Cults have been riding high off their self-titled debut album since it was released last June. The Manhattan-based indie pop group are in the midst of their final "victory lap" tour for the album, which rolls into the Phoenix on April 25.
After that, they plan to return to the studio to finish crafting their sophomore LP, already well underway.
"We're trying to do one more round and then we're going to go consume ourselves withnew music," guitarist/co-songwriter Brian Oblivian tells NOW over the phone from a tour stop in Vancouver.
New music is good news for fans of the band, but loyal followers have been expecting it for a while now. In a video interview with AOL at last year's NXNE, Oblivian and his singer partner Madeline Follin claimed to be working on a hip hop mixtape version of the debut album, with contributions by "guys like Freddie Gibbs and Lil B."
Nearly a year later, outside of a random remix of their song Bad Things by buzzy gangsta rapper Freddie Gibbs, the mixtape still hasn't surfaced. Meanwhile, Follin and Oblivian have been conspicuously silent on the topic.
"That was an idea that we had flightily and we started talking about it before we realized the logistics that go into it," admits Oblivion, "the logistics mainly being that rappers and rappers managers can be very hard to deal with."
Though they were signed to major label Sony Music for their debut album, Cults have strong DIY roots, a mentality that isn't shared by many of the rappers that they've reached out to.
"A lot of those guys, they're not lying when they say they're all about the money," Oblivian laughs. "There are very few gestures of good faith. Nobody's saying ‘oh yeah, I'll do it for free because this is cool.' That doesn't really happen as far as I've seen.
Basically, it comes down to this: if we can get the money, we can pull it off."
But there's good news. Though the deal has yet to be finalized, Oblivian says they've likely found a sponsor to finance the project. And though talks have fallen through with many of the bigger names they've approached, they still have a few aces in the hole.
"We've been talking to MF DOOM lately, which is my ultimate fantasy as far as these collaborations go," he says. "That one seems like it's probably going to happen."
As Oblivian has learned, however (and as fans of MF DOOM know all too well), it's not a very wise idea to get ahead of yourself talking about collaborations that have yet to be locked down.
"I'm hesitant to even want to talk about it anymore, because I don't want to get people excited for things that might end up being just a fantasy in my head," he concedes.
Still, it sounds like the band has already dug into some of the songs, which have drifted away from their roots as straight-up remixes. That may not be such a surprise, considering their summery girl group-inspired melodies have a much lighter edge than many of the hip hop artists they're reaching out to.
"From what we have so far from it, the songs are starting to get more and more removed from the record though they'll still have that base," he explains. "Remixing is a bit of a weird concept. There seems to be rules, but I don't really understand them. So I guess we're just going to break them."