Brian Oblivion: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Vocals | Madeline Follin: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Vocals | Gabriel Rodriguez: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Max Kamins: Bass guitar | Marc Deriso: Drums
Sound description: Lo-fi sixties girl-group sounds.
RIYL: Beat Chicks, Wavves, Lesley Gore, Summer Camp, Best Coast, Sleigh Bells, Beach House
Breaking NewsTheir new single celebrating ending toxic relationships, “Spit You Out” -- co-produced by Cults & Shane Stoneback, mixed by John Congleton, and mastered by Heba Kadry -- is the band's first song entirely co-written/performed/sung/co-produced by Madeline Follin (whose stepfather co-founded White Zombie). "In the past, I’d never brought my own music to the table because I was just too shy,” she says. "On this single we tried on some of our more left field influences from the exotica sounds of Esquivel to Nine Inch Nails style heaviness. It focuses on parasitic relationships and breaking away from toxic patterns of interaction. We never imagined it would relate to a worldwide pandemic." The song's video features Follin eating and spitting out food in front of default Zoom backgrounds.
- "Up-and-comers and come-back-arounders" · April 26, 2018
- "Something With Nothing" · March 15, 2017
- "Go Outside with the Cults" · March 14, 2012
- "Cults Singer Calls Local Scene Kids Playing in Their Garages" · Sept. 12, 2011
Inception: San Diego, 2009
Ex-Band Members: Cory Stier, Drums
Influences: The Ronettes, the Shangri-Las, Lesley Gore, the Shirelles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Jay-Z, My Bloody Valentine, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin
Ryan Mattos, AKA Brian Oblivion -- who once fronted a Slayer cover band -- and Madeline Follin -- whose stepfather co-founded White Zombie -- are the male-female duo known as Cults. Having met in 2009 at a Willowz concert, when Oblivion was tour manager for the Willowz (featuring Follin’s brother), their first digital three-song 7 inch released via Bandcamp.com earned them a Best New Music rave from the taste-makers at Pitchfork. The lo-fi sixties surf pop girl-group sound of Cults has earned them much acclaim on other music blogs as well.
Follin is said to have landed a recording contract while still a pre-teen, singing with her stepfather’s band Youth Gone Mad (who recorded her with Dee Dee Ramone). In addition, Follin appeared in a video for another of her brother’s bands (Guards) and sang on a track by Dom called “Bowl Cut.”
In summer 2010, the lo-fi girl groupies took filmmaking classes while spending time in NYC. Around the same time, Lily Allen flew the band to England to discuss signing them to her new record label, In The Name Of. In May 2011, they released a full-length on Allen’s label called Go Outside, engineered by Shane Stonebeck (M.I.A., Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells).
Their 2011 UK tour wrapped up August 30 in Tunnels, Aberdeen. On January 20, 2012, they played their single “Abducted” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with Cory Stier sitting in on drums. A 2012 tour of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand included local Cory Stier sitting in on drums. They played the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 14, 2012, at Chicago’s Union Park, and released a new record the following year, Static.
Their album The Offering was released in October 2017, preceded by a single for the title track and a single and video for "I Took Your Picture." The video, directed by Elliott Sellers, was shot in Piermont, NY, where Cults first recorded Go Outside, and their first EP. The ending scene was shot on top of Brian Oblivion's roof in NYC, where the band had relocated.
After the album's release, Follin and Oblivion embarked on a multi-country tour with guitarist Gabriel Rodriguez, bassist Max Kamins, and drummer Marc Deriso.