The debut album from Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics is as near as a masterpiece of rock music. They are a bright shining beacon that will draw in every hungry rock enthusiast… Like moths to fire! From beginning to end vocalist, Aaron Buchanan and band have crafted sticky morsels of music guaranteed to satisfy; and to think it’s only their debut? The album is bursting with electric performances. It’s with great malice and the lack of foresightedness that they’d be referred to as just another “Nu-Metal”band…
Let’s face it, guitar music was pretty shoddy at the turn of the century until The Strokes came along and washed it all away. In its place, nu-metal became insanely popular – stomach this, Linkin Park’s ‘Hybrid Theory’ is to this day the fastest selling debut of the 21st century – But that’s only because guitar music was in the doldrums. Now, like cockroaches crawling out of a log after a long winter, these bands are rearing their baseball-cap-clad heads clawing for a revival.
Buchanan is backed by his band.. The Cult Classics.. featuring Aaron’s sister, Laurie Buchanan and Ryan Woods trading some pretty awesome guitar riffs . Much kudos are earned by producer, James Curtis-Thomas. The main trait that sticks out is the tight proximity of the band. There’s no let down throughout the entire album. The title track, “The Man With Stars On His Knees” is your proverbial hit power ballad. At times Buchanan’s vocals brushes up some classic rock innuendos. The hard-rockers and slower ballads fall under the same respective tree branches and there doesn’t seem to be any off the cuff moments with Aaron at the helm.
Buchanan has a different style… He’s “movie star” handsome;perhaps channeling between the late.. Scott Weiland and Chester Bennington.. You won’t find any half-fried poetics or platitudes in his lyrics. Evidently, copy-cat bands like Greta Van Fleet, The Struts and Rival Sons (Don’t get me wrong we like all of these bands) are the de rigueur of the day; while commercialism and consumerism can easily bring out the worst in even the most ardent rock and roll bands. The album from start to finish aims to please..Slated for a late February release is a special edition of “The Man..” which features two new studio tracks.. “Undertow” and “the Fields of Mayhem”…
We had the pleasure of interviewing Aaron Buchanan where he shared his insights regarding cults and the making of this album..
Rock Bands of L.A.com:Your sister Laurie is in your band. What music were you both raised on? What do you listen to now? While growing did Laurie influence you musically? Who are the music writers in your band? Is it a group involvement?
Aaron Buchanan:We grew up listening to everything from Eminem to Placebo, Slipknot to Lady Gaga. We were devout fans of metal and progressive bands such as Coheed & Cambria and it’s taking a little piece of all these influences that created whatever we are today. We’re a weird duo, but that suits us – fuck the norm.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:Your album is all over the place… which is why it’s so awesome… James Curtis-Thomas did a fuckin’ awesome job.. What can you tell us about him? Are you going to continue working with him? The sounds from “The Devil That Needs You”.. the title track… In the age of DIY productions this is out of this world… Its on the level of Ken Scott (Bowie and Supertramp))…Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, The Cars)…
A.R.:James is my best friend of 15 years. He knows more about me than I probably do to be honest. We’ve done everything from the 420 life, working Moonies Club together, playing shows together, fighting and nearly doing jail time together. We’ve got some stories, that’s for sure… My plan is to continue producing with JCT, why change a great formula? We know what we’re trying to achieve and this album has succeeded our expectations, so that’s a great thing. We tracked to tape and ran it back through the Pro-Tools to warm up the production, we just fancied doing things differently. We used a ton of vintage gear but spiced the dynamic up with new amps and guitars too. The coolest instrument on the record is the bass guitar. Most of the album bass is tracked with a Lakland bass and frankly, I’ve never heard a better sounding piece of wood.
Rock Bands of L.A.com: You are a gifted singer… did you take voice lessons? You go from one octave to another.. It took me a bunch of listens… You remind me a lot of Scot Weiland and Chester Bennington. Who are your biggest influences?
A.B.:I’m a singer. Gifted? As equally cursed I’d say. Nothing comes for free. I’ve seen various tutors in my time, but by no means am I trained. The biggest lesson in my life has been being on the road, learning how durable and elastic your vocal chords are in different environments. It’s not something a tutor can give you definitive scientific information on, they’re guides, as a singer, you’re your own science experiment, and the more you experiment, the better you become.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:Lyrically you make many references to death and the devil… You don’t seem like you’re that kind of band? The recently recorded songs.. the bonus tracks are lyrically coming from another place… Am I right?
A.B.:When I wrote the first ten songs for The Man With Stars On His Knees I was like a beat dog chained up outside. A skeletal shadow of my former self. What Heaven’s Basement made me feel while I was with that band was gross. I didn’t feel like a human, I certainly wasn’t treated like one. It was all roses on the outside and total chaos on the inside. I remember being told by a member of the band that everyone around the band and in the band hated and despised me, this is a short while after I was falsely accused (multiple times) of theft. Heaven’s Basement was such a powerhouse on the stage and a disaster from the second we left it. I carry as much shame as I do pride with what that band was.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:Come to America?
A.B.:That’s the dream. I know we’d do well, I toured it many times in the past – the issue is the cost of transatlantic shows. For us to get to the other side of the pond is in excess of £10k – visas, flights, crew, travel and all the rest doesn’t come cheap. It would need to be a sizable tour or a residency at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas! Ha!
Here’s the official web for AAron Buchanan & The Cult Classics
We at Rock Bands of L.A.com give a big thanks to Aaron Buchanan and Peter Noble for their kind participation..