Cults’ Brian Oblivion On Being In A Band With His Ex And New York’s Burrito Problem


At, you can read my latest article from July 3, 2014, “Cults’ Brian Oblivion On Being In A Band With His Ex And New York’s Burrito Problem” Check out the article below:

Cults‘ Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin have gone through a lot of changes since their debut album was released four years ago: the once-lovebirds split up, became best friends again, and even their sounds changed from bubblegum, 60s-style pop to a grittier, more atmospheric album.

The indie darlings, who now live in New York City, are also some hard-working 25 years olds. For their first album, the duo played around 300 shows, and come October, they’ll be winding down on a year-long tour promoting their sophomore effort Static. They’re also concurrently working in the studio on their next album.

Multi-instrumentalist Oblivion talked to LAist about what the break-up with Follin was like, on playing with his idols The Pixies, and the debate between SoCal and NYC burritos.

Since you’ve been playing at a lot of festivals during this tour, what would you say was your favorite one?

We just did a festival in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which for me was the 50th state [I’ve been to]. I’ve been to every state—and we’ve at least played in 48 of them, but for me at least I hung out and set foot in every state that we’ve played in. And the audience there that was really receptive and cool and it was a way bigger deal to me than I could talk about because I sounded like a huge nerd.

What was it like playing with the Pixies?

When the call came through it was pretty unbelievable. I’ve said it before but theirs were some of the first songs I ever learned how to play in the garage with my neighbor across the street when I was in eighth grade. And I’ve been listening to them religiously ever since and still am; I love their new record. They were so much nicer than they needed to be, actually. [It was] one of the easiest tours we’ve ever done. They were immediately like, “You guys can share our sound guy” and “Have you met our lighting guy? You can use him too.” And no bands ever do that, and there was no sense of like…a one upmanship or intimidation or anything like that because we could never touch them… They were super kind. That’s more rare than you would think in this world.

What sort of different influences did you have for “Cults” and “Static”?

The first record: we were obviously enthralled with the idea that we had just met each other and we both really liked a lot of music that our friends didn’t like and wanted to explore that kind of late ’50s, early ’60s pop stuff, and we kind of ran straight for it. And I think for the second record, we tried to get into more of the obvious influences we had growing up with bands like the Pixies and more of the ’90s guitar stuff that we idolized throughout our youth. We also wanted it to be a more a disciplined and varied and distorted and tense record.

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