Billy Duffy of The Cult on the Music Biz: ‘As Long As People Put Their Art First, We’ll Be Okay’

Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Jas Harshman

The Cult’s Billy Duffy speaks with Anne Erickson about the band’s summer tour and why rock music is still strong

Three major alternative rock names – The Cult, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots – are on the road all summer, rocking the tri-headlining Revolution 3 Tour. The tour, which is set to run through early September, sees each of the bands performing a full set in different order every night.

With three bands that could each headline their own tours coming together for one run, Billy Duffy of The Cult says this trek is on point to offers a lot of value to audiences.

“That’s the idea, because offering people value is a good thing,” he told Audio Ink Radio. “It’s going to keep the bar pretty high. Each band is going to push the other bands to perform better, and I think that’s going to be a good side of it. A little healthy competition is good.”

The Cult has been rocking out for decades at this point, and the fact the band is still touring is a testament to their longevity. When asked if the guys ever expected to be around this long, Duffy earnestly says, “No, I didn’t!”

“I will say that when Ian and I got together, we were both in bands prior to The Cult that had some success, so it’s not like it was our first-ever band. I think we both decided that we wanted to be in it for the long haul. Without planning for that, we made that decision when we started.”

“In the early ‘80s, we were called the Death Cult and relased a couple of EPS and singles as that,” he continued, “and we thought, this death thing is a little bit of a box. So, there was a decision to change the name, which we thought would be more timeless. Those decisions maybe had an effect on our longevity.”

While the music industry has changed over the years, Duffy is optimistic that rock music is still strong.

“I still think there’s a human element,” he said. “Maybe today there are more people getting their music out there just because they can, and accessibility is great but can clog up the airwaves. But, people are always going to want to express themselves musically. It’s a fundamental thing, I don’t think that’s going to change. As long as people put their art first, we’ll be okay.”