Radio West (FM)


Interview with Robert Smith. 8 mins


Interviewer : The new stage show ?

Robert : It is completely new. It's rather overly ambitious I think, judging by the last couple of days. These sort of series moving screens, it's like based on the idea of theatre, that lets you change the steps of the stage and change the colors. We've got ultraviolets painted backdrops, a film and slides and more lights under the stage.

Interviewer : And who's responsible for that ?

Robert : It's still the same bloke, Mac, who's been with us for three years now. We just give him a rough set of songs that we're gonna be playing for the tour and we give him stage positions and just leave the rest up to him. It's the one area that we don't really get that involved because he knows the differences between taste and over the top gross outs so... It looks really good. It's just there's so much involved.

Interviewer : How does it all move ?

Robert : It's one of these electric motors. They all go up or down. It's really silly 'cause it hasn't been working out properly, they keep sticking you know. I got these things called cut-outs and 'cause they're not really designed for stages with the amount of lights that we've got above the stage. So they heat up with the lights and they just stop, you know when the screens are half way in front of the drum kit and things like that.

Interviewer : Does it put you upset ?

Robert : No, like the past two nights... The first night in Plymouth was really shaky. Our first nights usually are. Yesterday's night in Reading was really good. It's really good fun. It was almost like a light hearted atmosphere with the audience which is really unusual for us. We prefer it like that anyway. That was almost like a party. It was really strange for us. It's five months since we played together.

Interviewer : So have you been recording the album for the last five months ?

Robert : No, when we finished the British tour, we just decided to take a break for a couple of months, just like away from each others.

Interviewer : The Cure's been going on for a long time now. I noticed you've done a lot of touring. You've been to a lot of places. How did you fix up to play places like Australia relatively early on your career ?

Robert : The main link was between Chris Parry -he runs Fiction which we're signed to, he's a New Zealander and who was in a New Zealand band that had a number one hit but he got lots of contacts in New Zealand. So, a couple of years back he said "why don't we go and play in New Zealand ?. We can garantee the air fares and we're not going to lose anything". It was the biggest pub and club tour we ever had in the country. It just went on and on, they kept adding dates. We were there for five days and we staged for three and a half weeks, so...

Interviewer : You got a new album coming out in England now, called Pornography. Was there a reason ?

Robert : Really, it was to draw attention to it, although it doesn't actually deal with the subject of Pornography in its accepted sense.

Interviewer : I know there's one track called Pornography. Do the other tracks relate to it ?

Robert : Not really. No, that's why it's the first time we've done... I mean, it doesn't sound at all like Seventeen Seconds or Faith. And it hasn't got a theme through it. It's got 8 songs and they're all individual tracks that would deal with different things and produced in different ways. And instruments are different. There's not really a continuity with Seventeen Seconds or Faith apart from my voice which always sounds the same...

Interviewer : Is it still just the three of you for the music ?

Robert : We sat down at the beginning when we went into the studio and we just decided... We had most of the lyrics. I've written most of the lyrics for this album before we've gone in which is really unusual anyway. And we had working titles for the songs. And what we did was we just looked through the lyrics and thought about the titles. And picked instruments that we couldn't play but we thought we'd sound good. And just missed about... for about a week, it was a real waste of time, 'cause hardly anything just went on the record. We have left overs, lots of tapes...

Interviewer : What were the instruments you were experimenting with ?

Robert : Just... Things we were hiring and stuff. I mean, conventional things like cellos and also things like bell trees and sort of like a sitar. It was really horrendous noise, a lot of it... Some of it was really nice and really hypnotic 'cause it was so simple. But we decided against putting any of that on the record. Cause it would seem like a very obvious step to get away from what people consider we are... The actual sound is... We were constantly trying to get away from the Cure's sound, you know, in a lot of the songs. The guitar is distorded, it doesn't sound sweet and the bass is much hollow than it has been on the other records and the drums sound really enormous. They sound like drums for the first time and they were recorded just with big mics in a huge room. So the whole album sounds much bigger, it's much less hi-fi. We disregarded everything we learned of the studio technique of the previous two years. So we're starting from scratch again.

Interviewer : Coming back to the new album, do you have any plan to release a single of it ?

Robert : No... we won't bother.

Interviewer : That's unusual that, 'cause most bands would put out a single to try and promote the album...

Robert : Yeah. I just think at the moment there's so many good singles out, some really good singles bands I think... and singles for a specific founction, they are the reasons really crass in marketing an album or they're used as just like one-offs. I don't really see the point in releasing another single. It isn't going to be played on the radio. It's gonna get into the lowerish top 30 and then drop out. Because everyone knows they're getting it on the album. I'd like to write a single but a proper single like Boys Don't Cry. I keep thinking I must write it but it won't come to me yet. We'll see...

Interviewer : Your first ever single was Killing An Arab. Have you ever thought rereleasing that ?

Robert : No, I never really liked the song that much. I like 10:15 much better. It was supposed to be a double a side. People just picked out Killing An Arab because of the title. There's a sense of cheap, calling songs Killing An Arab, Pornography. It's always been there...


20.04.1982 - Radio West (UK)