The Cult will release their first studio album in five years on May 22nd. ‘Choice Of Weapon’ on the band’s own label Cooking Vinyl was recorded between July and December of last year, and in two different phases.

The group worked first with producer Chris Goss (Masters Of Reality, Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, U.N.K.L.E.), starting off in what Astbury describes as “a raw, visceral space” before all concerned “kind of exhausted ourselves.” The Cult then worked with Bob Rock, who also produced 1989’s platinum ‘Sonic Temple’, for “a fresh set of ears” and a “more refined” and polished sound. Astbury says the end result is “very authentic.”

Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy wrote the album, which was recorded in New York City, Los Angeles, the California high desert, and the band’s Witch Mountain studio. The new release features founding members Astbury on vocals and Duffy on guitars, with drummer John Tempesta and bassist Chris Wyse.

“We have had the opportunity to work with two of the most influential and talented producers in the world today,” said Astbury. “They pushed us beyond our comfort zone, and helped us craft Choice of Weapon.” Choice of Weapon is aimed at the heart of The Cult’s loyal following. It reflects the current discontent and destruction of our eco systems, the search for individual meaning against a tide of rampant materialism, narcissism and disconnected lives. “We went deeper . . . we worked a bit harder on this record. We have great fans and they deserve our best,” added Duffy, “and I feel this is as strong as any album we have ever released.” The Cult is working on film and graphic elements to accompany the album’s release, and plans are being confirmed for the band’s 2012 World Tour.

The first single from the animals is ‘For The Animals’, which Astbury says reflects the Cult’s attitude about making music. “The Cult is like an archetypal outsider group; we’ve never really fit in with one particular sect or genre,” he explains. “We’ve never been pigeonholed. We’ve stayed open to other influences… But some people don’t like that. They want to say, ‘We know who you are’ and they try to put a leash on you. So this is about identifying with a raw, visceral animal. We don’t belong to anybody. We go where nature takes us.”

Astbury adds: “Our intention was to make a record that was fresh. It’s of its time, and we captured exactly where we’re at right now, in the early part of the 21st century. I’m watching so many artists just terrified to make a statement of any kind. They’re afraid they’re going to get ripped apart in the blogosphere or torn apart by some critic who’s basically just out of diapers. So many (artists) seem to be scared to come out and say what they feel. A lot of rock ‘n’ roll music has lost its teeth.”

Choice Of Weapon tracklist:
Honey From a Knife
Elemental Light
For The Animals
Life Death
The Wolf
Amnesia
Lucifer
Wilderness Now
A Pale Horse
This Night in the City Forever