You had questions for Lol, and he's provided the answers. While the original thinking was that Lol would answer just 10-15 of them, he answered every single one! So here's Part 1. Part 2 will be posted next Tuesday, Sept. 13th. Thanks once again to Lol for doing this, to Quercus Books for arranging it, and to everyone who sent in questions.
'Cured' will be released on Sept. 22nd in the UK, and autographed copies can be ordered from Waterstones. Or bring your copy of 'Cured' to one of these events and meet Lol and have it signed in person.
From Pierre: What is your best memory with The Cure? The one you cherish more than the others.
LOL: I have many, probably too many to single out one, but I remember the first time we played in Los Angeles, California, as young men and the last time I played with The Cure at the Albert hall in London in 2011 as being especially good experiences.
Are there any unreleased songs from Pornography?
LOL: Not that I recall! It was an intense album to make, all our energy went into the songs, not much left over really. Plus we were on a roller coaster of tour /album/ tour so that doesn’t leave much time to write extra stuff you know?
How did you feel when you were performing "the cure are dead" with Gary biddles on the last pornography date. And what were your thoughts when you found out Simon was no longer with the cure. Also how did you feel when you were recording without him as he was a very significant part of the cure and also a key contributor to the cure musically. I would also like to know how you and Robert as well as simon felt when he came back. Also thanks for pissing on Billy idols leg he is a tool
LOL: It was a really sad night but at the same time inevitable. We had spent so much time on the road for years, we were overwrought! I explain my feelings about all this in my book.
From Sang: Did deciding to no longer play drums in the Cure impact your self-identity within the band?
LOL: Yes and no. On one hand I was very interested in discovering new things to do musically and on the other hand I loved the mantra of the drums and rhythm. My identity, I felt was more to with being a partner in the thing we called the Cure which means I played drums and keys and wrote some lyrics and lived the life that is the Cure.
From sky went black:
Do the lyrics of One Hundred Years refer to the death of your mother? Did she pass away when you were young? How did you take that?
LOL: The lyrics to “All Cats are Grey” are more specifically about my mother’s death. At the time of Pornography we had several deaths in the group. Roberts grandmother passed away I believe , and my mother. I was 22 when she died and it had a devastating effect on me. Art is a way to cope sometimes with the world.
Why did you move to United States? What do you miss about England? Will you ever move back?
LOL: I wanted to be a stranger in a strange land after the Cure ended for me and I also had great memories of being In California as a young man. On a practical basis my son was here too so I moved to the USA permanently. I miss my friends in England so I try to visit them at least once a year; they often visit me too here in California. The weather’s better! My son lives here still and I am happy here so I won’t move back full time.
How many kids have you got? Are you married? For how long? Been married before?
LOL: I have one son: Gray, he’s twenty four, a musician and poet and lives in San Francisco. I was married first to Grays’s mother, and then we divorced. I have been married to Cindy for the last 19 years. My first wife passed away a few years ago.
Do you have a big learning of life you want to share?
LOL: I think that’s really what my book is about. I feel it would be difficult to sum up in one or two phrases what I had learnt. So I wrote a book instead.
Has the internet era in some way fundamentally changed your life? Or is your life the same as it ever was? In what ways has it changed?
LOL: Of course the Internet has changed many things, not all good. I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen but I try to balance that by not looking at anything and going out to the wide, wide world which is still out there folks!
Do you have any desire to one day return and re-join the Cure? Or is that phase of your life permanently over?
LOL: Never say Never! To me, my life with the Cure is still and will always be a part of me. It’s more about a way of life for me now, how I feel about the people I know and love and how we are as friends, which is something that is eternal.
From mats13: What is your favourite Cure song that you took part in? And what is your favourite Cure song you did not participate in (post Disintegration)?
LOL: Some songs I loved to play (Play for today, TIB) and some I love because I have a few lines or some idea that were added (like piggy in the mirror, All Cats are Grey). I liked “Never Enough” as a song.
From piggywigee inthemirror:
Many observers have noted that the band's productivity may have declined in the early '90's as a result of the ongoing lawsuit. Despite the success of Wish, did any of the band members imply through their words or actions that the loss of momentum in the early to mid-'90's was directly attributable to having to deal with these legal issues? If so, how did you manage to cope with the potential feeling of guilt that may have resulted? Do you think any association between you and the possible decline in productivity is overblown, and that other factors such as the beginning of the grunge movement played a larger role? Were you so focused at the time on the outcome of the lawsuit that it overshadowed any other concerns?
LOL: Certainly the legal matters took up everybody’s time and energy. In my book I detail my exact thoughts about the whole process and my part in that. It’s been a journey of great ups and downs that The Cure as a band have gone through and there are many aspects that contribute to the level of productivity. As a band I never thought we were dependant on the vagaries of fashion but the focus does shift from year to year naturally. The Cure is more like a family that has natural periods of activity and reflection. It was never conceived of as a business initially, more as a way of existing in this world for friends, with all that that implies.
I read somewhere that "Shiver and Shake" was actually inspired by you. The lyrics are rather brutal, though they are open to interpretation. Were you aware at the time that the song might have been about you? If so, did it further deepen the divide between you and the rest of the band? At what point did you realize that your days in the band were numbered (i.e., when did you begin to see the writing on the wall?).
LOL: Hahaha Probably! I was not in the best of health back then and so I know my actions caused a lot of chaos and hurt. Eventually even this craziness has been resolved, which I detail in Cured.
It seems more questions will inevitably arise after fans have a chance to read your book. Will you be conducting a follow up Q&A session, perhaps several months after the book comes out?
LOL: That’s a very Interesting idea, so sure why not? After everybody has read my book I’m certainly open to more discussions.
Some sources have stated that the genesis of the band's name was based on a song you wrote, while RS has credited a line from a Nick Drake song as the source of the band's name. Which one is true? Or is your song based on the Drake song, and therefore both statements are true?
LOL: Well I detail the actual way we chose the name in Cured, but as we all listened to Nick Drake at the time Its possible that the song “Time has told me” embedded itself in my head when I wrote the lyrics for my song. Memories are slippery things! Usually you are recalling memories of memories. In my case of forty years ago…
At what point did you realize the band was more than just an excuse to avoid the daily 9-5 grind and was destined for much greater things? Since the "safe" route of college, full time job, etc. was not an option, did you have some sort of backup plan in the event the band didn't make it?
LOL: Hahaha No I had no back up plan at all! I had a romantic idea that I was an existentialist living totally in the moment. No future, no past, just now. Actually that’s quite a good plan for life come to think about it. A plan implies control and I know I’m not in control here!
With regard to the first part of your question I think it was a day in Los Angeles that convinced me we might be on the right track. It’s in the book…
Most of the early band members seemed to have come from supportive and loving family environments. How critical was this safety net in enabling the band to succeed?
LOL: Well we all had some love in our families, it’s true. You only need a little. Things drift and change in life though and I can directly point out the changes in my own life that correlate to love and lost love etc
To what extent did suburban ennui serve as a driving force behind the band's formation (in contrast to, say, the reaction to political, social and/or economic upheaval that more typified the emergence of post-punk?)
LOL: We were in a special situation: Yes, we were bored teens in the suburbs but we were also close enough to London to feel the pulse of Punk rebellion. So in that way we were able to communicate in both arenas so to speak. And not being directly inside the punk maelstrom we were in a unique position to be more reflective than just reactive. Which helped differentiate us from our peers.
Why did you relocate to LA and what has encouraged you to stay for so long?
LOL: I was married to a Californian so we lived 50% here and 50% in England Eventually we got divorced but I stayed to be close to my son and because I had always felt comfortable in California. To me it has always felt like my home.
What are your favorite haunts in the LA/OC metro area?
LOL: I like the beach and the mountains. You’ll also find me in many vegan / vegetarian restaurants. I’m everywhere!
Do you ever get tired of the monotony of the weather here, compared with your hometown (which has distinct seasons)?
LOL: Having lived through many, many rain sodden days growing up in England I can say an unequivocal no! I like to go “visit weather” but I don’t want to have to be “in it” if that makes sense!
Totally random question: What do you think of the new Expo Line extension to Santa Monica?
LOL: I went on it the first day it opened! Totally brilliant idea but it needs more cars as it’s getting way too crowded.
From Larry Berry: Your drumming on 'Seventeen Seconds' is outstanding and fits the mood well. Can you explain your approach please? Thanks for being such a big part of The Cure and helping forge a style that endures.
LOL: I always equated drumming to dancing in my mind. IF you do it properly you can dance all night but if you’re not in the correct frame of mind you’re exhausted after one song. I loved the physicality of the instrument. Just playing drums will take you out of your head and into another realm. The mantra of the drums! That’s what I was always trying to find with drums, the mystical connection with music, but also some answers that I could use. It’s like meditating if you do it right. Really.
I am so glad yourself and Robert were able to redeem and continue your lifelong friendship. In the present I feel this is something not taken so seriously and is hard to come by.
LOL: Thank you! Its actually the most important thing I feel. Iggy Pop said something to the effect that “ if you get to 50 and can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand you’re a lucky man”
I guess my question is: Was this (friendship with Robert) something you felt was important to redeem considering the fact you two aren't getting any younger? Ageing was a huge subject for both of you in the early days..
LOL: Well that’s was really the point of “Reflections” to me. It certainly helped heal the old wounds and make things right again. It was quite a magical tour really
From BlueKidJ: I'd be interested to hear what your "perfect" lineup of the Cure would be. Hypothetically speaking, if they had just one last gig to play, of all present and ex-cures - who would you most like to be on that stage and why?
LOL: Well to me the perfect line up is two versions!
The three piece: Me, Robert and Simon I feel this was the strongest version of the early cure
Pearl,Robert,Boris Simon,me: My favourite version of the later cure.
Now that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have love for some of the others I have played with of course. But its just that’s my favourite two versions.
Can't thank Lol enough for doing this for all of us! This is wonderful! More to come next Tuesday in Part 2!