

BD: We’ve always been a bit of an outsider thing. We’ve never really had any recognition or awards or that kind of thing, we’ve never fitted in with the mainstream. Even if our music and a band as an entity that kind of thing.

The Cult has always been– what the name says on the box – we’ve always been an outsider band. We never quite fit even when were really, really big and playing arenas – it was always a bit odd., it has always been a bit of a weird fit. But we’ve always had is loyal from the fans and people that get it really get it, I never really picked up a guitar to get a pat on the back from the music business. So it really doesn’t matter to me. Once in a while it does irk me when bands get Grammy nominations and stuff and we’ve never really had any of that recognition. But that’s just our story man, you’ve just got to deal, it’s a small negative in a big ocean of positives.

YG: Do you feel flattered when people mention you as influences on their music?

BD: Yeah, It’s part of the food chain we’ve been influence by – me and Ian were massive fans of other bands – and it’s never bad to hear that. No matter how bad the other bands suck, it’s always nice to be part of that food chain and pass it on and watch what things are doing.

YG: Your partnership with Ian is pretty much the crux of the band, what do you attribute to why you work so well and how its been so successful and how you are still going?

BD: You know I really don’t know how, there’s obviously some sort of heathen chemistry between the two of us. In it’s basic simplest form – when he sings what he sings over the music that I write there’s a certain chemical reaction takes place that people – globally – like. And it might not be the most massive band in the world ever, but certainly we’ve done incredibly, incredibly well and sold millions of records and touched a lot of people. Certainly at this point you feel a lot of warmth from that, influencing other bands and being a part of that positive handing the torch down. Just from a fan point of view, that is what this tour is about, giving back to the fans, people wanted it and they’ll show up.

YG: Do you notice musically, all the side projects you guys have been involved with, does that effect the sounds when you come back to The Cult?

BD: I think Ian’s experience with the Doors made him a little bit more inclined to stand still on stage and hold that space. I’ve noticed that about him. I learnt a lot from playing with Jerry from Alice in Chains earlier this decade. I never used to jam with people, I never wanted to do a lot of stuff, I just wanted to keep myself pure, almost like a monk, Like I like my music and I’d just write what came into my head. And eventually I did and I learnt a lot from it and it probably just gave me a few more tools to keep the songwriting going. We’ve just recorded four songs with Chris Gossamer – the guy who produced Queens of the Stoneage – and we’re going to do a bunch more – and that’s important. It’s not just about old songs, it’s about that and the contiuance.

YG: Have you yourself –even with the technology that’s become available become a better musician and songwriter as you’ve been going?

BD: I don’t even know about that, I’ve always been going along as an untrained musician, I’ve always just picked it up as I went along and similarly Ian did. Technology is an interesting resource, you are sitting in the studio and everybody is sitting there with a laptop – so you may say ‘Hey what was that’ or reference a piece of music and immediately within two seconds someone’s got a clip of it from YouTube. So you can have a visual reference to someone playing a lick from 1967 . So in some respects it’s good, I just kind of take it as it comes.