January 5, 2007 - Metro (USA)
A new Cure; Robert Smith on his bandís changing lineup, new sound and aging.
by Gelu Suluguic - Interview

The Cure front man Robert Smith spent Christmas in the studio, writing lyrics for 33 new songs before picking the final cuts for his bandís 14th studio album, due in stores in May. With a founding member returning after 13 years and without a keyboard player for the first time in decades, The Cure gave fans a taste of the new band by releasing ďFestival 2005Ē this month, a DVD of last footage from European shows.

Howís the recording going?
The last four Cure albums have really stalled on my lyric-writing. I think itís worthwhile because they end up better than they otherwise would have been. I never worry about writerís block ó I figure if I donít have anything to write about I shouldnít be writing.

What will the new album sound like?
I like the idea of it being more in the style of the ďKiss Me Kiss Me Kiss MeĒ album with different things happening. I wanted to let the band play live and then write words to what we played, which is why Iím finding it a little bit hard. It has more color, a lot more style. There are no overdubs on it; itís just a four-piece band playing. Some songs have what one might call mistakes in them but they sound great and that pushed me to not try to refine everything all the time.

Porl Thompson is back on guitars, while keyboardist Roger OíDonnell and guitarist Perry Bamonte are out. What happened?
Iím always the driving force of the band and Iím not very good at compromising when it comes to music and art. I just find it ridiculous that I should have to do something I donít want to do, so it leaves everyone only one option, to leave. Thatís what happened to Roger and Perry.

Howís your relationship with Porl now?
Porl married my younger sister a long time ago, heís part of the family. I think we want the same things now as a band, which is why heís back. Heís such a fantastic guitarist ó the new record is showcasing what Porl does.

Why didnít you get a new keyboardist?
An awful lot of keyboards on Cure albums are played by me. The new album sounds great without a keyboard player, so why bother putting one in?

Youíre 47 and already retired once. How much longer are you going to be playing music?
I personally find it slightly upsetting to see seriously old people performing contemporary music. I havenít quite reached that very old-person stage, but Iím aware that time is moving on. When I canít stand up and sing for three hours, then itís probably the time to sit down and start making film music.

(Interview link)