Robert Smith: United He Stands

July 1989

"The biggest difference between Disintegration and the Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me album is that the last album was supposed to be a sort of retrospective, in a way, even though there was lots of new stuff on it, and the fact that it was a double album allowed us a lot of time to look back on different aspects of what the Cure had done. Whereas the new one is very particular -- it has a very particular sound, and a very particular mood to it -- Kiss Me's mood was a very kaleidoscopic one. This one's very much old style Cure, really.

The way it's worked for both the last record and this one is that everyone is expected to turn up at a pre-album meeting and we play our tapes for each other. I don't get embarrassed but the others do because it's a new thing for them. It is really weird laying yourself open like that; there is this code where you don't laugh even if you want to. That code was broken a couple of times on this record, I must admit. Everyone plays the demos and we give them points. It's a very democratic process. We add up points at the end and the songs with the highest points go onto the next stage -- which is us playing them and feeling what they play like. If there is anything in particular that I think has been left out and should be used, it's the only time when I can use my power of veto. But again, if it's going to be a group, then everyone has to be pretty happy with what we are going to play.

We used to maintain a public front of democracy and also tried to maintain an interior democracy within the group but it never really worked because there was always a lot of confusion and I would have to remember that I couldn't make a decision of my own. That whole style of running the group like a committee slowed everything down and made everything so turgid that in the end I was grumpy all the time. I never felt like I could do anything. Now the others, if they disagree, they disagree. I do not dictate to a degree where everything I say goes. If I say we are going to get up at 6 A.M. tomorrow morning, then they could say, "No, we are not going to be there," and there would be nothing that I could do about it. So we compromise. I suppose the final decision on artwork and production, they leave up to me.

The most important part of the group is actually making music and, whether it be in the studio or on stage, that is where everyone has an equal influence. When we are on stage we play what we want, and that's why it's a group, and if you don't like what the others are playing then you are not in the group, you lose the group, and that is what you miss if you are a solo performer. That is the part I would miss.

The reason that we are a group is because I need other people around me. At times when we made records like The Top, I played every instrument on it myself except the drums, and I think its about the worst record we ever made. In the videos that we do, I tend to take over and the others are all separate, because I am singing and it is inevitable that the attention is going to be focused on me. But I do try and deflect it as much as possible. Still, the others encourage it, because they are so lazy all the time; they find it easy for me to do things and it is not my nature to delegate. So, unless someone comes up to me and says 'I'll do this,' I tend to take on all the responsibility myself.

It reached a point after (1982's) Pornography that I suddenly found that we weren't having any fun anymore and it seemed pointless; we were only doing it for other people and the whole thing just fell apart and the only way to inject some life back into it was to do something totally ludicrous, something that would be shocking. There was nothing more we could do, we couldn't shock people by being any more morose or down, we had to do something that 'wasn't the Cure' or 'what drugs have they discovered?' That is where all the pop stuff came from. We started off as a pop band but we didn't do it very well. I just wanted to have a go at doing some pop songs.

"I generally feel that each time we go into the studio will be the last record we ever make. If I didn't think that, it would never turn out right. Usually, if we are in the middle of doing something I wish that this time next year I wasn't doing anything and if I'm not doing anything I wish that this time next year we were doing something. A lot of it depends on what time I got up that day."

Last Revised: Monday, 15-May-2006 15:00:01 CDT

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