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There are so many great guitar sounds on the record. What did you use?


It’s a Bob Rock record – so it’s the kitchen sink, man! You name it; we used it. Dumbles, Friedmans, amps that are like the Sears and Roebuck things. I’ll tell you a funny story. We did a week just doing guitars on Maui where Bob lives, right? So I went over there around my birthday time last year and I did it as a combination of birthday [celebrations] and some work. Bob shows up in this pickup truck that’s gotta be worth about six hundred dollars, and the gear on the back of it was worth about a million bucks, strapped to the back of the pickup truck! He had a lot of stuff.


So you don’t have a standard studio rig?


I’m not picky; usually when I’m in the studio with Bob, we’ve done so many records together that I’m not precious about using my Les Paul or my Gretsch or whatever. I really don’t care. I’m really picky about it sounding like I want it to sound. And Bob has great pedals too. The Klons and everything. And he got me onto using the SoloDallas thing, y’know the recreation of the preamp in Angus Young’s old wireless system? I can’t explain it, but it just makes things sound better. It’s not like an effect, it just makes everything sound better! So I’ve been using that live lately. And I’ve got a couple of remade Klons because I’m not buying an original Klon and taking it out on the road. But I can’t even honestly remember what we used on the record. Just anything and everything that was lying around from all the guitar food groups. Even – and check this out, this is a funny one – the beginning riff at the beginning of the album, one of the guitars is Bob playing a red Fender Jaguar, which as you know are horrible guitars – but this one isn’t horrible, it’s really nice! He just bought it in LA from some store and he snuck it out from under the nose of my very good friend from the old days Johnny Marr – who has his own signature Jaguar by the way. So Bob bought this Jaguar that doesn’t suck. He walked in with that guitar, plugged it in, started messing around [with the original] riff, sped it up, and it went from there. The guitar inspired him. So that’s how that song came together: on the back of Bob’s shopping spree!


How much gear will you bring to Australia?


Very little because I can’t, otherwise it’ll be the best vacation I ever paid for. So I’ll just be bringing a couple of guitars and pedals and using rented backline. It’s kind of become the nature of touring that you can’t always bring your backline, so I’ve tried to make it so I can get my tone out of a Marshall JC800, a Vox AC30 and a Roland JC120. And the rest of it is just kind of the way I push them with different overdrives and the way I dial them in with my own thing, really. I’ve always tried to keep it simple. It’s just not financially viable to take the gear down there, really.


The new record is so strong. Are you playing a lot of material off this live?


Yeah, a bit. Y’know, we play about 18 songs per show, and we play about four off the new album. Four of ­five, maybe. Four’s good, in context. There’s quite a dramatic bit in the middle where we play a couple of new songs. We’ve been playing four or ­five over the last year and that seems to be the best combination for our own gigs as a whole, y’know what I mean? When we do play festivals, or for example when we played with Guns N’ Roses this year, we’ll play one new song because it’s not your fanbase.  


Hidden City is out now via Cooking Vinyl Australia. The Cult are touring around the country this month. For more details, head to