Sunday, April 14, 2013

Interview with David Fargier

La Segunda ran a bit of an interview today with our friend David Fargier (aka davidaftertherain), the author of 2 books ("After The Rain...The Cure" and "One Hundred Songs: The Dark Side of the Mood?") about The Cure. They only used a bit of that interview, so David let us post the rest here:

How and when did you became a fan of The Cure? What caught your attention?

It was a long long time ago that makes me feel like a dinosaur ! And in a way the strength of their art explains the longevity of my passion which never faded. It was in 1983. An indie radio was broadcasting part of a concert in Holland. I just caught the very end of it and heard "Charlotte Sometimes". A few days before I'd seen Bowie's video "Ashes To Ashes" and everything changed in one week. At that time I was a teenager listening to crap mainstream pop songs. I was just entering another universe. A universe of pure art.

At first -specially with "Seventeen seconds", "Faith" and "Pornography"- they were very dark (for, in some way, they were continuing doing what Joy Division left unfinished...). What can you tell me about this period? Do you like it in particular? What do you think of what came later?

It was a very interesting and exciting period following the punk movement. So many talented and original bands were coming out : Joy Division and then New Order, Psychedelic Furs, The Stranglers, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Echo And The Bunnymen... I was really into that dark and romantic stuff but The Cure had something else. I'd say a wider range of music and atmospheres since the very beginning. They were able to play beautiful sad songs but also more upbeat punk-pop. That's probably why I never felt into this kind of nostalgia, saying "The Cure used to be good but now they sell out, they became too commercial". Every album brought something different, exploring new fields until the last LP "4:13 Dream". I've never been hoping they would release "Pornography 2".

What's your appreciation of The Cure's lyrics? Do you like Robert Smith as a writer?

Robert is a fantastic songwriter, still a bit underrated. The lyrics are versatile, inspired, full of literature references but it's never a pale copy of what's been done before. What is quite fascinating is Robert's capability to reinvent his own music and lyrics style. Sometimes it's very simple, even naïve. Sometimes it's really deep with several levels of meaning. Universal and unique at the same time. No moralistic messages but incredibly smart like "Us Or Them". I love his way of mixing humour and dark lines, writing a pop song with painful or emotional lyrics like "Lovesong".

Robert Smith is a very enigmatic character. There are a lot of rumors about him, like he's afraid of airplanes and spiders. What can you say about him? Did you ever get to know him personally?

He's probably a normal guy, like any human being. He lies a lot, changes his mind. He has his own fears but he evolved a lot in many aspects including phobias. I met him once in Paris. He's just a cool guy, very careful, paying great attention to what you're saying. We talked a bit about my upcoming Cure book. It was just smooth and funny. He's not shy but I felt a bit he was more impressed than I was!

Tell me about your books and the process of writing each one of them.

The Cure opened my mind to many things and helped me building who I am. At first I wanted to build an internet site but I started to write and write and it became something too long for an internet format. That's how the first book kind of showed up, "After The Rain... The Cure". I got in touch with a graphist in Quebec, Pascal Milette, and other fans translated it into 4 other languages. French, English and German have already been released and if a publisher is interested, Portuguese and Spanish could come out too. The second book "One Hundred Songs : The Dark Side Of The Mood?", done with my friend Jean-Christophe Bétrisey, contains lyrics translated into French.

What do you think of The Cure of 2013. Are they in a good moment?

I saw them 40 times live and love every era. But I have to say that the present line-up is impressive. The SummerCure Tour was just amazing. The sound was perfect, very well balanced. I wouldn't change anything. Robert's voice is clearer than ever. The guys are very close to each others. I just would love they'd play more songs from the last 3 albums even if they've been less popular.

Do you know something about their visit to Buenos Aires in 1987? It was very chaotic.

Not that much but I remember the promoter had sold much more tickets than the venue could hold. I read that Robert had been afraid of the dementia this situation turned into. And one can figure out why.

In Chile, the "dark" movement is very very big (a journalist of the "New Musical Express" wrote about this many years ago). Do you have a clue why this happens? Do you think The Cure gets to people's soul when they are passing through hard times?

I can't speak for other people and I have to say I'm a bit surprised by the success The Cure have had in Latin countries. Their music is not desperate at all. It's a myth it is. But Robert writes about the whole feelings we can all experience. That's the universal aspect I was talking about. Hope, sadness, love, friendship disappointment, fear, anger... The Cure are not only playing the soundtrack of my life but of everybody's life.

It would be nice if you tell me a little bit about yourself for the interview.

Nothing big and so interesting. Trying to find my path. I work as a Human Resources manager in a big company. I enjoy my job but would love my side projects to take the biggest part. Writing songs for talented artists is something I have loved. Releasing books about The Cure, working on another one about Björk was quite exciting. Now I'd love to build a festival in support of Handicap International and Amnesty International. It's a dream that's slowly taking shape. It's a long way to achieve such a project but a few people make me believe it could happen. To wish impossible things is what I learnt from The Cure, so... (Thanks David)


  1. My pleasure. And if one wants to get in touch, visit my facebook page and let's talk a bit.

    Craig, I love you and will never give up saying you've been doing the most professionnal and passionate work a band can dream of. The Cure community owe you a lot.

  2. I'm so happy for you, David. I hope wishes will come true. You represent the way I see The Cure. (Loving every era and every side of them, not only the darkish, great but distant worship of RS, focus on the lyrics) Reading After The Rain means a soultrip every single time. And we all know about the amazing grace of Craig. Couldn't say this too many times.

    Celebrate your feelings and trust only them, the different, difficult or exhausting they may be. They'll be everything you ever really know of. That's what I basicly learned from The Cure.

    1. What can I say but thank you. The Cure rule!