CoS Exclusive FeaturesHotList 'Em Carefully

List ‘Em Carefully: The Top 15 Cult Acts

on November 30, 2011, 1:05pm
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list em carefully banner List Em Carefully: The Top 15 Cult Acts

The fans, the fans, the fans. It’s who all bands take the time to acknowledge. At concerts, artists will always shout out partially histrionic statements like, “We couldn’t do this without you…the fans!” And as a result, every fan’s devotion soars through the roof (if not eternally). It’s somewhat silly, though, not to realize that the fans do make everything possible. People like bands, so they buy their records, see their shows, sometimes blog about them (hey there), “Like” their Facebook pages, live chat with them on Twitter, and on super-rare occasions, even get to meet them. It’s all fine and dandy, but sometimes simple fandom turns into lifestyle choices and obsession.

There are a chunk of bands out there whose fans should never be referred to merely as fans. These fan bases are more or less a cult. Somehow, over the years, a few musical acts have completely shaped people’s worlds. Liking them on Facebook just isn’t enough; their followers have to paint their faces or attend every show the band plays. Some of these cult acts you might understand and think, I can see why people like them. And others make little to no sense at all; in fact, you wonder how the hell somebody got into them in the first place.

It’s simple. It’s called loyalty.

-Ted Maider
Media Specialist

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Mariuxi Córdova
December 2, 2011 at 12:36 am

WE ARE X!!!!!!!

Adriana Krauser III
December 2, 2011 at 12:16 am

X Japan RULES!!

December 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm

WE ARE X!! They have Xed around the world!

December 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm


December 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm

We are xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!

December 1, 2011 at 11:17 pm

We are xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!!!!!

December 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Unbeatable! I love you!

December 1, 2011 at 11:04 pm

WE ARE X, X Japan is a great band nugh’ said ^_^x

Caro Franz
December 1, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Fuckin’ great! We are X!

December 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm

No Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Aphex Twin, Mogwai, Sigur Rós, Pixies? Hm…

December 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Odd futre WOlf GANG


December 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Not a bad list, but Presley?…then you have to add Beatles, Stones, Zep….

These are some bands that come to mind that I’ve witnessd the Mania for:

Widespread Panic, Slightly Stoopid, Zappa, 311(though i don’t get it), Flaming Lips, Tool 

Michel Mercier
December 1, 2011 at 5:26 am

We are X

December 1, 2011 at 4:00 am

Great list. Really surprised that WEEZER isn’t on here though….

December 2, 2011 at 1:56 am

Yes, very surprising that a list about cult bands does not have WEEZER on it. Almost as if WEEZER isn’t a cult band at all. Hmmmmmmm….
Sadly I think the kids are too young to appreciate what a cult band is. Tweets = cult, right? All the people I know at my high school love Matt from Muse. We always say nasty things about Kate Hudson on their Facebook page, Muse is, like, so cult! Eddie Vedder should be cult status bro, everyone I know likes him. If that’s not cult then I don’t know what is!!!!!

November 30, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Enjoyable list, not sure how deserving Deadmau5 is however. Personally the only band I was surprised not to see was Ween. They’re really not known well outside of the Boognish though they’ve been cranking out amazing music for 20 years.

The Dresden Dolls also come to mind but not as severely.

December 1, 2011 at 3:07 am

Ween for sure! Who has a more cult fan base than a band who one day promises to dump shit all over its audience and yet the fans keep coming. Many of whom attend in hopes of witnessing the true Brown show.

Evan Lummer
November 30, 2011 at 11:27 pm

just from my viewing, muse fans seem to be the most obsessive group i’ve witnessed. 

November 30, 2011 at 11:00 pm

The cult of Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam should have been mentionned too. I love Pearl Jam, and their following truely is a cult, with its home base being the PJ20 festival this past summer. It’s insane how many setlists people have documented from their shows

Andy Tabelz
November 30, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I would think Neutral Milk Hotel would be on here. 

Justin Rector
November 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Is it bad I really expected Electric Six to be on this list? Or Mike Patton, for that matter. Actually, Patton probably really does deserve to be on this list. Not bad otherwise.

Kyle Garrett
November 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm

How can you put ICP but not The Protomen?!

November 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm

what about Rush?

November 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Good list but I think you could put Arcade Fire up there. Even with the Grammy let year, i still think they’re one of the most underrated bands around today.

November 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Good list but I think you could put Arcade Fire up there. Even with the Grammy let year, i still think they’re one of the most underrated bands around today.

November 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Good list but I think you could put Arcade Fire up there. Even with the Grammy let year, i still think they’re one of the most underrated bands around today.

November 30, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Ha ha ha ha! Yeah, so underrated! Too many grammy’s, headlining spots, top 10 lists, commercial jingles, and album sales. Good cult pick. I almost had to wikipedia who you were talking about, but then I remembered that they are that totally underground underrated band who lives and dies by its obsessed fan base, known as Arcade Geeks. The definition of a cult band for sure. The Arcade Fires.

November 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Tech N9ne is developing his own cult of followers called “Technicians”
World Inferno Friendship Society is rather cult-like
What about GG Allin?and then there’s O.A.R. and most other jam bands…

Romeo Reyes
November 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Great list!

David Buchanan
November 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm

That’s a solid list, mate.

November 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm

This is fantastic. Great feature!

November 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I would say that The Residents are probably the most important and most influential cult act to ever exist. One hundred percent supported by fans since 1972. 

Paul de Revere
November 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm

When you got to ICP, I was like, “NO NO NO NO NO NO.”

Srsly, great job, Ted.


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