Cult Leader

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Cult Leader
Cult Leader live 2014.jpg
Cult Leader performing live in May 2014
Background information
OriginSalt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Years active2013 (2013)–present
Associated actsGaza
  • Casey Hansen
  • Anthony Lucero
  • Mike Mason
  • Sam Richards

Cult Leader is an American hardcore punk band that formed in 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.[1] It was founded by three members of Gaza following the band's break up. Cult Leader signed to Jacob Bannon's label Deathwish Inc. and have released two EPs and two studio albums,Lightless Walk in 2015 and "A Patient Man" in 2018.


In late 2012, an unnamed woman from Idaho began posting on her social media accounts alleging that a member of the Salt Lake City band Gaza had raped her, and later identified the Gaza member as its vocalist, Jon Parkin. In January 2013, Gaza posted a status update on their Facebook account denying that the rape allegations were true, calling the claims "reckless and completely slanderous," and the matter was settled privately between the two parties.[5] An excerpt from the woman's blog following the resolution read: "Neither of us are retracting our respective statements – instead we are deciding to not discuss it further and move on."[5] Despite the resolution, Gaza formally announced its break up in March 2013, and their announcement also stated: "some of us will continue to make music together."[6] In addition to the rape allegations, the other members of Gaza also cited tension between them and Parkin that had been building up over the course of two years.[7] Gaza bassist Anthony Lucero said:

It started to become really frustrating and tours were getting cancelled and all kinds of stuff was happening, so when that stupid, horrible shit blew up on the Internet, then it had reached the point where the three of us said that we'd had enough of this, it's done, and so we decided to actually kick Jon [Parkin] out of the band. Then we sat with Gaza for awhile, trying to figure out what we were going to do, and eventually it felt like the only right thing to do was just start from scratch.[7]

In May 2013, two months after the break-up announcement, former Gaza members guitarist Mike Mason, drummer Casey Hansen and Anthony Lucero – who was Gaza's bassist, but switched to lead vocals for this project – announced they formed a new band called Cult Leader, and recruited Sam Richards on bass.[8] They decided on the name Cult Leader because it conjured up vivid imagery, and Lucero commented: "A friend of ours actually suggested that and my brain lit up. I loved all the references and all the meanings."[9]

Cult Leader released its debut EP Nothing for Us Here on April 15, 2014 through Deathwish Inc.[10] The release "came together" in about a week, and the band was considering self-releasing the album for a while. They sent a copy to their friend Jacob Bannon of Converge to see what he thought of the music, who in turn suggested that Cult Leader release the EP through his own label, Deathwish.[7] The title of EP was, in part, a reference to Gaza's break up.[9] Nothing for Us Here was met with generally favorable reviews upon release,[11][12] and Cult Leader toured the US in April–May 2014 in support of it.[13]

In November 2014, Cult Leader announced their plans to release a 7" EP and a full-length studio album in 2015.[14] The 7" is a three-song EP titled Useless Animal that will be released on June 16, 2015 through Deathwish.[15] The EP notably featured a cover of Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon) and Deathshore's collaboration track "You Are Not My Blood," which originally appeared on their 2013 album Mark Kozelek & Desertshore.[16] Before the release of the EP, Cult Leader toured across the US as they traveled from Utah to producer and Converge member Kurt Ballou's GodCity Studio in Massachusetts to record their first full-length album in March 2015, and continued to tour North America through May 2015 immediately after recording was finished.[16][17] The full-length album, titled Lightless Walk, was released on October 16, 2015 through Deathwish followed by an October–November 2015 supporting North American tour.[18]

On November 9, 2018, Cult Leader will release its second studio album A Patient Man through Deathwish.[19] The band began promoting the Ballou-produced album with an online stream of "I Am Healed" in September 2018.[20]


  • Casey Hansen – drums
  • Anthony Lucero – vocals
  • Mike Mason – guitar
  • Sam Richards – bass


Studio albums[edit]



  1. ^ a b Kraus, Brian (December 11, 2013). "Cult Leader (ex-Gaza) sign to Deathwish Inc., announce 'Nothing For Us Here' EP". Alternative Press. Retrieved October 5, 2016. Salt Lake City, UT's Cult Leader, a newly formed caustic metalcore unit that includes three-fourths of Gaza, have signed to Deathwish Inc. and announced their debut EP, Nothing For Us Here.
  2. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Cult Leader biography". AllMusic. Retrieved October 5, 2016. Formed in 2013 out of the ashes of popular underground grindcore unit Gaza, Salt Lake City, Utah's Cult Leader specialize in sludgy but tech-forward metalcore that invokes names like Trap Them, Converge, and Pig Destroyer.
  3. ^ Meghan (May 7, 2015). "Southwest Terror Fest 2015 Bulletin: Cult Leader Takes Over Tucson". CVLT Nation. Retrieved November 14, 2016. CULT LEADER will be bringing their raging crust to the desert...
  4. ^ a b Lee, James (May 11, 2016). "Live: Rotten Sound / Abigail Williams / Cult Leader / Razoreater @ Boston Music Rooms, London". Punktastic. Retrieved October 5, 2016. By far the least straightforward act of the night, Cult Leader’s harrowing cocktail of grind, sludge and hardcore was an almost overwhelming assault on the nervous system.
  5. ^ a b Schreurs, Jason (January 16, 2013). "Gaza Singer Jon Parkin Responds to Allegations of Rape". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  6. ^ Adams, Gregory (March 15, 2013). "Gaza Break Up". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Adams, Gregory (April 22, 2014). "Cult Leader: Forging Ahead". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  8. ^ Adams, Gregory (May 28, 2013). "Gaza Members Reunite as Cult Leader". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Karim, Alee (April 3, 2014). "They Are Cult Leader And They Aren't Leaving Utah". Noisey. Vice. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  10. ^ Adams, Gregory (December 11, 2013). "Gaza Offshoot Cult Leader Sign to Deathwish Inc. for Debut EP, Share New Tune". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  11. ^ Schreurs, Jason (April 11, 2014). "Cult Leader – Nothing For Us Here". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  12. ^ Brown, Dean (May 2, 2014). "Cult Leader: Nothing For Us Here". PopMatters. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  13. ^ Moore, Doug (April 1, 2014). "Cult Leader (ex-Gaza) streaming new EP; tour starts soon". BrooklynVegan. Spin Media. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  14. ^ Adams, Gregory (November 14, 2014). "Cult Leader Set Sights on New Releases for 2015". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  15. ^ Adams, Gregory (March 6, 2015). "Cult Leader Reveal 'Useless Animals' 7-inch, Cover Mark Kozelek". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Nelson, Michael (May 6, 2015). "Cult Leader – 'You Are Not My Blood' (Mark Kozelek & Desertshore Cover)". Stereogum. SpinMedia. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  17. ^ Adams, Gregory (January 22, 2015). "Cult Leader Map Out North American Tour". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  18. ^ a b Adams, Gregory (August 6, 2015). "Cult Leader Taking 'Lightless Walk' with New LP". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 8, 2015.
  19. ^ Slingerland, Calum (September 5, 2018). "Cult Leader Return with 'A Patient Man' LP". Exclaim!. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Pessaro, Fred (September 5, 2018). "Hear Cult Leader's Claustrophobic, Utterly Terrifying New Song 'I Am Healed'". Revolver. Retrieved September 6, 2018.

External links[edit]