The Cult set for relaunch

Ian Astbury is planning to end his work with Doors members to relaunch his 1980s hard rock group The Cult, the British singer said.

“I have decided to move on and focus on my own music and legacy,” Astbury, 44, said yesterday in a statement e-mailed by The Cult’s Los Angeles-based publicist Todd Brodginski.

Astbury has been performing with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, 68, and guitarist Robby Krieger, 61, under the name Riders on the Storm for the past four years.

“I have learned a great deal from the both of them, and it certainly has expanded my abilities as a performer,” Astbury said of the ’60s legends. “This has been a difficult decision to make but I feel I would be holding them back as well as myself if I did not depart at this time.”

Astbury, a singer heavily influenced by the late Doors frontman Jim Morrison, will now focus on “relaunching” The Cult with guitarist Billy Duffy.

Britain’s The Cult gained fame in the ’80s with such hits as “She Sells Sanctuary,” “Revolution” and “Rain.”

Riders on the Storm, according to group manager Tom Vitorino, will continue to perform and is looking at a short list of potential vocalists, Brodginski said.

The group has just finished a sold-out tour of Europe, Brodginski said.

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