April 1989 - Rock
'N' Folk (France)
Robert : At the end of the Kissing Tour, everyone in the band needed to take a break. We didn't see each others for six months except me and Simon. I was and I'm still proud of the Kiss Me album. I consider it as a great collection of songs reflecting the band's potential. It's, by the way, the only Cure tape I always keep in my car, along with Standing on the Beach. It's an easy album to listen to, lighter than our old records. But it's also why I wanted to make a solo album. To get that intimate and intense feeling that disappeared with this line-up. I wrote the songs in that state of mind. I had enough material to make an album but I didn't feel like it anymore. Because the title and concept of the next Cure album then appeared to me : Disintegration. I really wanted the band to make an album as powerful and emotional as Faith. It all depended on the others and luckily they felt the same. So they started working.
- All except Lol, as he's not in the band anymore. What happened to him ?
Robert : Actually, even if he's credited on the album, for the last 2 years he wasn't part of the band anymore. He became difficult to deal with, falling into excess. And on the other hand, he didn't contribute to the band for years...
Simon : Without wanting to be mean, I think it's better for everybody, with the upcoming tour, that Lol isn't with us anymore. He became our scrapegoat, but it was his fault.
Robert : Lol turned into a professional victim. At the end, it was his only function and all the band's energy was dedicated to persecute him. Since he left, we did two videos and we didn't miss him for a second. I'd say our relationship in the band improved by 300%. We chat again together instead of the eternal high school jokes. Lol knew it would end up like this, but he did nothing to change. It's sad but inevitable.
- How did you work on the new album ?
Robert : The same way we did on Kiss Me, except this time, I provided in
advance the mood of the album. Everyone wrote songs and we chose the best
ones. And by accident, we picked my songs only except one or two by Simon.
(laughs). Actually, with the five of us, we could make five albums a year, but
we are limited by my unability to write the lyrics on purpose. I feel it's
getting harder and harder for me because I wish they would always be more
concise, more clever than before.
- Why this title, Disintegration and what's the main theme on it ?
Robert : The title reflects how I felt last year. This idea of a permanent
struggle to remain coherent. We tend to give up, dispersing ourselves,
disintegrating... Like if we would continue to play together but we wouldn't
record new songs anymore. Otherwise, the key song on the album could be
Closedown. I think it's horrible that you become insensitive with age. When
you're young and naive, you always have intense feelings. All you gain with
experience makes you lose that. I was really happy to see I could still cry
while recording some of these songs. Sincerely, I don't think there's another
band who puts so much of its soul in their songs. I wouldn't put on a record a
song I didn't give everything I could to. And that's why I don't reject any
album we've made. Just Like Heaven or In Between Days are excellent pop songs
but I felt like going back exploring the blank territories of Pornography.
- Can it be a reaction against the risk of the Cure becoming too popular ?
Robert : No. I never make that kind of plan. It's funny because I'm totally
aware of the band's history and evolution. But at the same time, the band's
music, on each album, is instinctive and natural. I've never had a career
plan. Besides, even this last record isn't the way I imagined it six months
ago. I'd see it 10 times heavier. It's not because Lovecats or Close To Me are
our most popular songs that I put them above the other ones. I only know it's
the kind of things I should write if I absolutely wanted a hit.
Simon : I don't see what could prevent somebody who likes The Head on the Door to enjoy Disintegation as well. And the opposite too. Because that's the way we feel.
- Do you feel a pressure coming from your fans ?
Robert : No. Our instincts keep us real in front of mass hysteria. And Polydor always has the good idea to tell us what to do so we aren't forgotten and become as big as U2. So, we just have to do the opposite. The more the Cure is forgotten, the better it will be. We receive a lot of mail every day and except some crazy ones, our fans respect us. It's mostly enthousiastic teenagers, eager to hear the new album. Our music gives them more than any other group. It's the same way Simon and I are waiting for the next Kate Bush album. I'd write her a letter if I was sure she would answer...
Simon : She sent me a dedicated photograph "For Simon - love, Kate". I keep it
on my bed-side table.
- And apart from Kate Bush, what do you listen to ?
Robert : Since Kiss Me, I started to buy records again. I listen to everything
that gets released. Even the small and obscur bands, or the worst things like
Front 242 or Nitzer Ebb. It's an important thing to feel like somebody who
listens to records again. Even if I think everything I'm hearing is horrible.
But fortunately there are good surprises sometimes. I discovered My Bloody
Valentine and the Sundays. Two amazing bands. I like Sinead O'Connor and All
About Eve too. But I was really disappointed by New Order's last album. I've
always naively believed in them. Mary warned me and I have to admit she was
right. With Technique, they proved they could be like any mediocre band. I
could never release such an uninspired and lazy album. At least, if our
audience doesn't like Disintegration, that will be because of all the
feelings, the atmosphere. Our records are always honest. There's a behavior
all in the band unconsciously follow. Boris played drums on Ian McCullough's
album. He's someone we respect. It's not embarassing for the Cure to be
associated with him. When I see New Order working with Pet Shop Boys, it makes
me throwing up.
- Is integrity a necessity for you ?
Robert : Yes, even it's completely subjective and difficult to achieve. I know
I have quite strict criterias and values. When a band has lost its instinct
and starts to calculate things or does easy things, I lose interest in it.
It's the case for New Order but also for Morrissey or the Fall who don't know
what to do anymore. We're always asked to participate to charity gigs, but we
never go there. I personally support lots of causes but I don't see why we
should share a bill with people I really hate. It's like everything has to be
politically correct. I started to make music because I despised people like
Elton John or Rod Stewart and I don't see why I should change that. I even
think I hate even more people now, since a whole new generation of groups like
U2 or Simple Minds added itself to the big idiots that were Queen. I'm happy a
band like My Bloody Valentine could still exist. I feel like we are the same
age. You can feel they do their thing and don't fucking care about the rest.
It's nice to listen to something else than our records (laughs).
- Is it that the kind of bands that give you the will to continue ?
Robert : It would be the opposite actually. First, writing good songs becomes
more difficult because those bands raise the level. And also, if there were
enough people who were making songs that meant something to me, I wouldn't
feel the need to make music myself. I think the Cure's music serves that
purpose for a lot of people still. I really like my own music. I would buy
Disintegration if I heard it in a shop.
- Were you never interested in producing other bands ?
Robert : Yes, once. I really wanted to produce the Sundays. I thought their
demos were really good and I could see exactly what I could do with them. But
it was too late. Otherwise, I think it's hard to get involved in somebody
else's work. All the artists I like are like me. They want to produce their
own records and it's normal. I have a very clear idea of how the Cure should
sound, but for another band I don't know... My experience probably only works
for the Cure.
- How will be the concerts from the upcoming tour ?
Robert : It will depend on the countries and our popularity there. In places
where we're quite famous, like in France, we'll only play new songs and some
obscures ones from our old records. We'll pick them from a 50-song repertoire.
Like usually, we'll play pop sets in alternance with gloomy ones. I have the
feeling that we'll play those kind of gloomy shows in France (laughs). We'll
have the technical crew that worked with Prince on his last tour. The funny
part is that they asked to work for us when Simple Minds tried, for months, to
hire them for their tour. He he.
- Is it true that you don't take planes anymore ?
Robert : Yeah. Never again. I'll only travel by bus, trains or boats for the
tour. Because I can't stand anymore all that nausea and feeling sick, just to
gain a bit of time. I don't really care losing my time if I have more comfort.
I'm not afraid to die, I'm used to this idea. But I don't want to die in a
plane, I hate not being able to control what's going on. We have a huge bus,
like some sort of hotel on the road. I'm going to enjoy and see a bit of the
countries we go to at last. And I can stay all day in bed if I want to !
- There's a rumor saying that you stopped drinking ?
Robert : I stopped drinking because I felt the need to. I drank a little too
much during the recording of the album. I was completely wasted just before
Christmas. I try to stay sober now, until my birthday in April at least. Then,
that'll probably be harder.
Simon : I stopped drinking a bit too...
Robert : Liar ! Yesterday you were pissed over vodka again !
- Did the Cure turn into the serious and cold band from the old times ? What happened to the funny Cure from the Tim Pope videos ?
Robert : Don't worry, it's still alive. We're not going to become sad and
depressing. Wait until you see the Lullaby video. It's a bit like the Close To
Me video. A little twisted film with monsters. Our sense of humour didn't
disappear. With Disintegration, I wanted to see if the Cure was still able to
make a record which had a real substance and if we were able to express and
share such deep feelings. The kind of things you feel the first time somebody
kisses you violently on the mouth. It's this kind of intensity, when you're
young, that you must never forget with age. Never...
(Interview : Hugo Cassavetti - Translated from French)
(interview from - http://www.impressionofsounds.com)