Thursday, July 26, 2012

Robert Smith interview with The Word

I was asked to wait until 2 weeks after publication to post this, and now that the time is up, here's the complete Word interview with Robert. Might still find a copy on newsstands, and also available on iPad.
(Thanks Perfect.Murder)

Rob Fitzpatrick goes on the road with Robert Smith and The Cure

Robert Smith, Cure keyboard-player Roger O’Donnell and I are in a black van – the sort of multi-seat box soccer “moms” ferry their offspring around in – rolling down a motorway somewhere between Zurich and the small southern German town of Singen. It is early evening and the sun warms the lush green hills that surround us.

Smith and I are having a beer while O’Donnell tells us about touring America with The Thompson Twins in support to The Police somewhere in the long-lost mid-’80s. We’re pulling up to a junction when Smith tells me how The Cure were playing in Moscow a week or so ago and everywhere they went there were posters for an upcoming show by Sting. “Unfortunately they’d written his name in Cyrillic script,” he says, chucking a peanut in his mouth. “And that’s how I know Sting in Russian is spelled C, U, M, T.” We laugh out loud and take another drink and let the light play on our sunglasses, and I think to myself, could there be any nicer way to spend Saturday evening?

The night before I meet The Cure I get an email from Smith – which, like all his others, IS ENTIRELY IN CAPITALS – informing me that as they have a show in Hamburg the night before he might be quiet and “a touch grumpy” when we first meet at baggage reclaim. However, I shouldn’t worry as he guarantees he’ll be “open and effusive” come midnight. What actually happens is he, like the rest of the band, is open and effusive and friendly and funny from the very first second we meet. There they are, getting eyed nervously at Belt 39, a gaggle of fully grown men who appear to quite like each other despite having had three hours’ fitful sleep and being told their hand luggage was removed from the flight. Some band members panic about having to wear blue jeans on stage. Others worry about their in-ear monitors and boots. Bass-player Simon Gallup (tatts, quiff, sunglasses, motorcycle boots, looks about 30) worries about his shaving kit. But Smith, over six foot in massive goth boots, dressed from head to toe in well-worn black, with remnants of last night’s lipstick still on his face and a thick, wiry explosion of hair, just smiles. “I have everything I need in this bag,” he says, clutching a voluminous rucksack, his eyes hidden behind wraparound shades. You can’t lead one of the world’s finest bands for 35 years without learning a thing or two.

What is there to say about Robert Smith and The Cure? A band who set out to be “the punk Beatles” but became so much more. There isn’t one of us reading this who couldn’t whistle at least ten of their songs off the top of our heads – and, honestly, who else could you say that about? The Cure created their own corner of pop, a place that ran on humour and mystery and transgression; a place with enough danger to be exciting, but somewhere always anchored in something real and admirable and ambitious. Smith has never been the wraith-like child-man he’s been painted as. He checks us in to the hotel; he has the print-outs of what he wants tonight’s set to look like; he does the contract negotiations in the dressing-room and, long past 4am, it’s he who wades into the chaotic scenes going on at our hotel reception when their entry-key system breaks down and the crew can’t get into their rooms. This is someone who had a relentless drive to succeed. And he did in spades. Now they are grand elder statesmen rightly enjoying an Indian summer of long, invigorating shows across Europe’s biggest festivals, but in the late 1980s The Cure were being lined up as the next U2 and that enormo-dome world was theirs for the taking.

“We tasted that for a year,” Smith says. “But it wasn’t what I wanted. We did two stadium tours across America, had a number-one album (with Wish), and I was congratulated and told I was amazing wherever we went.”

A kind soul puts two fresh drinks on our table.

“And that,” he smiles, “was the most miserable year I had ever had.”

What music was the first music you heard that made you think, “Wow!”?

That’s going back! My earliest memories are of 1963, 1964 and 1965. I’ve got an older brother who’s 12 or 13 years older than me, and a sister who’s 10 years older. My mum wasn’t supposed to have any more kids, and suddenly she had me, and then she had my younger sister, so there were two of us versus the two of them! They looked after us, and they taught us stuff, so we learned Beatles songs, me and my little sister, in 1963, ’64. My older brother gave me a guitar and we learnt together, which sounds really tacky, but it was a bonding experience. But the moment when I could play G minor and he couldn’t grasp what G minor was, I knew I had passed him. He was into The Rolling Stones and then there was Captain Beefheart and then Pink Floyd. Meanwhile, my older sister was always more pop-orientated.

So you had the best of both worlds?
Yes, it was a strange environment, me knowing the words to quite trippy stuff. I had no idea what it meant, but I had early memories of singing really dumb but glorious pop songs, likeDream, by the Everly Brothers. If that came on the radio now, I would still sing along. That put the idea of melody into my head. My mum and dad were much more into Gilbert and Sullivan, which in their own way are fantastic songs – brilliantly written with great melodies. Meanwhile my brother would smoke dope in the garage and listen to Eric Clapton with his mates. They’d play the Blues Breakers record all the time, really loud: I loved it. And Crossroads is fantastic, that’s one of the first things I tried to learn on the acoustic guitar.

Weren’t you an Alex Harvey fan?
Yeah, a lot later. I discovered my own music around 13 and went to concerts on my own.

What was your first gig?
Rory Gallagher, he was a genius. That was the Brighton Dome and I bought a ticket on a whim. I got my dad to phone up, he knew someone who knew someone who knew someone. I went down on the train, stopped in the pub, had two pints…

Aged 13?
Yeah! I wore big glam shoes when I wanted to get served in the pub. In those days you got served in the pub if you were ten, to be honest.

Simpler times…
Exactly! You’d give someone an extra 15p and they’d buy you a pint while you sat outside. But I came away from that gig thinking it was so fucking excellent that I went on a series of Brighton jaunts for the next few years to see whoever was playing. I saw Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Alex Harvey because I’d seen him on a BBC2 arts show doing Next with a string quartet, and that was another hugely formative moment because it was so fucking good. He was, essentially, the first punk. I mean it’s a trite thing to say, but he really had that attitude of confusing people and his background was so theatrical. Alex was in tandem with Bowie. Just like everyone else my age, I remember seeing Starman on Top Of The Pops in the summer of 1972. That year I went on holiday with my family and throughout it all I had these images of him doing Starman in my head. He lived the life that you dreamed about. I thought it must beso good to be David Bowie.

Did you see him live at that time?
I did, he played in London at the horrible, soulless Earls Court, and he played for less than an hour. Now, that ticket cost me an awful lot of money. My friends and I had saved up our dinner money! In a funny way, that was the biggest legacy I ever got from Bowie. It taught me to never underestimate how much this means to the people that come to see you.

So he disappointed you?
Not as such, what he was doing was genius, but there wasn’t enough of it! He had a million songs he could have done, but he didn’t. He went home. And so we left feeling rubbish. To this day, I remember that feeling of somebody who’s very young, who’s looked forward to something so much…

You don’t want to be left wanting more; you want to be filled up to the brim?
Yes! I want the lights to come up and think, “Fuck!”

Backstage at a modern rock festival is a lot like being at work. Most people are on laptops or phones, tapping away while drinking mineral water and looking a wee bit earnest. When you look around, you realise that almost everyone, whether in a band or not, looks sort of the same – Ray-Bans, tatts, beard/hat, raggedy T-shirt, skinny jeans. No one looks anything like The Cure at all, which is sort of brilliant. When Smith walks through the backstage area, even the people in bands you recognise (hello, matey from Mars Volta; hello, lady from Katzenjammer) can’t help themselves gawping just a little. The Cure’s dressing room is at the end of a corridor next to tonight’s headliners, New Order. For most of the evening the door is tight shut, but at one point that other blond singer of the Sumner clan, Bernard, pops out and hollers, “Hello, Robert!” and the two have an enormously cheery chat; grizzled veterans still in the trenches, still topping the bills. It is an utterly disarming moment.

We jump back in the van and are whisked to the rear of the stage just in time to see The xx say, “Thangeweverymatch, g’night!” When Smith goes to say hello, they beam at him. Not one of them looks a day over 16. Unlike pretty much every person I’ve ever spoken to in a band, Smith actually says he’d like to go back to being at their stage of life, for it not to be all done yet, for the story still to be written. Back in the dressing room, Gallup and guitarist Reeves Gabrels – he of Tin Machine and Rubber Rodeo – walk around with their instruments around their necks absent-mindedly strumming. It reminds me a little of a description I once read of a porn-film set where the male actors would wander about nude, forever tugging at themselves to stay in, well, shape.

Tonight The Cure will play a “short” set – two hours, only about 100 hits – and just seconds before they go on, Smith will call his wife, Mary, to make sure she’s OK (they’re childhood sweethearts and met when Robert was 14 and Mary 15, and married in 1988).

From my vantage point from the side of the stage I can see the crowd going back for miles, and the next day I find my phone is full of blurry (half-drunk) shots taken through the endless dry ice. Inside info: at the very back of the stage is a little tent full of towels and booze. That’s where the band stands before the encore. Next to it is a private portaloo. After they come off stage we drink champagne in the dressing room and someone passes around sandwiches. Smith, Gallup and I head back to see New Order, who are very good but we all agree they’re missing something without Hooky.

“Surely they’re old enough to get over it,” Smith says. “Fucking hell! Me and him have!” he adds, indicating his bass-player stood next to him.

What do you remember of being a very new band?
When we started doing this, I was still at school. When we did Three Imaginary Boys it was spiky, it wasn’t really me. I remember bending Lol’s ear to be a bit more like XTC. I played with the Banshees [after their guitarist John McGeoch suddenly left] through our first tour, and it allowed me to think beyond what we were doing. I wanted to have a band that does what Steve Severin and Budgie do, where they just get a bassline and the drum part and Siouxsie wails.

Who were you listening to then?
Nick Drake and Van Morrison were my touchstones. And funnily enough, Space Oddity. But I also listened to the Gayane Ballet Suite by Khachaturian, which sounds terribly pretentious, but if anyone listens to it, they’ll discover the most brilliant sound. I wanted to incorporate all that into an album, and that was what Seventeen Seconds was all about. My dream was to be someone who could go anywhere and play music: in some ways that’s still my dream. As with everyone that’s young, I exuded confidence, but I wasn’t a confident person, just better at bull-shitting than everyone else.

Were you a control freak?
Totally. If anyone ever touched what I was trying to do, I would literally fire them. The record company were never allowed near us and I drove for the Seventeen Seconds and Faith tours rather than have anyone near us who was an outsider. I was obsessed, but it all ended in tears with Pornography.

Because I was mental. I remember being number one in New Zealand. I was about 20 and these two guys gave me acid and it was fucking excellent. I loved it, and for quite a few years afterwards I took a lot of acid. It allowed me to see other people’s point of view. It’s funny looking back, because I opened the Doors Of Perception but I didn’t quite walk through.

Did you want to be a pop star?
No! I just wanted to not regret anything. That was my driving force. It sounds really old-fashioned and naive, but integrity was paramount. That’s why I liked Alex Harvey and Nick Drake and Jimi Hendrix, because they had integrity.

“I saw Rory Gallagher – genius. And Tom Petty. And Alex Harvey doing Next with a string quartet, another hugely formative moment”

Recently I interviewed Damon Albarn, and he was saying how his approach to creativity is to get up every day, take his daughter to school, go to the studio, smoke a spliff and go, “Right, here we go then…”
Nick Cave does the same thing, doesn’t he? OK, I’ll have to think very seriously about what I’m going to say. I hate… (long pause) No, I don’t hate anything. (Pause) Right, I feel that there’s a great desire from a certain hardcore part of our audience for new Cure stuff constantly. But as I grow older, I feel that would sully what we have done before. I have an overwhelming urge to do stuff, from time to time, but it’s less frequent as I grow older. And I don’t ever agonise about it. If I don’t write words, I’ve got nothing to say, it’s that simple. We’ve made 13 albums and I’d love to do a 14th – in fact we’ve almost finished a 14th – but there’s no rush for it.

Is that about age?
Simon was saying to me today, you don’t feel age on stage. That’s true, and our songs transcend age. For a brief moment. I’m never going to do a Madonna and go on stage in suspenders and tights and pretend I’m 20. We’re not a young band any more, but in our heads, particularly with me and Simon, that punk idea is still there. We know when it’s shit, and we know when it’s really good. Like tonight was really good. I could sing! I don’t want to be the responsible adult on stage, that’s why I still drink. If I can’t do this in the way I did it when I was 15, I won’t do it.

Do you still get the same thrill?
I do, but the other side of it is, now that we’re older I realise that we’re coming close to the end of what we’re doing. So I’m determined to milk every moment of what I do on stage.

You’re contemplating the end of The Cure?
Well, we are a lot closer to the end! We couldn’t tour in the same way as we used to. It would be physically impossible for me to tour, because I refuse to not do this (lifts drink). I’m not going to go on and just sing the songs, but I also know I’m heading towards my mid-fifties, so there’s no fucking way I’m going to do a hundred shows in four months and they’ll all be great shows.

So the last tour was the last tour?
Yes. I haven’t said this for 20 years, but the last tour was the last world tour that I will ever do with The Cure. That tour taxed me so phenomenally. It’s a sad admission, but actually I’ve never, ever performed without taking some kind of stimulant: I can’t do it. My natural state is not one of a performer, it’s like something I’ve been saddled with. I love writing songs, I love writing words, I love singing at home, I love doing demos. We go in the studio, and then we go on stage, and I have to be this performer. I fucking love doing it, but I have to be able to do it my way.

Have you ever had a real job?
Are you saying this isn’t a real job?

Well, it’s not really. Have you ever done a day’s work in your life?
When I left school I was a postman for a brief period: about a week. And I was a gardener for an equally brief period. Slightly longer, actually: two weeks. Then I went back on the dole. A huge part of my drive to succeed has been the idea of not having to get up in the morning.

I was touched by seeing you phone Mary just before you went on stage.
Well, Mary lives on my hours, so she’ll have been waiting up. I’ll phone her again in about an hour’s time [about 4am]. She’s on her own at home and I like to hear her say, “I hope it’s good.” She always says, “Sing well!”

You played Just Like Heaven tonight and there’s that lyric, “Why are you so far away, she said”, which always sounds so real. Like you love this person so much, but they’re always pissing off somewhere.

That’s why throughout the tours of 1987, 1989 and 1992 we took all the wives, all the girlfriends, all the family. We had three buses full of entourage, but we could afford it. We would have entire hotels sometimes. It was insane, the money we spent. But what else would we do with it? The whole point was then you didn’t go home and have to explain what you’d done. Of course, all that tailed off after Wish, because I went a bit mental.

In what way?
Because I couldn’t take the attention any more. When you’re U2, what do you do? It wasn’t us, it wasn’t me.

Didn’t you ever want to be the biggest band in the world?
No! I wanted to be the band that I would love, going to my grave. That has always been my dream. There’s a price to be paid for being U2 and it’s not a price I want to pay. So many people earn so much money out of a band when they’re on that trajectory. You are surrounded by fucking arseholes. You end up with people you would have pissed on when you were 17.

He still phones his wife before going on stage. “I like to hear her say, ‘I hope it’s good’. She always says, ‘Sing well!’”

Would you rather be at home with your feet up watching the telly?
I would love to be at home but I can’t be. I can cancel if I want. Or not book it in the first place. Or just not turn up.

But you don’t.
No, of course I don’t, because I’d rather do this! There is never any question of that.

You only ever do what you want, when you want to do it?
Yes. We would do more if I didn’t have such a happy home life. But we will never do another world tour. I have loved pretty much all of my life and there have been other times when I’ve wished myself on Mars rather than do this, but that’s entirely my own fault.

Bands love to moan, don’t they?
Oh God they do, and when bands bleat it’s because they’re just doing too much. They’re tired! My entire extended family do normal jobs, they’re policeman and ambulance-drivers. You wouldn’t expect them to drink twelve pints and take four lines of coke and moan about getting up.

My theory about you was always that you had freed yourself of all responsibility, but I’m not sure that’s true now.

I don’t have responsibilities of my own, but I’m keenly aware of other people’s, so I try not to bleat about how my life is so fucking hard, because it isn’t. Mary always says to me, “You could be here…” She teases me, like your wife does. I’m sure both of them would rather be here than sat at home. She’s tired of this life. She needs to know I’m doing this for a good reason, that there’s a new experience there. For example, playing Wrong Number with Reeves, that’s an experience that I’ve never had before and it’s a great feeling. That’s what it’s about, we certainly don’t need the money. Nowadays I like to think we’re an irritant. We’ve been written out of history in one sense, like we’re just not important. Do I sound bitter?

No. I’m just surprised to hear it, because my experience is that everyone has at least some emotional connection with The Cure.
I walked into this one. But the thing that keeps me sane is that every band likes The Cure. That matters. But media-wise, in Britain we’re not liked because… I haven’t played the game.

That’s not true!
Of course it fucking is! People like us again now, but that’s down to our Bestival resurgence. And it wasn’t even that good. They were a fucking great audience, and they wanted us to be good, and we played some good songs, but in a weird four-piece way. I sang my heart out, and the ripples went out and suddenly, “Fucking hell, it’s The Cure, they’re still going!” If I had thinner skin, I would be weeping!

Do you feel like you’ve not been properly appreciated?
Of course I do, how many covers have I been on! Millions! Look, I apologise. I’m griping and I don’t actually feel it at all. Have I come across as angry?

No, I’m just surprised that you think like that.
The band would like me to engage more, really. And the reason why I don’t is because I don’t want to. But, can I say this, and this is like the dumbest thing anyone can ever say in an interview, but as I get older I find myself being honest, and it’s boring as fuck! I hate myself, I really do. Why can’t I just make stuff up any more? Then I think, what’s the point? I no longer want people to be “intrigued” by me. Anyway, I thought we were excellent tonight, I really did. I still want a crowd to think, “Fuck, I want to be in The Cure!” It’s dumb, but that’s pop music. It’s like you were saying earlier – in the cold light of day it’s fucking stupid, but at the time, when you’re just drawn into it, it’s everything, it’s still absolutely everything.

With that, Smith jumps up to try and sort the key problem at the check-in desk. It’s 4.30 in the morning and he has to be up in a few hours to fly home for a family football party (he’s already put in his pizza order), but he wades in regardless – still wearing his stage makeup, still all in black, still that bloke from The Cure.

Still the very best we have.

Interview by Rob Fitzpatrick.


  1. Thank you so much for writing this out!
    Lovely interview as well :)

  2. shame this magazine has folded as it was one of the few good ones left in the uk.

    a fine interview as well.

  3. cover looks like billy joe from green day...

  4. Thanks for this. I'm glad Robert realises that Bestival wasn't that good, and I'm glad he realises how brilliant they're being now.
    In the same way he wants to give value by playing for as many hours as possible, I hope he realised that it's equally important to stop teasing and get that 14rh album done

  5. I forgot to buy this before leaving the city. Now I'm stuck in a town with awful magazines, and can't buy this. Darn. Thanks for retyping it.

  6. What a way to go out as a magazine! Great insight and you could really get a visual sense of it all. So much respect for Robert being a family man as well as caring so much about the band, fans and the music.

  7. "I’m never going to do a Madonna and go on stage in suspenders and tights and pretend I’m 20." Haha.

    Another great interview! I wish I could buy it!

    Honestly, I'm glad that The Cure will never do a huge world tour again because I don't want them to push themselves to exhaustion. They are playing so well right now, so of course I want them to tour more and more and more... But then I remember how sick and tired Robert was when I saw them at Sasquatch in 2008, and I compare that to how full of energy he is now. There's no comparison!

  8. It sounds like we will get a 14th studio record, maybe in 2013, but that's going to be it. It's been 4 years since 4:13, and while he says #14 is almost done...that usually means we're a year away from release.

    And certainly there will be no world tour. Probably what bands like New Order are doing, a few select shows in major cities.

    I really hope we get another trilogy show, but my gut tells me it won't happen for awhile. Certainly not in 2012. I mean it was 9 years between the last two.

    Here's my wish list for the final years of The Cure:

    1. # 14, I would really like one more studio record from them

    2. Trilogy or full abums shows for: Top, Head, KMKMKM & Wish. Of course I would love Disintegration & Pornography again, but I don't see them revisiting those.

    That's it. We all know it's winding down, he's in his mid-50's, is he really going to be doing this at 60+? Maybe on a limited basis, plenty of artists from the 60's and 70's are still out there playing. Who knows?

    The story isn't finished yet!

  9. He's incredibly intelligent but it's funny and fresh how humble and doubting about certain things. I love him and The Cure so much, for every single reason he mentions. I wish them to enter music history at the place they truely deserve. A mega hit but with a credible/ fucking single and album would make this happen... Maybe. In fact I don't know.

  10. Thanks for posting this, great interview indeed. Robert is very entertaining this summer, I am enjoying all the interviews!

  11. Nice interview. It's funny, I am really liking the honest and open Robert. I'm 43 and I've been obsessed with The Cure for 30 years, and I have to be honest... The last ten years or so, my love, interest, or connection to them was fading. There is something about this current line-up and hearing Robert talk so honestly about where he is in his life, and where the band are in their career, that has reconnected me with them. He mentioned wanting to leave the audience wishing they could be in The Cure and that is exactly how I used to feel. Seeing them on stage seemed so perfect I just wanted to be a part of it. More than merely an observer. For the first time since around 2000, I am feeling that way again. I can't imagine what I would be feeling if I actually had the opportunity to see any of the shows in person. I need to make sure I see them in 2013 wherever they play.

    1. You're in Arizona? Me as well. We'll be lucky to get them out here again, fortunately LA is only a 5 hour drive.

    2. Antzona, your comments sum everything up perfectly.

    3. Dr. Fishbones
      I actually live in California. An hour north of LA. My screen name has to do with a great aunt I had named Zona.

      Ricky- thanks!

  12. nice one antzona. being in the same age group as you, Ive gone through exactly the same process...and now find myself listening to more cure than I have in years...nice to see these guys (RS) opening up. Steve Kilbey from the Church is doing the same thing, less mystic but more honesty. I guess a sense of time running out probably... but great to watch and read (and listen!)...

  13. "...I opened the Doors Of Perception but I didn’t quite walk through."

    <- That surprised me. I would have guessed that he knew those doors well, and that he drifted through them frequently ?

    ...Perhaps he even flew to Mars? ("I’ve wished myself on Mars")

    1. "...I opened the Doors Of Perception but I didn’t quite walk through."

      He spoke volumes here in that statement other words he did not cross the line and sell out. Their accomplishment's are their own. They are not "owned" by anyone else.

  14. I thought this summer's shows were pretty ambitious!

    Duplicate them in America next year and you'll please many, many Cure fans!!!

    Tie up Reeves while you've got him and knock out album #14!

    Music is your life Robert! Age is just a number!

  15. While funny, it always did annoy me that Robert would talk in riddles and be all cryptic in interviews, but as he said, it really did add to the mystique of who he really was..
    The more these interviews happen the more obvious it becomes that he's not lying when he says 'The end is near'..

    I don't think the rest of what I write will make much sense to anyone but me, I guess they're just stream of consciousness thoughts about how this inerview in particular and the other recent interviews have made me feel..

    In regards of not reaching the hieghts of fame of U2.. That's kind of a double edged sword because they did, but on a completely different level.. It was obviously Robert's choice not to 'go there' because, really.. they were RIGHT THERE.. on the edge.. it must have been one of the biggest sacrifices Robert had to make to choose his happiness over 'conquering the world'..
    In the same breath, even if Robert did want that kind of fame, there were several outlying factors that did throw a spanner in the works from reaching it ie: the Lol court case, Britpop/grunge scenes..
    Despite what I've just mentioned. In my 16 years of following the band, they seem to have been the hardest working band, and yes there have been accolades such as Rock walk of Fame, Godlike Genius. But somehow they still went under the radar for most of their career.. Now that they are being appreciated again I sure hope they get recognised for their generation spanning career before Robert eventually calls the final curtain..

    We all know the man is a legend, goes without saying. I think he has been closer to hell than most other 'rock stars' can claim and he, like Lol, lived to tell the tale..
    I can't get over how intelligent he was/is.. even at an early age when he was juggling so many different things/habits he still had a sense of having a clear cut, black/white vision of what he loved to do when alot of other artists would have given up ages ago..

    Bah!! I don't evenknow what i'm trying to say anymore! :p All I know is I love/have loved having this man/band in my life and it will be a very sad day in our history when it comes to an end..
    Let this serve as a heads up to the trolls to stop their fucking whinging and just enjoy what is unfolding at the moment..

    Last but definitely not least, a huge shout out to Craig who has been the closest thing to an official spokesperson for this band for giving this all of this for so many years.. The second saddest day of all will be when there is no more news to tell and time to say goodbye..

    1. The problem with attaining the level U2 achieved is maintaining. With the 'Pop' record U2 almost lost it. And it took two more good albums to get back to stadium status in 2009/2011.

      'No Line on the Horizon' only sold 1 million, which is great for anyone else, but U2 were used to sales well in the 3 - 4 million range in the US.

      I also don't think The Cure could have attained the level of U2 because of their image. While the black clothes, and makeup appeal to many of us, many people are not into that look for a guy, lol.

      U2 are relatively 'safe' in their image, which is why they have cross appeal.

      Yet, U2 now has a lot of pressure to top 'No Line' which wasn't a great album.

      The Cure have 0 pressure, only what they create themselves.

      Personally I think # 14 will be the last Cure studio album. However, other than Bloodflowers, I personally don't think The Cure has put out a decent record since Wish.

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  17. Definitely he's not Madonna. Her concerts are way shorter nowadays it seems...

  18. After Porl and Boris left, the Cure became a different band. WMS was poorly received and is the least played album on later tours. Bloodflowers had no music videos and no pop songs. I have always felt the true Cure ended after Wish. I am not sure if Robert did it on purpose or was it really the loss of Porl and Boris.

    1. The Cure didn't end after Wish, but I agree no record has been that great since that one.

      I was hopeful in 1994 when 'Burn' was released, great song... but Wild Mood Swings was terrible. I couldn't believe it when I first listened to it.

      Bloodflowers has a some really good songs; Watching Me Fall, Maybe Someday, Birds, Bloodflowers, but some not great stuff as well.

      'The Cure' had a handful of songs I liked, but as a whole album it sucked.

      4:13 Dream, again a few songs I liked but it was another disappointment.

      There is a reason why the setlists include limited material from those 4 records; because RS knows they are sub-par and people don't want to hear it.

      I can't see how another studio record from The Cure will be any better, but who knows.

  19. Everyone agrees that album #14 is the "darker half" of 4:13 RS mentioned then?

    It's a bit sad to "hear" Robert talking about the end, about rather be at home, about to have a lot less urge to do stuff. So I would rather be suprised if there will ever be a studio album #15. But there are still a lot of things he "promised" us, more or less.

    I like it that he seems to love his everyday life. And that they don't need the money (though I wonder about Jason - he does not get royalities from the good selling albums).

    As for the more recent albums, we as fans had these discussions all those years. Regarding WMS, please take the B-Sides into account. What a great pop song "A Pink dream" is. On the album, Treasure + Bare - listen to it when you doubt your romantic relationship "You know we've reached the end /
    You just don't know why /
    And you know we can't pretend /
    After all this time"

    This is also true of the self titled album. Many of the songs on the album sound as if you heard them before on another album. The B-Sides are more interesting (Fake, This morning come to my mind).

    And therefore i like 4:13. It is not the typical cure sound, at least most of the songs. The typical melodic RS guitar solo is missing! Of course, after 30 years a band can't change their style and with that top what they did all the time before. But its different and fresh.

    Thanks Craig for posting the interview, very insightful!

    1. Well regarding Jason.

      I think WMS, Bloodflowers & The Cure sold enough copies for him.

      But most important is the income from all the tours of the last 20 years ;)

    2. and I think that they changed their style with every album they did.

      That is the most important thing about this band ?!?
      And finally I am more sure than just hoping that they have one more milestone in them! And I don't mean hit album with that. I mean something as important as Disintegration/Faith/Bloodflowers.

      Maybe his next lyrics will be influenced by his being honest and direct phase right now.
      And as he said before, he has something very different in mind for a next record.

      Let's jut see and wait....
      One or two more records to go, I guess.

  20. I like how Robert said he still likes to drink. Because I'm 48, and I'm still drinking, thankyou very much. Yeah still alive. And the Cure + substance use = I'm not playing by the rules. I'm also not playing with a full deck. Think "Labryinth".

  21. for a dark album will never see im ? now the cure play only happy song and pop music like david bowie ! normal reeves is in the band now :( maybe reeves quit the band and after robert do like pornography ,one guitar and keybord with roger ! escuse-me but im sick to lessen that style of music FUCKING POP MUSIC !

  22. Loved the interview and how candid he was about the band. I listened to bestivel, and certainly the sound wasn't as great as it could have been, it had flashes of potential. Seeing the videos on youtube now, the band is sounding so much tighter and you can tell they are loving it right now. I really hope that the US get's a good tour very soon, I would love to see them one or two more times, and I won't hesitate because I know how little time could possibly be left. It's hard for me to read about his thoughts on "the end," for me this band has gotten me through my first love, my first marriage and it helped me so much with my divorce, words can never express how much the music and seeing them live has meant to me. I only wish that I had discovered them before 99 because I wish that I had seen the dream shows, to have been there would have been amazing. In addition I cannot express how much this website has meant to me, being able to find like minded fans that are usually always friendly and being able to find out the news before everyone else has been amazing, so thank you for that Craig.

  23. Thanks, Craig. I could read/listen to Robert talking all day... :)

  24. 4.13 is a very good album in my opinion. Better than Bloodflowers even , it has more original ideas. The lyrics are super. Who doesn't like This here and now with you ? No one can write such a song but The Cure. I like The scream the least on that album but for the rest it shines big time.
    I think it is time to give it one more go , not for record sales but just to finally write that dark and hard album fans are waiting for (but he shouldn't write it for us of course but for himself).

  25. This cover is terrible and I refuse to read anything to do with it

    1. Wow, two cases of poor judgement in one short sentence ;) It's a great interview, even if the illustration's not your thing.

    2. Yes cover is damn ugly. Every time I see it it makes me angry. But good interview anyway.

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  27. Hello Craig,
    I'm sorry to post this here but we have a new cure cover, i dont't know where post it , so i post it here.This is Treasure.
    Sorry once again and thank you

  28. WTF kind of cover is that? They should'd used a decent picture of Robert.

  29. Was it me or did they really play the chords of "A Forest" during the countdown just before the start of the Olympics opening ceremony?! roughly from 3.13 - 3.54

    Anyway, Britain loves you, Robert!

  30. I have been a Cure fan since 89 and I really wish for just one more chance to see them live...a new album lately hasnt been enjoyed the whole album through but the chance to hear the old songs new again in concert really excites me...wishing for a USA semi tour in 2013....

  31. I have been a Cure fan since 89 and I really wish for just one more chance to see them live...a new album lately hasnt been enjoyed the whole album through but the chance to hear the old songs new again in concert really excites me...wishing for a USA semi tour in 2013....

  32. I have been a Cure fan since 89 and I really wish for just one more chance to see them live...a new album lately hasnt been enjoyed the whole album through but the chance to hear the old songs new again in concert really excites me...wishing for a USA semi tour in 2013....

  33. I have been a Cure fan since 89 and I really wish for just one more chance to see them live...a new album lately hasnt been enjoyed the whole album through but the chance to hear the old songs new again in concert really excites me...wishing for a USA semi tour in 2013....

  34. What a wonderful interview! I really hope I get to see them again in the near future. I love his honesty and his love for Mary. Perhaps one day we'll get an autobiography from him.

  35. chris? what year did you become a cure fan? haha jk man :P

  36. Hi all.... Brilliant interview and would just like to say after being a cure fan since 1981, i was only 10 and my elder brother put headphones on me and got me to listen to subway song (scared the shit outta me with the scream at the end) i was hooked. its been a amazing journey and the soundtrack to my life ,break ups listening 2 faith, pissed off and on comes pornography, songs for all moods :)....after my 1st concert in 85 at poole arts centre i have seen em about 30 times and they seem to just get stronger and stronger ,jason is a brilliant drummer and is very under rated by fans and gets bashed all the time, yes boris was amazing on disintergration and wish but time moves on and other people come in, porl was brilliant around hotd but got tooooo wa wa wa (listen to me) i thought after, as for wild mood swings , well go and put it on , listen to it , music and lyrics , then say its a bad album ...amazing album ... bloodflowers amazing 2 ..come on who wouldnt want to hear bloodflowers live :) ...the cure (again good album not the best but hey who else could write those songs) 4.13 dream least fav album but some songs are just incredible.. if they are coming to a end then lets think of the journey and the ride and not the destination... will never forget wembley 89 or albert hall 2011...glasto 95 , too many to mention and thank you robert and all to making me who i am today :)

  37. Sorry to say but jason is not that good and didnt make nothing good as a musician. nothing to be remembered in the music world.

    1. "didn't make nothing good"
      isn't that a double negative...

      sounds like he's the best ever :)

      I have grown with Jason as The Cure's drummer. And I witnessed Trilogy live. Never heard anything as powerful as his drums on Pornography. Not on any other concert I went in my life.
      I believe he fits the suit perfectly.
      When I listen to Boris play "one hundred years" instead,--- to me it sounds so ... soft.

      And for now I'll stopp feed the troll.

      Just my opinion.

    2. and the drum parts of "out of this world" was the first thing to catch me on "Bloodflowers".

      I find myself drumming that drumpart with my hands on my knees so often while just thinking... :)

  38. Here is a recnt good article about The Cure vs. Radiohead live

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  40. Every time I read an article about Robert Smith, I'm shocked at how similar we are. I guess there's a reason that I dress up and act like him on stage (I've been doing a Cure Tribute for 13 years)...

    It's his outlook on life, his eye for integrity, and really keeping close what is important that makes me admire him so much. He's not distracted by shiny fame, he's not consumed with desire: he sees what he's doing, knows who he is, and is himself without regrets nor despair. That's who I hope I am and is always who I try to be: honourable, honest, myself, and surrounded by love.

    Thank you Mr Smith for all you've done for me and for your fans who want to get to know you. You're a great person and I'm honoured to mimic you often. ♥

  41. Every time I read an article about Robert Smith, I'm shocked at how similar we are. I guess there's a reason that I dress up and act like him (I've been doing a Cure tribute band for 13 years)...

    It's his outlook on life, his eye for integrity, and really keeping close what is important that makes me admire him so much. He's not distracted by shiny fame, he's not consumed with desire: he sees what he's doing, knows who he is, and is himself without regrets nor despair. That's who I hope I am and is always who I try to be: honourable, honest, myself, and surrounded by love.

    Thank you Mr Smith for all you've done for me and for your fans who want to get to know you. You're a great person and I'm honoured to mimic you often. ♥