THE CULT - Choice Of Weapon: Hard Rock With An Underpinning Of Joy Division Page 3
by Martin Popoff
Pushed and pulled, because a true subtext to the record has to include the actual, extended production story, with credit on the album going to Chris Goss... and Bob Rock! Listen to Choice Of Weapon, and one can only imagine that a lot of the great music on it was touched my the magic shaman man hand of Goss, but that the album's accessibility, and pretty played-straight, actually, production sound... well, that's gotta be Bob Rock. Turns out that's kinda how it went down, with the result being a bunch of the band's greatest songs rendered sonically conservative and efficient, no peaks and valleys, like Sonic Temple, the band's album of bloat.
"Working with Goss," explains Ian, "initially, helped break a lot our bad habits we kind of got as a group, as an entity. He kinda came in and I went like, some of this stuff is not relevant. You gotta lose some of the arrangement bad habits. He really started to break things up, longer passages, different perspectives, and he really did an incredible, incredible amount of work on that. After that we needed to finesse it; we needed to finish it. And we had exhausted... we kind of exhausted the relationship with Chris, in that we got every single grain we could have out of him, and it was a lot of work. It's difficult to be a fly on the wall and explain what it is, but sometimes you're routining songs 30, 40 times. You're playing them over and over and over again, and changing... You know, you keep looking at it, as opposed to like sitting there just listening to the same take over and over again. That's not how you get it. You get it by playing it. You've got to play these things."
What would've the production sounded like had it stopped with Chris?
"I think it would have been probably more ethereal, slightly more esoteric. I mean, it would be a European cinema, as opposed to, you know, North American cinema. It's just those nuances are in there. And I'm completely cool with that. That's cool. But then again, there's always this thing where you want to take it further. You kind of want to finesse it and bring it in slightly, bring the focuses in slightly more. An analogy I use is kind of off-Broadway, maybe European - it had that sentiment to it. Working with Bob, who is incredible at finessing and has just got an incredible ear, he's a brilliant engineer, and he knows how to achieve a balance. He retained all those elements that Chris had, but then just kind of amplified them in some way. He changed some of the arrangements. He worked on some of the performances, came in and worked on some very important parts. 'Life > Death' came out of the cinema noir, kind of sound, into very much like a beautiful scene out of a great North American director like... I like to use film analogies, because people get visual on it, so it's a good way of describing it. So Bob really came in and finessed this record and really helped us to refine it, and then really, kind of clarified what the record was. So his input was essential. Both of them were essential."
THE CULT - Choice Of Weapon: Hard Rock With An Underpinning Of Joy Division Page 4