Indie Rock Guide: What Defines a Cult Indie Rocker?
When listening to Indie rock music, you will undoubtedly encounter the idea of a cult indie rocker. Those who have never heard this term before may think it refers to a rock musician who is part of a secretive, bizarre group which, in a distant way, is true. But it’s not the definition one would think. A cult indie rocker is, in fact, an independent rock musician who hasn’t signed with a major label yet is incredibly popular with a loyal fanbase within a specific style of rock music. Becoming a cult indie rocker usually has to do with a musician’s rise to stardom.
For example, some bands who become instantly popular off their first album, like Weezer, never had cult indie rock and roll status because they were immediately signed and rose to number one in the charts. Many others like David Bowie for example, began performing on small stages and rose through the ranks, gathering more and more fans, gracing bigger and bigger stages and seeing all levels of the music industry before they became world-famous and signed to a major label.
In most cases, when a musician or band does their time coming up in the music business, they will retain a lot of core independent musical values and will always be “indie” in a sense, depending on how mainstream they get, of course. And there are also always some Indie rockers who never rise beyond cult status, with a relatively lucrative, loyal fanbase, a ton of respect within the industry from other musicians, but have never been able to figuratively break out and be popular amongst the public at large. This may not be what a cult indie rocker initially envisioned, but it may be one of the best types of musicians in the end—big enough to be loved, but not so big that you become irrelevant.