Interview Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics  

Could you introduce your band? Your music style? Your label?

The band is Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics, we’re an alternative rock band from the UK and we’re signed to the French record label Listenable Records

Where do you come from?

Collectively the band are from all over the UK.

How it all started?

I am the former vocalist for Heaven’s Basement (signed to Red Bull Records). I toured for years with them around the world as far north as the prairies of Canada and Åre in Sweden and as far south as Australia. It was a blast, but I just didn’t feel like I could be my self, so I quit the band in 2015 and got straight into the studio with the demo’s I had submitted to them for what would have been the second Heaven’s Basement album. Those demo’s got brushed under the carpet by Heaven’s Basement, but I believed in them and believe that if you’re no longer enjoying something, it’s time to move on.

What is your influences? (Bands, movies, books, ...)

The album was heavily inspired by the 90’s grunge movement with a dash of Queen. There’s a lot of Alice In Chains riffery in amongst Queen compositions. I really like both those bands; their artistic integrity and quality of songs they have put out over the years never ceases to amaze me. Layne Stayley was such a different breed of frontman, dark, secretive, untouchable I’d say – and Freddie, he has the legacy of being the greatest showman of all time. I wanted a slice of both of those pies.

Could you tell us more about “The Man With Stars On His Knees”? First and foremost, The Man With Stars On His Knees is a freedom record. There’s no label or suits that tarnished its creation, it’s true to its self and it’s true to me. I didn’t want to do this particular record under a dictator, I had stories to tell, things I needed to say and I didn’t need shiny shoes and over-zealous suits getting in the way of my message. I was physically and mentally drained from my time with Heaven’s Basement, I literally needed to turn my self into a phoenix or forever accept that I was going to die unsatisfied. The Man With Stars On His Knees simply means “The man that bows to no authority” – I wanted and needed to be my own boss, I had waited years to do so, so I ceased the opportunity.

Also about the process of writing and composing?

I started writing the record before I even knew I was dead set on quitting Heaven’s Basement. I wrote it for them, about them – maybe that’s why they didn’t like the songs! I tracked many of the vocal parts in Australia and recorded much of the music in the UK with James Curtis-Thomas.

Your album was very well received by the medias, how do you feel about that?

I feel like after all these years, to be recognized, just once, is nice.

Why did you sign with listenable records? What are the strengths of this label?

I signed with Listenable because they’re unique, they’re on the continent and they have a really good vision for our future. I don’t want to be in a band that is stuck in the UK for a decade, I like travelling and I like meeting new people. Being in a band is like being part of a circus, and me? I’m the trapeze artist amongst the acrobats, lion tamers and clowns.

You have toured with a lot of big bands, what are your best memories? Which festivals would you like to do? Which bands would you like to play with? I’ve been a very privileged human with the tours that I have been able to do in my time, from shows with Aerosmith and arenas with Alice Cooper to huge shows with Royal Republic, The Pretty Reckless, the biggest rock festivals all across the globe and of course, my home-land festival Download on 5 occasions. For me, I just like touring with oddities – I’d love to head out on the road with the likes of Coheed & Cambria, SikTh, Skindred – bands with flair.

Any tour or concerts announced? In France or Europe?

We’ll be in france and other parts of Europe this year for festivals but we can’t announce which ones just yet! We can however inform anyone coming to the UK for Download Festival 2019 that we will be joining the line-up on the Sunday!

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