The Cult's Ian Astbury says no recent rock album comes close to the "essential" new album from... The Cult: "It's a gift"

The Cult, 2019
(Image credit: Tim Cadiente)

Self-confidence and self-belief are important, arguably essential, parts of every major rock star's make-up, so maybe we shouldn't be too surprised that The Cult's Ian Astbury considers that his band have made, hands down, the best rock album of 2022.

Ignoring that old maxim that self-praise is no recommendation, Astbury has been talking up the merits of the group's eleventh studio album, which emerged earlier this month, in a new interview [transcribed by Blabbermouth] with Germany's Rock Antenne.

"If you're a fan of rock music, our new record's essential," the singer stated boldly, modesty be damned. "I don't think there's any recent releases of rock music that comes close to Under The Midnight Sun. And to say that, it may sound like an arrogant statement, but I'm tired of this bullshit. Stop it. Stop phoning it in. Stop exploiting your fans. Stop patronising your fans. And stop calling them fans. They're your benefactors. Our audience are our benefactors."

The 60-year-old vocalist goes on to describe the album as "a gift", albeit a gift that requires payment from those blessed to hear it.

"I have such incredible gratitude and respect to people who would actually pay their hard-earned money to walk through a door, buy a record, come to a show, buy a t-shirt," he says. "Are you kidding? I was one; I am one. I appreciate that. I appreciate them. And that's why we made this record, because we wanted it to be the best of the best of the best. It's a gift. Yeah, you've gotta pay for it. But I'm sorry, that's… it's society."

Astbury will doubtless be delighted to hear that Classic Rock is only marginally less enthusiastic, with writer Dave Everley stating, "The magic is definitely happening on Under The Midnight Sun" adding, "There are moments here that are as good as anything The Cult recorded back in their 80s heyday."

Of course, you could always listen and make your own mind up...

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.