Sonic Temple

Sonic Temple

Beggars Banquet

In 1989, The Cult recorded the album Sonic Temple in Vancouver, BC, Canada with producer Bob Rock at Little Mountain Sound Recording Studio. The studio has featured artist such as Aerosmith and Bryan Adams. It has recently changed hands and is now called The Factory, and is run by Producer/Engineer, John MacLean.

If you ever wondered what power chords sounded like, this is the album. Billy Duffy takes a page out of the AC/DC handbook, and provides simple chord changes against the solid background of bass and drums played by Jamie Stewart and Mickey Curry respectively. This is a solid, tough band. If you were building a house, the Cult would be your basement. They are solid, hard-driving and water-tight. Top it off with the aggressive (not screaming) vocals of Ian Astbury and soon you'll be rockin' the house ! This sounds like Seattle rock before it was hip. Turn it up loud and it sounds better ! And better than most bands from the west U.S., they actually know how to play leads and do some instrumental fills. The Cult's only downfall is a tendency to fall into the same tendencies to play slow driving grooves, not allowing much room for innovation. However, their weakness is their strength. AC/DC did it first and no one else could top them. I believe that the Cult has added just a bit of alternative flavor ,a bit more musicianship and they've come out with a mix that can only be rivaled by bands like Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. In the final analysis, Sonic Temple is still not even the Cult's best album. But damn it is GOOD ! It sure beats coffee in the morning ! Grade : A-, and I'm a tough grader......

Jim Britton

Sun King - The title was inspired when I spent some time in Paris in April 1988.

Fire Woman - This song is about my '67 crazed fire horse lady.

American Horse - When I wrote American Horse, I had an image in my mind of a black stallion with an American flag draped over his back, being whipped by some kind of dark figure. The horse and his mane have an eagle feather, and Indian beadwork, so I kinda took this to represent the American Indian nation.

New York City - New York City again was inspired when we spent quite a long period of time, December '86 January, February '87 recording the Electric album at Elecric Lady Studios with Rick Rubin. New York City really has to be experienced. It's like trying to explain the taste of gasoline and vodka, you just kinda have to take a taste yourself. New York City, of course, is famous for it's 24 hour, nonstop activity, of course it's high crime rate, high buildings, intense living are something we experienced for quite a while. The second verse deals with the shooting of Lennon.

Edie (Ciao Baby) - Edie was inspired when I was in New York City when we were recording the Electric album. I have several friends there involved in the fashion industry and one in particular turned me on to a movie called Ciao Manhatten! I became extremely interested in the Velvet Underground and the Warhol period.

Medicine Train - Where the title of Sonic Temple comes from.

Sweet Soul Sister - Was written in Paris in April 1988. Several images sprang to mind as I was writing this song, it was kindof an observation of how European youth is becoming somewhat reluctantly Americanized. You know the references to the Star Spangled Banner. But again with all my lyrics I like to leave them open to people's interpretations and hope that people find themselves inside my songs.

Wake Up Time For Freedom - This song is about a reoccuring dream. Some guy lying there in the early morning hours with his lady lying beside him, sweating and turning, wondering if it will ever come true.

Ian Astbury - April 1989

Edie (Ciao Baby) - Edie was a young lady who got involved in the whole Andy Warhol factory scene in the 60's which was basically an art kind of movement that involved The Velvet Underground amongst other people. That's basically it, Ian really got into that scene when we spent some time in New York when we made the Electric album fonly enough but a song didn't come of it until later. That's basically it, just being in New York you can get wrapped up in it. It's a very special place. That's just basically what the songs about. It's not really about her particularly, it's her used as an example.

Billy Duffy - December 1989

Wake Up Time For Freedom - Wake Up Time For Freedom is like a reoccuring nightmare that I kept having. Kinda getting busted, thrown on the side of the road and the lyrics are kinda very dreamlike. It's an escape from constantly being told what to do and how to do things and when to jump and how high by the powers that be. It's kind of a statement of my own freedom.

Edie (Ciao Baby) - It was based on a person, Edie Sedgwick who was one of Andy Warhol's actresses. She appeared in several of his films. It was kinda like I was really interested in Warhol's scene, the Velvet Underground, and really interested in Edie Sedgwick and just was compelled to write something about it.

Sweet Soul Sister - Sweet Soul Sister is kinda a song written in Paris. I spent quite a lot of time there. Its just a song about how European people sort of embrace America to an extent. They'll accept fast foot, clothing, music, but, especially in France they're reluctant to accept American Politics. It's kinda a two way thing, they reluctantly accept the United States, and that was kinda what the song was about.

Ian Astbury - February 12/1990

Sun King - The title was inspired by Louis XIV. I mean they were a pretty decadent lot, used to crap on the floor in Versailles, I think. He'd get a little man to clean it up. The song's just basically a very masculin statement. Very much a he dog song. As I am a man.

Ian Astbury - December 23/1991