1987 - Music (Italy)*
Article - "Interview " (3 pages)
Interview / By Paolo Battigelli
By Paolo Battigelli
By now, Robert Smith has accustomed us to a high quality musical production. A love slave for his music, he never lowered The Cure songs to a medium-poor level, the so-called commercial, enough to survive with neither glory nor shame. On the opposite, the effort spent by the group as a whole made every album, or whatever project, from lives to videos, have its own inner structure: a mix in which ingredients vary in ratio but not in the intimate properties. A subtle provocation, a love for rock with decadent aspects and an eye-blink to a psychedelic coloured past.
Last year was a real tour de force for the band. The eagerly awaited anthology “Standing On A Beach” was released, worthy prologue to a long form video directed by the mentor Tim Pope, a master in his field, who managed to “freeze” for posterity an epic performance in the Roman Amphiteatre in Orange, in France. Staying in France, and here is the news, The Cure recorded the double “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me”: a real milestone of the sound which was born and grown under the shadow of “Three Imaginary Boys” and of the classic “Pornography”. 18 intense tracks which confirm the magic moment of Smith & co: a collective effort lasting months out of which the guys get out gratified beyond all expectations. But The Cure, and their leader in particular, don’t live out of notes only; around them there is a microcosm whose unwritten laws defy in part a rational logic. Let’s hear the opinion of Smith himself, incapsulated in a pair of jeans that has seen better days, a large pullover and a white shirt.
Cure are living a rather happy and fertile period. Is there any reason to give
for this actual state of grace?
Not one in particular, at least I don’t think so. As a base I think there should be the deep esteem and friendship that bond us. It is extremely important, to keep the cohesion and the harmony inside a band, to know each other and to decide democratically every time the situations requests.
has been written that your songs mirror the world you live in, that come from an
analysis of what surrounds you.
I am a deep obsverver. I hate people who sit down and decide to write a song; you need to look around, get lost in everyday life and get to hold everyone of its multiple aspects. It took ten months of work, of selection and exhausting rehearsals to arrive to the final 18 songs of double “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me”.
-Is the fact that during the years various line-ups have seen the light, all revolving around Robert Smith, to be attributed to a lack of amalgam inside the band or are the reasons different?
-If you can talk of non idyllic relationships, these have been exclusively for musical reasons. We suffered keyboards problems, guitar problems or even both at the same time, and we solved them getting a new lineup. Musical differences are always secondary: it is the music that makes the lineup. And not, as most of the times happen, the other way round. If I’m not wrong, we’re actually at the fourth chapter of The Cure story, undoubtable the best.
did you react to the american ban of “Killing An Arab”?
It wasn’t a ban, but simply some complaints addressed to a number of radios. The DJs have been forced not to air it anymore.
years ago you released an album on which no credits or track titles were
written. Maybe to show that music doesn’t need labels, brands or names?
Also, but more simply because our label of the time, Fiction, decided for us.
was it like to play in a theatre like Bari’s Petruzzelli and, most of all,
inside a show so far away from The Cure’s routine?
It was fun, we had a good feeling with the team mates and the audience, too, showed great sympathy. For other aspects, terrible. We felt out of place.
do you judge the pop scene today?
Very much objectively, not being part of it at all. Too few ideas and bad material but, deep down, it’s because of these pseudo artists the Cure will always exist: to offer a valid alternative.
is behing a title like “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me”?, close to pop for some
You’re wrong, its meaning is much more, to say so, vampirish than romantic. The kiss is meant as a bite on the neck, in the best vampires tradition; I already see the titles in cubital letters: “The Cure, the new vampires of rock”!
you aware that you are an example for thousands of kids? That you represent a
When I look at myself at the mirror I don’t see me, but someone else. And I wonder: “Why on Earth, according to many, we started the goth movement?” We don’t dress in black, at least not always, but instead we prefer a casual style with very normal colours. My hair is all entangled and black, it’s true, but that’s all.
Cure love to play, and they do mainly for fun. What stimulates you in a video?
The will to challenge ourselves. From the outside it seems everything ends up in a mix of happiness and satisfaction, but in reality things go differently. Our favourite director Tim Pope is forced everytime to get us drunk, that’s when all the action starts: the fear turns into recklessness and exhilaration. Our clips are incredible, and without an external aid we would never make it.
bands, or artists, do you listen to with the most pleasure?
The Beastie Boys, Kate Bush and Led Zeppelin. I’ll drop a veil on the rest.
your favourite readings?
Lately I’m interested in an Australian author, Patrick White.
THANKS: so much Pietro Scionti for translating.