The Cure on Fanzines

New Wave (France)


Interview with Lol Tolhurst written by Pierre Metgerstein.

Date ???


Are you happy to be here in Paris and what do you think of the French audience ?

Lol : This tour was really good. Now people know what to expect when they come to see us. They would only come to our shows because they were curious when we first started to play here. Now it's much better. I'm thinking of places like Clermont-Ferrant.

Who will be in charge of the keyboards tonight ?

Lol : Robert and Simon will. Maybe I'll play some next year.

The Cure seems to lead a whole minimalist rock trend and has opened the doors for other bands like The Passions, The Associates... Do you feel that way ? What do you think of these bands ?

Lol : I wouldn't say we're representative of a trend because the bands you mention all have similarities but also they are different in their goals and visions. I like The Associates a lot, we're friends with them, but I don't know The Passions very well. I just think it's a hype, so it's necessarily limited. And I wouldn't say we're fashionable.

You were the first ones to do that kind of music...

Lol : Yes, and now we're going towards a different direction.

Who inspires you ?

Lol : Sometimes influences don't only come from music, books can provide influences. Lots of people inspired us. From a musical point of view, everything we listen to does. But it's noone in particular. At the beginning of the band, it was Jimmy Hendrix, Robert and I like him a lot. But we don't necessarily like the same things. It's difficult to talk about influences. I don't think a single band particulary inspired us.

Was Punk ideology and music important to you ?

Lol : The ideology, yes. That was what mattered. But as we're living 50 miles from London, we weren't exactly part of this mouvement. The punk ideology was "you can do something and there's no reason for you not to. You don't have to be somebody special, you can do it for yourself". Musically, there were a lot of good things. But it's sad to see that some bands turned into what they hated so much by then. I'm thinking about Generation X who turned into the Rolling Stones. Rubbish !

It's pretty rare to see pictures of the band, you rarely do interviews, your first LP cover didn't mention the titles... Do you want to be anonymous ?

Lol : It's simply because we didn't want to give a biased image of the band. That's why there are no photos of us on the covers.

Except on Seventeen Seconds...

Lol : Yes, but they're blurry. It was done on purpose, just a joke...

Cure albums are very much debated. At first, they're rejected by the press critics and then they're praised by the same ones. Maybe reviewers don't know how to listen to your music. Do you think the Cure's music isn't easily accessible ?

Lol : Very good question. I don't think the reviews we get must be taken too seriously. Because critics are completely subjectives. The best way to tell somebody how you felt while listening to a record is to play it to him or her. It would be excellent to have give-away records in magazines. It has been done, but it costs a lot. At the beginning of the Cure, bad reviews used to upset me, I don't care now because I think there is enough people who know us and they have their own opinion.

Faith is your darkest record...

Lol : Actually, Faith isn't supposed to be a dark album. But Seventeen Seconds is, because it expresses an intense feeling. Faith is similar but it includes some hope. Even if the music sounds dark, there's still something light. It's not as sad as it seems.

But this sadness on your records obviously reflects something uneasy.

Lol : Our music reflects the feelings all the three of us share. It's personal but it is as well for all the people who feel the same. We only meet people who either love us or hate us. Nobody says : "I quite like that". People like us or don't understand us. We make music for the people who have the same kind of feelings and there's a lot of them. Our music doesn't include a message. It's not about "you have to do this or not". It's more like "here's how we feel like, here's an atmosphere, you can use it to project your own feelings".

Does the band ever argue ?

Lol : Sometimes. The main reason is because the three of us are friends. Sometimes we discuss, but never about what we want to do, it's never about the music. When there are tensed moments, it's rather private stuff because we are close and share a lot of things.

No personality crisis then ?

Lol : There are no ego problems. Because we don't believe in too many things. The only important thing we believe in is ourselves.

What would you do if the Cure split up ?

Lol : We think we'll continue for a long time. But we are more concerned about the present time. We can't know what will happen in 70 years so... But we all have side projects. Maybe we'll do solo things, like a solo album or playing with somebody else. Robert would like to do a solo album. But we're also interested in other things, like writing...

Apart from Camus, do you like other French writers ?

Lol : I like Gide, he's very good.

Do you read directly in French ?

Lol : I did with Camus. It's possible to understand the real text better because translations tend to change it a bit. But he's the only one I read in French. I do like some French philosophers as well...

Do you feel close to the "Stranger" main character ?

Lol : I think so. We all had the same behavior as Meursault. Maybe we are, the three of us, a bit immoral... (laughs)

Do you feel concerned about the riots that followed the economic situation in England ?

Lol : I don't have an opinion. It doesn't concern me much. People have the right to do this, but I don't think others care at all. I sympathize for the things getting worse for a certain kind of people.

Are you interested in politics ?

Lol : I am 22. On the last four years, there were two important elections. I didn't vote. I don't feel attracted to one party. Actually, they are all more or less the same. The only one I think is going to be decisive in the next months is the Social Democrat Party. I would have voted for them because it's fresh and new and summarize both sides. It represents 30% of the population, which is fair. And after all, change can only be positive.

written by Pierre Metzgerstein (translated from French)