In a brand new interview with The MusicNerd Chronicles, THE CULT singer Ian Astbury was asked what British art-rock icon David Bowie and his music meant to him. He responded: “The first record I bought was ‘Life On Mars’ when I was 10 years old. When I got that album, the world changed for me. Regular programming just didn’t exist after that. He served as one of the most formative teachers in my life.”
He continued: “I met him when I was 24 years old. At the time, THE CULT shared a manager and publicist with him. We had the opportunity to perform with him at a racecourse outside of Paris in front of 80,000 people on the ‘Glass Spider’ tour. After our show, I was asked to go visit with David and got to spend a good hour with him just chatting. It was the first time that I had an artist that, to me, was an otherworldly person acknowledge me as an artist, a performer and young person who was looking for guidance, looking for acknowledgement. In that moment, he immediately put me at ease. He spoke to me as an elder, father, teacher; everything you’d ever want in a mentor in some way. He was the first one to actually take the time to be present with me and acknowledge where I was, the place I was in and that it was okay.”
Astbury added: “Up to that point, my teenage years were pretty disruptive — immigrating to Canada was a huge part of that. When I came to Canada at 11 years old, his music was something that I held close to me. Here I was in a new country, in a new society where the rules I had grown up with in the U.K. didn’t apply anymore and I had no real grounding other than the music I brought in with me. It had a sacred value to me and was deeply woven into the DNA of who I became as a person.
“I just can’t explain how much he meant to me. When I found out about his passing, it was as if the sky had fallen… Even while we were in the studio making [the new THE CULT] record, we had numerous conversations with [producer] Bob Rock about Bowie’s work. We weren’t deferring to ‘Heroes’, we were looking towards ‘Scary Monsters’, ‘Heathen’ and ‘The Next Day’ and would just talk amongst ourselves like, ‘How does he do that?'”
Bowie died in January, two days after his 69th birthday.
He passed away just three days after releasing his 25th studio album, “Blackstar”.
The singer, songwriter, actor and fashion icon reportedly kept his 18-month battle with cancer so private that even close friends weren’t aware of his struggle.
THE CULT’s tenth studio album, “Hidden City”, was released on February 5 via Cooking Vinyl. The follow-up to 2012’s “Choice Of Weapon” was written by Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy and was produced by Bob Rock, who has previously worked with METALLICA and MÖTLEY CRÜE.