After more than 30 years together, The Cult guitarist Billy Duffy said he’s found a way to coexist with his longtime band mate and collaborator, Ian Astbury.
“You know, we’re not best mates, but I’m always glad to see him at work,” Duffy said in an interview with the Sun Herald.
And work is what Duffy and Astbury do best. The Cult played a career-spanning set at Coachella in 2014 and released the album “Hidden City” with producer Bob Rock in 2016, which was also the year they went on a run with Guns N’ Roses, opening select dates on the Not In This Lifetime tour. They continue to tour, with a string of U.S. and Europe dates lined up through June.
The Cult will stop in Biloxi for an 8 p.m. Friday show at the IP Casino Resort. Tickets start at $49 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.
“The Cult got its name by the way of some Native Americans in the Biloxi area,” Duffy said. “Southern Death Cult was the name of Ian’s old band — Ian named them from something he found in the library in England. It was a book about Native American tribes in the South. The Southern Death Cult were native Americans along the Gulf Coast that buried their dead in mounds because of the water table.
You know, I like playing the South. I think you guys are all a bit crazy and the food is good; I’m from the north of England, which is like your South.
Q: I saw the Guns N’ Roses show at the Superdome, which was fantastic. How was that tour?
A: It was great. We did about nine shows with them but New Orleans was really off the hook. It had a real rock ’n’ roll vibe, man. It was edgy. We dug it. It was a great show.
It was a fun tour. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that huge rock ’n’ roll experience. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Q: On last year’s “Hidden City,” you worked with Bob Rock, who produced the massive “Sonic Temple.” After doing several albums with him, is it easy to work with him now — do you know what he’s going to ask of you as a producer?
A: I think there’s a trust and respect there with Bob because he obviously knows the band. You listen to the records that Bob has done and they are pretty diverse. He’s a great producer because he helps us to get the truth out because we’re not the same band we were in 1988. But we still fundamentally love rock but we have things to say and opinions of the world. We’ve really grown up together with Bob. We were one of his first productions. Before there was Metallica and Motley Crue, it was The Cult. We have a special relationship with Bob — he just understands us the best.
Q: I was a big fan of “Love,” but “Electric,” which was produced by Rick Rubin, really resonated with me. Were you happy with what he brought to the band and how he made you sound?
A: Yeah, in retrospect. But at the time, it was bit scary because in the time line of 24 months we had released “Love” and had our first hit single based upon a Gretch guitar with echo and all of this stuff and then Rick was like, “Get rid of all of that — leave the Marshall and use a Les Paul.” In fairness to Rick, we needed that surgery. We tried to to do a follow-up to “Love” the same way, but it didn’t work out. It just didn’t have the magic of the “Love” album. It’s the best thing Rick ever did. He was only supposed to record one song. It was an amazing time to be in New York. Rick brought all of that energy from the Beastie Boys, Danzig and Slayer — all of that was in there.
I remember Danzig was auditioning a guitar player and a guy showed up with a mustache. And me and Ian go, “How is that guy going to get in Danzig with a mustache?” — true story.
Q: You followed it up with “Sonic Temple” — which, to me, is the perfect mix of “Love” and “Electric.”
A: That was Bob Rock’s vision and we agreed. He wanted to take both albums and make all of that. We were really in agreement with it. “Electric” did well but I wanted to do better. We took a big chance with Bob, who had only produced Kingdom Come.
I went to meet Bob for the first time and I had a bandana tied on my head and I can’t believe I dressed like that. I must have been drinking heavily.
We heard Kingdom Come and we loved the production — it sounded huge.
Q: “Sonic Temple” was such as massive hit —was it hard to follow that up?
A: Absolutely. We went on a massive tour with “Sonic Temple.” Unfortunately, “Ceremony” suffered. Bob was supposed to produce it but he was working on Metallica’s “Black Album” and that took him over a year to record. We got screwed because we didn’t have a producer and me and Ian weren’t exactly getting on because we just spent a year on the road together. “Ceremony” was just kind of the “Brown Album.” There wasn’t anything particularly extraordinary about it. I think with Bob producing it, it would have been better. There were a couple of good songs on it, but none of us really enjoyed it because it was a rough period socially.
If you go
IP Casino Resort at 850 Bayview Ave. in Biloxi
8 p.m. Friday
Tickets start at $49 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.