The names you'll find here are musicians whose artistic ability - genius, in some cases - has dwarfed their limited commercial success. So don your white robes and join us as we count down the 20 gods of cult.

Meanwhile, head to NME.COM/video to hear NME writers discuss these artists - and don't forget to let us know your own personal cult heroes.


US indie's ultimate cult hero

Daniel Dale Johnston is perhaps US indie's ultimate cult hero – yet he's seen his career hindered by his long-term bipolar disorder. Here’s Marina Diamandis on his enduring brilliance: "What I love about Daniel Johnston is that he can't hide his emotions and doesn’t have a lot of vocal control. I've got a Daniel Johnston T-shirt and I'm going to cover...


One half of *the* avant-garde power couple

Alongside her late husband John Lennon, Yoko was one half of the principal avant-garde power couple of the late '60s and '70s. In mainstream circles, her art, both musical and visual, has often gone unrecognised but she's not short of her devotees.

We thought we'd call her up and see how she felt about being in our list: "I don't feel like a cult...


A true underground don

Whether fronting seminal DC punks The Nation Of Ulysses, The Make-Up, Weird War, or his new band Chain And The Gang, Ian Svenonius is a true underground don.

We asked him about his cult heroes. "My main hero is Fidel Castro because he really is heroic. In rock'n'roll, the people that people love are the ones who make one record or die. Like Nick...


Short, snappy, lo-fi perfect pop

Nobody wrote songs like Guided By Voices – short, snappy, lo-fi perfect pop that was more often than not drunker than Shane MacGowan at a wedding.

The Strokes' Julian Casablancas is a member of their cult: "Guided By Voices' music is like all the great knowledge that's out there in the world, things like Oscar Wilde's Phrases And Philosophies For...


Scottish indie's elder statesmen

Led by 1990s frontman Jackie McKeown, The Yummy Fur were not only one of the most important Scottish indie bands ever – before finding success with Franz Ferdinand, Alex Kapranos and Paul Thomson made up their numbers – but also a unique band with an impressive catalogue of...

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