Two hours from London, outside the picturesque town of Bath in the misty English countryside, stands St. Catherine's Court, a modest-sized, 18th century manor house and accompanying church owned by the actress Jane Seymour. But for the past 14 months, these buildings have been inhabited by different tenants - no less famous, but perhaps more partial to strong English cider and cranked-up guitar amps than American TV's "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." This is where the Cure have been at work on their new album, Wild Mood Swings (Elektra).
The house's ancient carved-wood front door swings open at a touch. Thick cables run along the narrow hallways. The library has been made into a control room; a vintage Neve console is plopped amid dusty tomes. Up in the stately Augustan ballroom, the lads have "made a place to sweat." Robert Smith's guitars stand at attention in one corner - everything from a funky old National to the trademark white Fender Jazzmaster of the band's early recordings to the red Gibson Chet Atkins that the Cure's leader currently favors.
Over in the opposite corner, second guitarist Perry Bamonte has his own little forest of headstocks. Bassist Simon Gallup, keyboardist Roger O'Donnell and drummer Jason Cooper have all staked out their own comfortable expanses of ballroom floor. This is a pared-down, rejuvenated Cure line-up. Porl Thompson - Robert's brother-in-law and a Cure guitarist since the earliest days of the band - has joined Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's band. And longtime drummer Boris Williams has abdicated the throne to the youthful Cooper.
Down in the rustic kitchen, a figure suddenly and silently appears. He's sporting a few days' growth of beard, a flannel shirt and jeans. But the elaborately messy nest of dark hair atop his head is unmistakable.
"Hi, I'm Robert."
The Cure's main man radiates low-key intensity. He seems content to be the calm center of the swirling storm of personnel changes and identity shifts that is the Cure. Smith has shepherded the band through several distinct incarnations: post-punk poster boy for existential despair, cute but forlorn "Love Cats" that every teenage girl in the 80s wanted to adopt, and, in recent years, something akin to a classic rock band, capable of producing epic soundscapes and autumnal textures you could get lost in for days.
In the process, Smith has also become a guitar hero for Lollapalooza-generation guitarists like Dave Navarro of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He is amused and flattered by this. Smith has never pretended to be a virtuoso, but his clean, chorused tones and economical open-string lines are a vital cornerstone of the post-punk guitar tradition. Along with leading the Cure he's played with another goth-punk icon, Siouxsie and the Banshees and maintained a side band, the Glove, with Banshees bassist Steve Severin. So Smith's place in the history books is more than assured. Over the years, he's tried everything from quasi-metal distortion to nylon stringed lyricism. Yet, like his plaintive singing voice, everything he plays on guitar bears his unmistakable stylistic stamp.
"Robert never practices," says Perry Bamonte. "But sometimes towards the end of a set or during the encores - two bottles of wine into the set, let's say - he'll decide to ad-lib a solo and it'll be incredible. Nothing fast or anything, but it will sit absolutely just right in the song."
Wild Mood Swings is appropriately titled: it's the Cure's most stylistically diverse effort yet, featuring everything from elegiac "Eleanor Rigby"-esque strings ("This is a Lie") to dancey elastic wah-wah grooves ("Club America") to ersatz _touristo_ trumpets and congas ("The 13th," the album's first single). Four years separate Wild Mood Swings from the Cure's last studio album, Wish, but Smith has hardly been idle during this time. He's toured extensively, made 2 live albums, Show, which is also available as a concert video, and Paris concluded - victoriously - a tortuous lawsuit with former partner and ex-Cure member Lol Tolhurst and dealt with the exhausting process of auditioning drummers for the band.
"We had seven different drummers up at this house," Smith recalls. "We couldn't decide who we wanted, so we spent four or five days wit each one. I think five out of the seven were Cure fans, which was both good and bad. Just coming to this house is pretty weird in the first place. It would be a rather surreal experience for anyone. But for one of the drummers...I suppose we were his favorite group. It must have been quite bizarre for him, and hard to believe it was real. He got so drunk that he couldn't play. Then he got suicidal on day two. Like 'I've blown it!' We found him writing a note: 'Good-bye guys. Sorry I've let you down.'"
GUITAR WORLD: Luckily you didn't find him hanging in his room. Speaking of which, have you run into any ghosts in this house?
ROBERT SMITH: There's supposed to be ghosts living here. There are stories of a woman in blue who walks across the courtyard at night. Steve Lyon, the album's co-producer, said he's seen a ghost. Roger's claimed supernatural experiences, but I think the spirits came out of a bottle, in his case.
GW: You sound like you're experimenting with different vocal qualities on this album. For instance, you use the lower part of your vocal range for "Club America."
RS: The idea behind that was not to be "me." There are different instrumental textures on this record - real strings, brass, etc. I didn't want to have the same old voice on there, so I tried to change my vocal style on some songs. But that's quite difficult. I mean, it's like doing impersonations. I only get to do one album every four years or so. It seems a waste of time if I'm going to do some bizarre routine. If you do more than one or two songs like that, you're in danger of the album becoming some weird joke that the listener doesn't get.
GW: It seems as if you're creating characters with some of the vocals.
RS: Yeah. The obvious ones are "The 13th" and "Club America." There's a song called "Treasure" where I'm trying to sound like some sort of a dead whispering woman. I'm really pushing it. I was in there for two days doing that one.
GW: Do you think that people who characterize you as a gloomy, depressed songwriter are, at times, responding more to a quality in your voice than what you are actually singing?
RS: Yes. I suppose there is something about my voice that lends itself to...someone called it whining. Although our happy songs have been successful, I find that singing them is by far the most difficult thing for me - just to get to that point where I feel genuinely happy while I'm singing. But I think I did it with "Mint Car" on the new album. It's got that quality. And I did it with "Friday I'm in Love." But I have to wait much longer to find the right moment to do one of those songs. It's much easier to work yourself into a state of absolute despair than into one of ecstatic joy, which probably says something about me. But it also says something about the world.
GW: Some of the songs on this album, like "This is a Lie," have that mood of existential drama that you do so well.
RS: With that song, I'm actually trying to propose a viewpoint that isn't my own, which is unusual for me - to sing something I don't believe. I don't agree that several relationships can satisfy you, on different levels, equally as much as one relationship. I'm not saying that is a wrong choice in life. But that doesn't work for me, personally. It's much better to have a very deep relationship with one person than several shallow ones with others.
That song was based on a series of conversations I had in this house. And I thought it would be more interesting to propose the opposite viewpoint, because it goes against a lot of the stuff on the record. It goes against a lot of what I've said, over the years, in lyrics. Anyone who is interested enough to listen to more than one Cure album builds up a picture of what the person who's singing is saying - his character. I think that now is a good time for me to play with that a little bit. I'm trying to broaden the scope of what I'm writing about, really, without resorting to gimmickry.
GW: Anyone who's been a fan of yours certainly associates you with monogamy. [Smith's relationship with his wife, Mary, dates back to when they were teenagers.]
RS: [mischievously] Yeah, I guess some will be excited by this.
GW: Speaking of monogamous relationships, was there one main guitar you used on this album?
RS: I've got a Gibson Chet Atkins that I've been using quite a bit now. It's a limited edition guitar, red all covered with gold hardware. Nothing sounds quite like it. It's incredibly heavy - like the weight of 5 guitars. I wonder what's in there. Some kind of smuggling device? But I made a point of using every guitar up in the ballroom. [approximately 50 instruments] on the album, just on principle. 'Cause very easily on I got a lot of stick for having so many guitars [sarcastic voice]: "You can only play one guitar at once, you know." So I've made my point. I've played them all - one at a time, but I've used them all.
GW: What amps did you use?
RS: An Ampeg combo, mainly, along with a Marshall Bluesbreaker and a Vox AC30. I've discarded all my Peavey stuff for this record, except for a big 4x12 Peavey Musician that the Fender six-string bass still goes through. You just can't better that sound.
GW: Is that you playing the wah-wah stuff on "Club America"?
RS: Yeah. That's the Gibson Chet Atkins. I remember because I spent 8 hours doing 17 takes of wah-wah guitar - from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. And I drank 3 bottles of Australian white wine. That's one of my most vivid memories of recording this album, because I reached another plateau of wah-wah guitar. Unfortunately, most of it had nothing to do with the song. By about take 7, I don't think I was even listening through headphones anymore. Basically, that's the first 2 takes mixed in together. But I just went into this wah-wah frenzy, like drummers do with bongos. I couldn't stop my foot for days afterward. I was walking really strangely.
GW: What kind of wah?
RS: A Crybaby. An old one, which unfortunately is on its last wah. A lot of what we use on records is the same equipment we use live, because we can't get those sounds any other way. But then, a lot of what we use live is chosen almost exclusively for its robustness. That's how we started using Peavey. It's incredibly difficult to bust a Peavey amp. It's the same with the Boss pedals we use. When we're on stage, the last thing Simon or I want to do is try and see what number is on some digital rack unit and then try to remember what planet that number comes from. Whereas if you look down and see a yellow box, you think, "Ah, distortion!"
GW: Let's delve into some history. Were "Killing an Arab," "Boys Don't Cry" and all those early singles really recorded with a #20 [about the equivalent of $40 at the time] Woolworth's Top 20 guitar?
RS: Yes. On the Three Imaginary Boys album, there are about 4 songs I played the Top 20 on. I had that and a WEM Clubman amp. That was my setup. I could carry one in each hand. Then I got my Jazzmaster and Roland Jazz Chorus 120 amp. I went on a spending spree with my first advance. Chris Parry [the Cure's producer/manager and label owner-] insisted. We recorded the first four songs in a couple of hours, and he was horrified to discover that I intended to use the Top 20 for the whole record. He felt that didn't leave too many options. It could only do one sound.
GW: You were lucky it did that.
RS: Yeah. So he took us out the next day and Michael Dempsey [the Cure's fist bassist] bought his Guild bass and I got the Jazzmaster and Jazz Chorus amp.
GW: What drew you to the Jazzmaster?
RS: It was because Elvis Costello used one. I saw him do "I Don't Want to go to Chelsea" on Top of the Pops and I said, "That's one really good looking guitar." At that stage, my knowledge of guitars was pretty basic. I took a perverse pleasure in playing the Top 20. I could have afforded something better, but I spent my money on beer instead. I knew the basic guitar shapes and I knew what Hendrix played, but Porl Thompson - who'd been in the group at the start and left by the time we were making records - was much more into guitars. As a result, it was something I shied away from because I associated it with a sort of "rock" mentality. I was never interested in owning a Les Paul, which is like the typical accouterment of a rock guitarist. I preferred Fenders, if anything. I thought people who used Les Pauls were more rock-oriented and therefore they were not people that I particularly liked. I got it into my head that Fenders were more of an arty guitar, and Gibsons were more mainstream.
So it had to be a Fender when I went out shopping. I thought of buying a Jaguar when I went to the shop, but they didn't have one; they had a Jazzmaster instead, and they gave me a price knockdown - like #100 [about $150] or something. So I bought it. And that was basically my sound. I used a Storm overdrive pedal and Storm distortion for years as well. That was my setup through the Pornography album.
GW: When did the Fender Bass VI enter the picture?
RS: I added the six-string bass on the Faith album. I think [producer] Mike Hedges stole it. I'm not sure from whom, but he said they'd never miss it. He worked with a lot of big-name artists and he felt it was his duty as a socialist to relieve them of some of their worldly possessions. So he gave me that at the end of 17 Seconds. I actually wrote "Primary" on it and incorporated it into a few other things. But to record the actual take of "Primary," I had to use a Fender Precision bass instead. The six-string bass was pretty iffy down at the bottom of the neck of the sixth string. It buzzed and you couldn't hear what you were playing.
I should add that when I played with Siouxsie and the Banshees the first time I played and Ovation Breadwinner guitar. That was 1979. So I did own another guitar. But that was my Banshees guitar. I would never have dreamed of playing it with the Cure. I resurrected it when I went back and played with the Banshees a second time [_1982-1985_]. It really summed up the Banshees for me: a very modern kind of asymmetrical shape. Nearly every guitar I've ever bought was chosen for its visual aesthetics-how it looked rather than how it sounded.
GW: How did playing with the Banshees impact your guitar style?
RS: It allowed me to experiment. I inherited an approach from John [McKay, the Banshee's first guitarist] which was just to have everything full up, really. It was just a matter of getting somewhere in the region of the right chord and you got away with it. Severin's bass was so loud, Budgie's drums were so thunderous, and Siouxsie's voice was so loud in the mix that there was very little room for guitar. It was phased/flanged distortion noise, really. There were only about 5 songs where I had to learn the parts. The rest of it was just in a key.
It was a lot more interesting the second time I played with the Banshees and inherited John McGeogh's setup. [_McGeogh has also played with Magazine, Visage, and P.I.L.] He had an old MXR flanger mounted on a mike stand; he'd hit a chord and sweep the flange knob in real time. I actually watched a video of what he was doing and that gave me insight. They wanted me to use his guitar, but I refused - again, on grounds of aesthetics! I said, "That's an ugly instrument. I'm not going to play it." But I used his amp instead.
GW: John McGeogh is a sadly underrated and unappreciated guitarist.
RS: Yes, he is. I used to go out with him quite a bit. He left the Banshees under a bit of a cloud, but he stayed friendly with me and Severin. Last time I saw him was about 4 years ago, I think, in a hotel lobby. It was toward the end of his tenure with P.I.L. There was a real air of desperation - they weren't getting anywhere. We were leaving to go to a gig and so were they. It was in America so we were playing this Enormo-Dome sort of place and they were playing a club. John Lydon had an attitude of "I should be doing that, not them." It was really weird. McGeogh was kind of stuck in the middle, apologizing for having to side with his band.
GW: What do you think of the Sex Pistols reunion?
RS: Not a lot, really. It's pretty tragic. Lydon must be really craving the spotlight. There's not a lot of good to be said about it. I just don't know how they're going to pull it off. I wonder if they will have the nerve to set it all up, take the ticket money and not bother playing. Paul Cook is actually rooming with our guitar tech, so we have a different perspective on it. He asked Cook why they were doing it and Cook was real honest, like, "I dunno. We need the money." If all really does go ahead, there's going to be an awful lot of bullshit about the ironic cultural statement they're making. I can see it now. Pretty sad.
GW: I'm afraid it's just going to be like a bad hard-rock band or something.
RS: Yeah, well, Steve Jones is a bad hard-rock guitarist.
GW: When the Cure first came out, they were one of the groups that defined post-punk aesthetic. Punk was big, noisy power chords. The Cure were this other thing entirely: stark, dry arrangements, clean chorused guitar sounds. Were you consciously reacting against punk?
RS: When we were playing pubs in '76 through the summer of '77, we had some songs that were kind of in a punk style - pretty thrashy. Luckily, they were abysmal. I say luckily because if I had written some really good punk songs we would have turned into a punk band and that would have been the end of the story. Michael Dempsey didn't like anything to do with punk. He was more of an XTC man, which was a little too quirky for me.
It was actually seeing Wire that gave me the idea to follow a different course, to hold out against the punk wave. At the time, it was a lot easier just to play loud and fast, and that was a good night. Everyone went home talking about you. But even then, I felt, "We're gonna go down with the ship if we do that." Seeing Wire pointed out another direction to me. I didn't even especially like Wire - still don't - but this particular performance was just earth-shattering for me. We were supporting them at this small place, like a student thing. We played pretty badly; I was drunk and it was a shambles. We did "10.15" three times and no one really noticed. Then Wire came on, and during the first song about half the audience left. It was the most intense thing I thought I'd ever see - blinding white lights shooting straight into the audience and this incredible wall of noise. But it wasn't like thrash, just ponderous noise. Then they'd stop it and do little quiet bits. I thought it was really excellent.
I remember having a big row in the van with the others about it afterwards because they all thought it was shit, and I thought it was immense. That's what I wanted the Cure to do. It took about a year and a half - between going to play with the Banshees, Michael leaving the band, and Simon joining - before I got to the point where I had people around me who understood that as well. Simon got the idea of doing stuff that had lots of power but didn't have to be fast. I think that's really what the difference was. There's some medium-to slow-paced things on Three Imaginary Boys. At the time, you just didn't do that.
Elvis Costello was an influence as well. I've never really talked about this in any interview, actually. But he had quite a big influence on me during the early days of the Cure. So did the Stranglers. They both had really good songs, and I suppose that's what appealed to me. I mean, I really liked the Sex Pistols. They were brilliant at parties. And the Clash were awesome live. But the Stranglers were my favorite punk band, even though you knew they were old and just pretending a lot of the time. But then, so were a lot of other people. They just did it better. Elvis Costello was a cut above the whole lot of them. The way he used words and the way the songs were put together was so incredibly simple, and yet when I was trying to do that, I found it really difficult. It gave me something to aspire to.
GW: The Cure shared bills with some notable punk bands early on.
RS: Well, Generation X, the Vibrators. We didn't really support many who actually survived. Most of them went nowhere. We only did about 20 supports in all. We'd support anyone. To play at the Rainbow, we supported Johnny and the Pirates [the English rockabilly band that originally recorded "Shakin' All Over," later made famous by the Who] on New Year's Eve, 1978. Bizarre - us playing to a bunch of teds and rockabillies.
But Generation X was the real low point. We were supposed to do a British tour with them, but we only did five dates before it all ended in tears. I just couldn't see the point in doing that. It seemed so degrading. After 5 dates I said, "If this is what it takes to make it, than I haven't got what it takes." I didn't mind being covered in spit. But being covered in spit by somebody else's fans really wound me up.
Luckily, we jumped to a better class of gig very quickly. We got a bunch of cover stories in the NME and such, so we got to do our own headlining at small clubs with really good bands like Joy Division, Fashion, and Cabaret Voltaire supporting us. We were very lucky to make the transition rapidly. Imagine what it was like to come from doing pubs in Crawley where we were the local heroes and then go support some complete half-wit in a dingy club basement in London - playing to a bunch of pissed would-be punks at the Hope and Anchor. It was pretty horrendous. I never felt part of the punk scene. I suppose it was because I grew up in the suburbs. We didn't move to London and wear safety pins. We just liked some of the music.
But at the same time, me and Simon used to get a lot of stick for liking "Saturday Night Fever" by the Bee Gees. Not on a kitsch level, but genuinely thinking it was a good pop song. Simon used to swear by Abba and Kiss. I could never understand what he saw in Kiss, but Abba I could kind of see. But because we came right out and said we liked this stuff, we were told, "You can't really be a punk and like that." So we said, "Well, we're not really punk then." Because even very early on, punk became a fashion statement more than anything else. The initial notion of punk was that you could like and be whatever you wanted and it didn't really matter. But that very quickly got absorbed into wearing, like, Beckenridge stripey jumpers.
GW: It became a uniform.
RS: Yeah. And I suppose that's when I actually reacted against it. I'd just gotten out of school; I didn't want to trade one uniform for another.
GW: Are you willing to take responsibility for inventing Goth?
RS: We didn't invent it. That's a myth. We were a raincoat band in those days. That was the term that was around at the time. Now I suppose it's all been lumped together. So now we've actually achieved this status of legendary Goth Gods. Around the time of Pornography we had a sound and a vision, and that's been turned into this notion of Goth. But it wasn't around at the time we were doing it. I don't think we really invented it. Bands such as the Sisters of Mercy that came after us, they were Goth. And Danse Society, who supported us on a British tour we did in '80 or '81. Those bands were responsible for Goth. They cited us as an influence, but they just took it a step further. We had just done _17 Seconds and Faith, and if you look at the photos from that time, they certainly don't scream "Goth" at you. I wore the same black and gray raincoats for 2 years running. That's all I wore. That's not really Goth. I suppose Simon looked the part during the Pornography period - he wore black leather and studs, red neckerchiefs and very black eyeliner, and his hair got really big.
GW: Who were your fellow raincoat bands?
RS: Well, Joy Division had a very high profile at that time. I mean, it was us and them and I suppose Echo and the Bunnymen. They wore raincoats when they first started.
GW: The image of you that's best known is probably the big hair, white face, heavy eyeliner look.
RS: I started wearing makeup on the Faith tour, which was really a theatrical thing. You can do things on stage that you couldn't get away with in real life, and I liked what it allowed me to do. So I took it offstage and started wearing makeup in real life, which is when the problem started. [laughs]
GW: Circa 1983, the Cure reached a new audience in America - teenage girls in Southern California. Having been beacons of underground post-punk minimalism, were you as surprised by that turn of events as others were?
RS: Yeah. It was a mixture of surprise and horror. That period, when we did "Let's Go to Bed" and "The Walk," was the one part of the Cure's career where I felt I knew what I was doing but yet I didn't. I knew I wanted to get away from the kind of thing we were doing on Pornography, 'cause I was developing severe mental problems. I just wanted to do something liberating. I was really in quite a state then. I was doing too much of everything, really. There's a whole tour of the west coast of America that I have absolutely no memory of at all. When "Let's Go to Bed" became a big success at that time, it just seemed perfectly natural. I figured, "This is how it happens." I allowed myself to be carried on with whatever seemed to work.
It was a pretty weird 18 months going into The Top. I was trying to think of more and more ridiculous things we could do. We'd do them and people would like us more and more. It was pretty strange. After I'd spent three years breaking my heart trying to get people to understand what we were doing, and then the most throwaway idiot thing I've ever done, "Let's Go to Bed," was supposed to be like a swan song. Like, "Fuck it all; it's hopeless." It was actually what turned us into a successful group. That made me think about what I was doing in a very different way. But I wouldn't change anything we did in the period between 1980 and 1983. I think it's a really important part of the Cure's growing up, or my growing up. We got through what killed a lot of other groups, in many senses of the word. It's only because of what exists between Simon and me that the whole thing held together. We only really fell out right at the end of that period and then got back together again really quickly. [Gallup left the Cure after a fist fight with Smith at the end of the Pornography tour. Smith asked him to rejoin for the recording of The Head on the Door] It didn't leave any lasting bad memories. If I'd broken for good with Simon at that time, I think I'd look back on it a lot differently, and think "Was it really worth it?" But Pornography validated the whole experience. It's one of the best things we've ever done.
GW: Writing credits for the Cure's music have almost always gone to the whole group. Is an ability to contribute to songwriting part of what's important for you as you look for people to be in the Cure?
RS: Yeah. The group has contributed to a greater and lesser degree over the years. Certainly more so on the last few records than ever before. Simon's always chipped in a few songs. But really there's no sense of group contribution, really, up until the Kiss Me album. From day one the songs have been credited equally because I never wanted to have those stupid arguments bands have about which songs to put on an album or to release as singles. I never wanted anyone to say I was choosing a song just because I had the writer's credit on it. This way, my songs are everyone's.
GW: You've said elsewhere that every time you make a Cure album you compile a tape of songs that you use as kind of stylistic touchstones. I think one was Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower," and there was Van Morrison and Billie Holliday at one point. What was your set of tunes for this album?
RS: Well, it's always the same songs and albums. When I've drunk one glass of wine too many and I'm sitting in the garden at home thinking about what I'd like the Cure to do next, I always put the same old stuff on. That's what I aspire to. It reminds me of how powerful that music can be, and how I'd like to be able to do that with people with my own music. I've added a few things to the list, I suppose. I've discovered Mahler in the interim between Wish and this record. I'm quite into some of his stuff - play it really loud. I've also taken up astronomy pretty seriously. I used to dabble, but now I've bought a big computer and telescope. Looking through that and listening to Mahler on headphones is pretty awesome. Even better than Radiohead.
A lot of my favorite music is the music I discovered during a very formative period of my life. It's difficult to feel the same way now. I still hear stuff and I'm very moved by it. I want to dance or cry. But however much you try and kid yourself, I don't think music ever really has the dramatic life-altering effect as the stuff you listened to from your early teens into your early twenties. That's the time of your life when you're still very emotionally vulnerable.
Lately I've discovered a new kind of solace in playing music rather than listening to it. Playing it just for the sheer fun of it isn't something the Cure have done for years and years. We've always had the idea that we're either rehearsing for something or playing a concert or making an album. But actually playing together with no point to it - just enjoying it - was something we'd lost. Now that's coming back, and I think that's also a lot to do with Jason coming in. First thing he does is sit down at the drums. People hear the drum beat and wander in and start playing. And it turns into what other people I suppose would call a jam, which we have never done. It's a very Cure-like jam. It's as far from a 12 bar blues jam as you can imagine. It's more like a Russian folk group jamming in drunked idiocy.
GW: What is your long range plan for the Cure?
RS: Planning worries me. But we have started talking about how we're going to mark the Cure's 20th anniversary next year. I've got ideas for maybe getting old lineups together and doing shows that are based around old albums. Doing consecutive nights, taking it 'round the world. It's going to be a very retrospective year, next year, inevitably. But I kind of look forward to that too, 'cause it might give me a chance to maybe walk quietly away from it.
GW: I almost forgot to ask you about Jane Seymour.
RS: We exchanged flowers at Christmas. That's as far as the relationship has gone. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting her yet. I suppose I will, though, when we burn the place down. Then I'll see her in court.