Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Meeting Robert Smith by Andrew Trendell

From NME:

As we celebrate our 70th birthday, our scribes relive their most surreal encounters, as those three letters provide portals to Macca, Debbie Harry and more.

After about five years of angling for an audience with The Cure’s Robert Smith, I got a phone call on the eve of Glastonbury 2019. “What are you doing next Tuesday?” the PR asked of my post-Glasto plans. “Probably weeping in the fetal position and regretting all my life choices,” I replied. “How would you like the world exclusive interview with Robert Smith?” came the proposition. Reader, my heart exploded.

My pre-Glasto packing and planning was interrupted by consuming 40 odd years’ worth of The Cure’s NME interviews, but I needn’t have toiled quite so much. The Smith I spoke to, fresh from his Worthy Farm headline performance, was effortlessly open, amicable and imbued with the spirit of an artist still very much on top of his game.

Behind the make-up of the icon was a lovely chap with a dry wit and a love of what he does – just as comfortable spilling the beans on new projects and spotlighting relatively unknown acts such as The Twilight Sad as he was revisiting four decades of myth-making and magic. Our chat for clocked in at around three hours – roughly the length of a typical Cure live set – and resulted in a digital cover story and a follow-up feature, but it wouldn’t be the last.

We’d meet again when he’d grace us with his presence at two consecutive NME Awards (at last week’s, he delivered a belting performance with CHVRCHES). Backstage at both events, he jovially shared the inside scoop on the long-awaited follow-up to The Cure’s 2008 album ‘4:13 Dream’. Last week, he revealed that ‘Songs Of A Lost World’ is coming in September. Will it arrive as promised? I’m all here for chatting indefinitely about it until it does.