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Saturday, October 14, 2023
Thursday, October 12, 2023
“I can’t shake it,” comes the iconic pained shriek of The Cure’s Robert Smith on ‘Girls Float Boys Cry’ – the knowingly titled downer highlight of ††† (Crosses)’ second album, ‘Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete.’. Now a cameo from the Gothfather would usually be put front and centre by most bands, but here it’s more like a spooky Easter egg – a surprise splash of black paint on the canvas.
“I had this idea, ‘What if I gave Robert call and asked him to have this little hidden vocal on the song’,” frontman Chino Moreno tells NME. “His unmistakable voice just pops out of nowhere.”
It’s far from his first encounter with Smith. His other band Deftones famously performed a merciless cover of The Cure’s ‘If Only Tonight We Could Sleep’ for their MTV Icon celebration back in 2004, before Smith later invited them to play his curated Meltdown in London in 2018 and he remixed ‘Teenager’ for the ‘Black Stallion’ companion record to the 20th anniversary of their seminal album ‘White Pony’ in 2021. Still, Moreno says “it was a trip to hear a word or a phrase that you’ve written then hear someone who’s voice you love and who inspired you throughout your music-loving life”.
With teenage Moreno “really drawn into sad, depressing music” and Crosses bandmate (and former guitarist with post-hardcore legends Far) Shaun Lopez in love with The Cure’s “dark but not obvious songs”, it’s a bucketlist duet. With their horror-noir aesthetic, sense of bittersweet romance, and records adorned with crucifixes, there’s a pretty sizeable meeting in the venn diagram, but the duo also aren’t too wild about being labelled as ‘goth’.
What it means to be goth, according to a founding member of The Cure.
In ‘Goth: A History,’ The Cure co-founder Lol Tolhurst traces the often-misunderstood subculture.
From Simon Price: "The first physical copy of #Curepedia - An A-Z Of @TheCure has arrived at @WhiteRabbitBks and it looks well sexy. This is the standard hardback edition, and the red edge to the paper is something new (unseen on the digital mock-ups). Phwoar..."
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
On that idea of it being like a journey, there are a lot of recurring metaphors, words and phrases between songs. Is that a purely accidental occurrence, or something you were deliberating baking into the lyrics?
Chino: “I didn’t realise until it was done, but there are phrases where I realised there is a journey [unfolding]. And some of this stuff dates back three or four years ago, so it was not ordered [to be] that way. For instance, the Robert Smith song on the record, Girls Float † Boys Cry, is an older track. It’s the saddest song on the record and I wrote some of those words during a dark time, I was in some sort of void where I was just unhappy. It reeks of loneliness and despair. But it was actually one of the last songs to be finished, so it was weird to revisit those feelings after I’d already worked through them. One of the recurring words I realised while I was listening back is of going through this ‘maze’ – of trying to figure out my way through life. It’s not as literal as that, but that’s a recurring theme. Some songs I talk about going through it, and sometimes I talk about it in the past tense, when I’m out of it. It’s a trip to sit outside of it all now and really trace where my head was at for each song. I love the music of Girls Float † Boys Cry so much, but when I hear that song it makes me feel sad. I’m glad I’m not in that place anymore. But I wanted to finish it and, obviously, getting Robert involved in it was just like… Who else to get on a song like that? It worked out perfectly to have him sing some of those words along with me.”
Shaun, what’s it like knowing you’ve officially recorded a song with Robert Smith?
Shaun: “I mean, honestly, I never thought I would have a song with him. Chino just surprised me with it. He didn’t tell me that he was sending it to him. He only told me about it when Robert had already said he would love to sing on it. We waited for a while and at some point we thought it maybe wasn’t going to happen, then we got these raw vocal files that he had sent us. It was pretty surreal to open them up.”
One to add to the official Greatest WeTransfers Of All Time list, then?
Shaun: “Definitely the greatest.”
Chino, in terms of broaching it with Robert, you obviously had a long relationship with him already. Did you know him well before he asked Deftones to play The Cure’s MTV Icon tribute in 2004?
Chino: “Yeah, I did – I met him around 1997. When Around The Fur first came out, we did a livestream where we performed some of the album – it was one of the first worldwide streams. We did it in this studio in Hollywood, and I didn’t know but The Cure were rehearsing next door. When we were done with the show, my tour manager said Robert Smith was watching us and asked if I would come into their studio. I was like, ‘What the fuck?’ I walked in there and he was so pleasant. He just had nothing but great things to say.
“Specifically, I remember we performed Mascara and he was asking me about its lyrics – and it was brand-new! It was like, ‘Wow, he really was paying attention.’ We became email pals and he had reached out to me a couple other times after that. So ever since, we’ve remained friends. For Girls Float † Boys Cry, I really wanted to not tell anybody about him being on it. I would have loved for people to hear the song and then, out of nowhere, his voice would come in and people would be like, ‘Is that Robert Smith?’ I love those Easter eggs in records, the same way Deftones did with Passenger and Maynard [James Keenan]. The collaboration ended up getting out, but it worked out in the most perfect way.”
Who came up with the title for the song? Robert Smith very famously once told us that Boys Don’t Cry, but now it seems they do…
Chino: “Yeah (laughs). The working title was always called something ‘boy’. I had three different titles, but they always had the word ‘boy’ in it – I don’t know why. But I was reading this article that was talking about scientific reasons why women are more buoyant than men in water. I thought, ‘Well, wouldn’t that be a good name for a song – Girls Float?’ Then I thought, ‘Girls Float, Boys Cry.’ I just married those things and then, specifically because Robert Smith was on it, I figured it was a nod.”
Did Robert say anything about the title?
Chino: “He didn’t! When I sent him the song, it still had the working title on it. Even to this point, I don’t know if he actually has any feelings about it or not (laughs).”
Favour for a favour and all, Shaun, are we to assume you’re down with Crosses guest appearing on the next Cure album?
Shaun: “Yeah, man, I’ll produce the whole thing. I got you, Robert!”