This week’s artist’s spotlight is on @somecult
- Tell me a little about yourself:
“Do you want the real answer or the fun answer? The fun answer is that we are a hybrid rock band/performance art troupe comprised of ten monsters, witches, robots and subhumans. We come from underground Altar City, the weirdest town in the west, and perform in cabaret-style settings mixing music, improvisational jams, comedy and multi-media magic.
The real answer is that we are a rogue band of anonymous artists, musicians, technicians, vandals and thieves. Five members make up the musical core, while the other five work in concert to bring a Some Cult show to life. We are female-fronted, multi-cultural and fiercely independent.”
2. How did you come up with your band/troupe name?
“It’s actually a play on Charlotte’s Web – “some pig!” Our director came up with the name almost ten years ago when he was doing Warped Tour with another band. A cult is a group of individuals who share a strange belief and often blindly follow a strange leader. In this case, our strange leader is Mister Rabbit – and he is blind in one eye! It’s a tongue-in-cheek way of referring to our sinister but lovable gaggle of creatures who all share one vision. Since the members all function anonymously, it made sense to call it “some” cult, a nod to the unknown.
In the children’s book, Wilbur the pig is a runt who is about to be slaughtered when Charlotte spins her infamous web, making him seem fantastic and larger than life. In many ways, that’s exactly what Some Cult is – the idea of taking broken things and making them something spectacular. It applies to both the band and the audience – taking something that could be an otherwise ordinary experience and turning it into something extraordinary.”
3. Can you talk about each costume and what each one represents?
“The costumes and characters all have roots in the Some Cult mythos, which began with our first book, A Jazz Funeral. It’s a story that begins in New Orleans and winds up in Echo Park, California. It’s far too much to explain in an interview, but we can give you some Cliff’s Notes on each member!
DJ Pan X – introduced in A Jazz Funeral as Pandora, DJ Pan X is the daughter of a mystic medicine man and the granddaughter of the enchanted spirit living inside of Mister Rabbit. Over time she has become the band’s human force, wielding her guitar and primal scream like a weapon.
Kaboombox – an enchanted ghetto blaster, Kaboombox is the henchman of DJ Pan X. Made up of multiple personalities, Kaboombox is also the band’s transmitter and walking light show, a virtual hype machine and the group’s silver tongue.
Mister Rabbit – the Saint of Echo Park. A one-eyed toy rabbit otherwise known as Wilbur Corduroy, Mister Rabbit is a pure, unbridled spirit who revels in mischief and knows only love. A tattered performer of clumsy magic and vaudeville, his wind-up key controls most of the band – even as his soul inspires the rest.
Glory, Birdman of Alvarado – the unreliable emcee (and self-declared manager) of Some Cult, Glory is an undead drag queen with an owl skull for a head and turntables for eyes. Often drug-addled and neurotic, Glory is an art thief and street prophet who foretold of Mister Rabbit long before he appeared.
Banshee (The Big Dirty) – A faceless shadow-creature born of pure darkness, Banshee is the percussive thunder driving the band. When he’s not devouring souls or destroying the drums, Banshee enjoys cat-sitting and long walks on the beach.
Bon Ridley Scott – also known as the Escape Goat, Bon Ridley Scott is Some Cult’s unstable genius. A voodoo doll with button eyes, Bon often wears a straitjacket – when he’s not playing bass like the monster he is.
Buckingham Suede – the gentleman hive, Buckingham Suede is the group’s thinker and romantic. Dressed to the nines with a hornet’s nest for a head, Suede provides additional vocals and the tasty guitar licks that underpin the sound of Some Cult.
Black Nymph – the Queen Mother of Some Cult, Black Nymph is part human, part insect. A piano bar performer (and half-sister to the Medium), the Nymph is Some Cult’s dark siren, luring unsuspecting visitors into the artistic underground. She is also the group’s lead vocalist and costume designer, crafting each creature by hand.
The Medium – Some Cult’s fairy godmother, the Medium is an astrological wonder – albeit with an attitude. While she doesn’t care much for people, she loves monsters – especially Mister Rabbit. A dancer and seasoned stage performer, the Medium orbits Some Cult – interjecting in the show, interacting with the audience, and generally avoiding the Birdman.
The Collection – a dark witch and time jumper, the Collection is an outside observer of Some Cult known to inject chaos and confusion at her fancy – a terrifying trait, since she is also the band’s stage manager. Her love for Mister Rabbit generally keeps the show going smoothly, though she has been known to throw show-stopping rage-fits of sorcery.
The really amazing thing is that these characters were written in the book – just sort of tossed out into the universe – and then the perfect artists and musicians appeared to fill the roles. It took time – a few years of auditioning and hard work – but the performers have honed the characters and inhabited the costumes in a manner that far exceeds the initial story. If you want to know more you’ll have to listen, read and come play with us!”
4. What have been your top 3 performances or events that you would like to share?
“Some Cult has been in production for six years. Four of those years were spent in pre-production – writing the mythos, designing the costumes, and investing a lot of time and money into a crazy idea! The last two years have been spent putting the actual band together – auditioning members, writing the songs, recording the album, getting the characters on their feet and going out in public. We were scheduled for our debut performance and several industry showcases right when Covid-19 hit the States. Talk about timing!
Some Cult is such an involved, nuanced project that we have really taken our time crafting it. We wanted to come out of the gate fully-formed and self-contained, and we have been patient in getting there. All of our members are professional performers, touring and recording with various talented artists – though we can’t tell you who (wink, wink)! While quarantine certainly stalled some momentum, we have used the time wisely and look forward to blowing minds as soon as safely possible! In the meantime you can check out music and videos on our website. We are designed to be a car crash between a rock concert and an off-Broadway performance, and we can’t wait to share that with the world.”
5.Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?
“Some Cult is a community-oriented group, and service is a big part of our mission. When Covid-19 hit, it felt selfish to brazenly promote ourselves when so many people were struggling. The social and political unrest following the murder of George Floyd further fueled that belief. Since March we have been focusing on our community, promoting bands and local businesses and volunteering to help in any way that we can. We started an interview series called “Save Local,” in which we interview artists and establishments in our area to see how they are coping with the madness and hopefully bring them some additional attention. We helped facilitate a community event called “Save Melrose,” bringing together over a dozen amazing street artists to create works benefiting four independent Melrose shops that were completely destroyed by fire. Obviously we get some exposure from things like that, but that was never the point. The point is that we are all in this together, doing the best we can with our individual talents and gifts to create something special – the very essence of Some Cult.
We have our first e.p. coming out on September 14, 2020. It’s called “The Arrow,” and we are super stoked on it. Some Cult is not a “singles” band – the songs tie together to create an overall experience. We will be releasing it on CD, cassette and download, along with a new book called Dungeons & Drag Queens: The Altar City Companion. It’s a full color, 150-page guide to the strange city we call home. It basically re-imagines Los Angeles as Altar City, a parallel universe of monsters and madness which is based on L.A.’s actual history.
We will be releasing music videos and have a live show happening soon – obviously we have to ride the coronavirus wave and be responsible to ourselves and our audience, so we will not announce the performance until it is advertised. But keep an eye out – strange and magical things are afoot in Altar City!
Thank you so much for the opportunity to do this interview – we are big fans of @lady.cult and love all the kitsch! We look forward to more of your work and sincerely appreciate your time.”
If you like to know more information on Some Cult. The following contact information is below:
Thank you so much for the interview!
Until next time!