Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics
Dogtooth Stage (Sunday)
By Eric Mackinnon
Playing the Download Festival with his new band is something Aaron Buchanan will cherish this summer but he confesses it has come much quicker than he anticipated.
The hugely talented frontman explains that Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics – a band with more than one or two nods to the grunge greats of the ‘90’s – only came together AFTER he had written and recorded an entire album.
And as a band operated on their own without the support of a record label, Buchanan is grateful and thrilled to have received an invitation to hit the Dogtooth Stage on Sunday, June 11.
“We have been really lucky,” explains Buchanan, “Already we are on the playlist for Kerrang and Planet Rock and Classic Rock are behind us. It seems we have more traction now than when I was with Heavens Basement which is insane as I’m an independent artist with no label. It’s really good.”
He continued: “The Download Festival invitation is insane and it the kind of thing which is normally inaccessible to a band like us starting from the bottom and working our way up again.
“It is exceptional and to be able to do Download and in the slot we have been given is quite the honour. Download is the home of what we do and it is the home of British rock. I’m excited to get the band on there.
“The support since I finished with Heaven’s Basement has been amazing. We didn’t anticipate this. It is so far beyond what we expected to achieve.”
The debut album from Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics ‘The Man With Stars On His Knees’ will be released ahead of their Download set – on May 26 – and the record pays tribute to Aaron’s ‘90’s rock heroes. Think Scott Weiland, Layne Stayley and Eddie Vedder in their pomp and the vibe and sound of one of the best albums I’ve heard this year should be clear.
“I’m glad you said that,” beamed Buchanan. “The whole record is heavily inspired by the 90’s rock movement. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl jam, Skunk Anansie and even a little Alanis Morrisette too.
“I came from a band which was influenced by the 80’s (Heavens Basement) and I wanted something different. I was fed up doing music which shouted out to other people and wanted to do music which shouted out to me.
“That’s what ‘The Man With Stars On His Knees’ is all about. It means the man who bows to no authority. That name came about after I sacked off the record label, hired my own manager and quit the band.”
He continued: “There will always be my passion for Eddie Vedder and Scott Weiland. You can also hear Queen influences on it but my main dominant influences is the 90s era. It is important for bands and artists to evolve and nobody has ever heard me produce music like this before and the reason for that is ‘The Man With Stars on His Knees’ was produced by four people.
“The album was put together before the band was. There wasn’t time and I knew I needed to get a record out pronto. Not next year or the year after. I wanted it done and out so I could send it to people I wanted to come and play in the band to see if they were interested And luckily for me they were and decided to come and do this.”
He added: “I’m just so grateful for all the support and can’t wait to play Download again. “We played Download three years running with my last band from the Jagermesiter Stage up to the second stage and hopefully there is a chance to do the same sort of thing from the ground up with the Cult Classics now.
“We will work our way up and that’s the whole idea.”