(July 10th, 2007)
Here comes The Cure
By Zul Othman,
TODAY | Posted: 10 July 2007 1215 hrs
Cure - Live In Singapore
$178, $148, $118 and $78, from SISTIC
front man for The Cure and supposed Godfather of
Goth to many, is in a good mood.
A new album is in the works, and he is looking forward
to the prospect of unleashing it to legions of fans early
myself a deadline to finish before Christmas, and I
should be shot if I don't finish on time," the 48-year-old
told Today in a phone interview from a recording studio
in South London on Friday where he was promoting The Cure's
highly-anticipated Singapore Indoor Stadium debut on Aug
phone, Smith sounded in high spirits, as if he had
forgotten the tough last few years for the iconic British
outfit, which burst onto the music scene in 1977.
— which for the past two years have also comprised
guitarist Porl Thompson, bassist Simon Gallup and drummer
Jason Cooper — belongs in the pantheon of hugely influential
cult bands, and is best remembered for their sombre post-punk
melodies as well as Smith's smudged lipstick and gravity-defying
the band has 12 studio albums and five live ones, selling
over 27 million copies worldwide. This, despite the
fact that their last three albums, Wild Mood Swings (1996),
Bloodflowers (2000) and erstwhile swansong, The Cure
(2004), barely registered on the public radar.
his excitement for the upcoming concert, but his
voice shuddered slightly when talk of events leading up
to the last album came up. "Recording the last album was a
harrowing experience," he said. "We had contracted a brand
new producer, Ross Robinson. It was the first time we've
ever done anything like that.
to trust someone, let go of my responsibilities and
just be a singer for a change. I wanted a person I could
trust and respect, and Ross was that person. He had no interest
in telling me how to do what I do; he just wanted us to
sound as best as we could."
too much for the rest of The Cure, which lead to a
break-up in late 2004. "The character of the band was
fractured by what Ross did," Smith sighed. "(We) had
become slightly complacent — perhaps towards each other
— and Ross tore that apart. As an album, The Cure is slightly too
long and unfocused in parts. But that wasn't Ross' fault but
more to do with the band."
Album No 13 <<
an outsider to size up your shortcomings was not easy,
Smith admitted. "Under Ross, I was screamed at. That never
happened before for as long as I've done music, but I found
it strangely liberating," he said.
took a few months off but was enticed back in 2005
by his brother-in-law and long time The Cure associate,
first debuted on their 1979 album, Three Imaginary
Boys, but the long-time friends also shared a tumultuous
musical history and often fought over the band's creative
direction. Deciding he had enough, Thompson left in
1993 to take up a stint as a guitarist in Led Zeppelin's Robert
Plant and Jimmy Page touring band.
Smith was delighted by Thompson's offer to be part
of The Cure again.
real catalyst for us getting back together," he quipped.
"When he offered to rejoin, I thought it was too good
an opportunity to pass up. We set aside our differences and
two years on, we're hard at work."
Smith confessed that he wasn't too eager to re-form.
"I was worried about getting new band members and not
having anything in common with them. Thankfully, Porl
shares our experiences and our backgrounds so he's a natural
fit," he said.
has been in the band on-and-off since 1979, while
drummer Cooper has been playing drums for The Cure since
his band is up and running yet again, rock's poster
boy for doom and gloom sounds like a man who got his groove
For a rocker
who's spent three decades in the game, Smith is
surprisingly down to earth: During the 30-minute chat,
Smith was a polite, witty and affable fellow who seemed
completely at odds with his reputation as a British music icon.
While humbled by the fact that newer bands like Interpol and
My Chemical Romance are constantly singing praises about The Cure,
Smith said his real focus is getting album 13 out to the stores
as soon as possible.
he needs to hurry, of course.
his vast body of work, Smith may never have to compose
another song again: The Cure have left behind classic
albums such as 1987's Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, 1989's
Disintegration, and songs like Charlotte Sometimes, The
Hanging Garden, Just Like Heaven, In Between Days, Lullaby,
Friday I'm In Love, along with over 100 others.
has a more personal reason for buckling down to work.
"It's been 20 years since one of our most famous albums
Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me was released in 1987," he said.
been one of my touchstones when it came to preparing
album number 13. I'm hoping this thing we're working
on right now can be seen as a continuation to Kiss Me
Kiss Me Kiss Me, (that) there will be there some songs
on our new album that people will remember in 20 years time."
the album title?
"Only I know
that, not even the band knows what (it) will be called.
Until we announce the exact release date, I'm not telling
anyone. Not even my own mother!" he said, playing coy.
IT's not about fame <<
confident that their latest album will go down well
with fans, but The Cure's continued cult success leaves
him in a quandary.
he has no problems playing to audiences half his age,
Smith finds it "distressing" that some critics are deriding
The Cure's recent re-forming as "1980s has-beens trading
on past glories."
to know The Cure are now on the same level as Duran
Duran, he joked.
epitomised the worst excesses of 1980s music," he
scoffed. "Seeing that we gained prominence in the 1980s
ourselves, I don't think I'm being hypocritical. If you
were British at that time, things were split down the middle:
On one side, you had (then) Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
bringing in a money-grubbing 'me me me' culture which
spawned the detestable, despicable and greedy people of
the time," he said.
Duran Duran was a manifestation of that Thatcherite
ideal: The five-piece outfit is remembered for many
excesses and were wantonly spending money on the most
frivolous things like making a music video for their single,
Save A Prayer, in Sri Lanka, circa 1982.
we weren't a politicised band, The Cure represented
a less materialistic view of England. The Cure would
go to play in stadiums across America and no one could understand
how we did it. We were an underground band who sold millions
of albums and playing concerts in front of thousands of people.
Duran Duran and bands like that tried everything to be famous
while The Cure couldn't care less about fame," he laughed.
Be that as
it may, fans can rest assured that advancing age hasn't
stifled any of Smith's so called eccentricities. He
assures that at the upcoming Singapore show, the lipstick
and gravity-defying hairstyle will be present and correct.
about what sets him apart from the other bands, Smith
said The Cure have survived this long because they're
not in it for the fame.
we shied away from all that rock star grandstanding,
and I'm proud to say there isn't a single picture of
me from the 1980s that I would call embarrassing," he said.
"When I think
about it, every single band in the whole f******
world looks s*** when compared to The Cure!" - TODAY/fa
At least one part of this "new"
interview was pulled from a DotMusic interview from last
So that Christmas deadline was from LAST YEAR.
Sort of makes you wonder about the rest of this "interview".
(Thanks Pam and to Natalie for finding
the old interview)