Pop Quiz: The Cult

Aidin Vaziri | The Cult has just released its first new full-length album in five years, “Choice of Weapon.” A long time has passed since the British hard-rock band ruled MTV with tunes like “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Wild Flower,” but on its ninth studio recording, produced by Chris Goss and longtime collaborator Bob Rock, the group still makes a wonderful racket. We checked in with singer Ian Astbury at his home in Los Angeles.

Ian Astbury of the Cult
Q: You turn 50 this month. Does that number intimidate you?
A: It’s just a number. It’s weird because my mum passed on my birthday when I was 17, so I never really celebrate my birthday. I’ve gone through years without even thinking about it.
Q: Didn’t you ever worry about growing old?
A: The first 12 years of being in a band was just a blur. We were in a hermetically sealed life. All the sudden you’re on the other side of it and you’re 33 years old. It’s been said by many scholars that musicians should hang it up at a certain age. Tell that to Lou Reed. Tell that to Bruce Springsteen. I’d like to think we get better with age.
Q: You still work the stage like a regular rock god.
A: Standing still and looking at your pinky is in fashion with so many new bands. I think it’s the terror of doing anything wrong.
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