Smash Hits - 8/89

Smash Hits
August 1989
Alex Kadis

Robert Smith shuffles into his record company wearing the biggest pair of sneakers you ever did see! They've become one of his "trade" marks. In fact, it is almost as if time has turned back the clock. Back! is his immense teetering hairdo. Back! is the weird old lipstick - the remnants of which are currently encrusted attractively in the corners of his mouth (yech!) and back! are The Cure. After eighteen months of disappearing - some feared forever - Robert and his chums are spiraling up the pop charts once more with a new single, "Fascination Street" and a new album called Disintegration. Time then, for "Smash Hits" to find out what the old goat has been up to...

Alex Kadis: So! Tell us, Robert, where on earth have you been?

Robert: "Well, we went all over playing." (It is necessary to note, readers, that Robert Smith is quite vague at the best of times, thus it is taking him all day to remember where's he's been!) "'s difficult to place it timewise But it must have taken up about six or seven months. Then I spent some time in Ireland, which was my first break from the group for six years. It's like a vacation being in the group but it's completely mental and I just needed a break to get away from being me. Me and Mary" (his lady wife) "just stayed in this little house by the sea. It was really good. And I felt refreshed after that and came back and started thinking about doing another album.

Alex Kadis: Ah, so you never intended to disappear then?

Robert: "Well, at one stage I wasn't sure, but I met up with all the others and we started playing and I sort of knew after the first half hour that this was the beginning of another Cure album!"

Alex Kadis: Your new album is quite the epic rock "concept," is it not?

Robert: "Yeah...but that's because there are some long songs on it! It's not epic - I hate that word! The songs just seem to go on quite a bit. It's a very emotional album - not just for us but hopefully for The Cure fans who buy it."

Alex Kadis: Ah yes, your fans. Would you agree that you attract an - ahem - unusual fan following?

Robert: "Unusual? I think they're completely insane!"

Alex Kadis: Hmm...You're not so normal yourself, are you?

Robert: "Oh, here we go! I am normal."

Alex Kadis: A likely story. next you'll be telling us you're not devastatingly famous either...

Robert: "We arenít! Well, we just keep our old fans and then each time we have a new record out we get some new ones and they all add up. But it's not that bad. I mean every time I feel myself getting really famous I put a stop to it. I like it that way. I can just wander about in normal life without being bothered."

Alex Kadis: Hah!

Robert: "No, I can! I can walk around anywhere - apart from one month in August in England where there are lots of tourists - then it gets a bit tricky. No, I went out to Selfridge's" (English version of Woolworth's - Ed.) "last Saturday and only one person came up to me and I was out for three hours so it's really good, I don't mind people coming up to me - as long as they're nice to me! We do seem to attract quite a high percentage of weird people. And when they're all together it gets a bit frenzied at times."

Alex Kadis: Really? Tell us about it!

Robert: "Once about 500 people stormed the backstage - and there's not much you can do about it so I pretended I wasn't me - I pretended I was a look alike - but it didn't work!"

Alex Kadis: But that is only to be expected when you are Robert Smith of The Cure and a living legend to boot.

Robert: "Ahahahaha! I'm not a living legend! Honestly! Generally..." (He's trying to wiggle out of this one, readers) "um, I'm not a very gregarious person so people don't force themselves on me - they usually stand and stare at me - but then they used to stare at me in school, so that's nothing new."

Alex Kadis: Why, pray tell, did they stare at you in school?

Robert: "I used to go to school in pajamas." (?) "I didn't do it so people would stare at me though - although I suppose I did if you think about it because I could've gone to school in my normal clothes and changed into my pajamas when I got there." (???) "Was I a bit odd? No - well, yes, but I really just hated it there. I hated the stupid politics of the place and I did it because I enjoyed upsetting them. I was never worried or nervous about people staring at me but at the same time I get very nervous about talking to someone. I'm just not very outgoing, and people respect that and they leave me alone. So I never get the sensation that I am famous or that I am Robert Smith of The Cure. I feel very normal."

Alex Kadis: And what about all your friends? Do they think you're "normal"?

Robert: "Well, you see, most of the people that I know really don't like the group. I think they're stupid not to 'cause I think a lot of what we do is really brilliant, but they just treat me like they always have because they don't realize that I'm famous."

Alex Kadis: Which you are.

Robert: "Which I'm not!. But they're all doctors and things and they're married with kids and a car and they look at me as if I'm retarded. And I s'pose I am retarded in a way because I'm 30 years old and I don't seem to have grown up at all. I'm not fixed up for life and I haven't got a family but that's the way I've chosen to go in the past."

Alex Kadis: Is there anything at all that you would change about the past?

Robert: "No...I wish I hadn't drunk so much. I wouldn't get such bad hangovers now."

Alex Kadis: So are you still a party animal?

Robert: "I'm very moderate these days. Partly the reason for that is that I look dreadful." (Not strictly true...) "I've really tried to give up drinking. I haven't given up completely but I've really cut down. Partly because I'm trying to lose weight. I also gave up smoking one night."

Alex Kadis: Just like that, simple "pimple"?

Robert: "Yep! Just like that. Simple pimple. I can do it. I can do that sort of thing with no effort. It's easy because it becomes eternally boring to rely on everything. Anyway I had to give it up because I would have become as grotesque as the people I sought to replace when I was 17 years old - turn into a boring old fart before my time. I mean, when I look back at all the things that punk set out to change I wonder if we did anything, really. I mean, it did have some effect but you've still got all the boring old farts like Robert Palmer in the charts, haven't you? Anyway, I just didn't fancy becoming a boring old fart."

Alex Kadis: Let us move swiftly onto the subject of football. Do The Cure still dabble in the game?

Robert: "No, The Cure haven't got a football team anymore. We're too out of shape. We're good at table tennis, though. It's an old man's game! We're very hot on the table tennis - we could slaughter anyone! Perhaps when we've done a tour we'll be in shape again, then we'll have to give "Smash Hits" a game - that's a joke! I don't think there's any chance of us lot being in shape after a tour. We set out to abuse ourselves as much as we can when we go on tour! We're normally half dead when we come back!"

Alex Kadis: Phew! Rock and Roll, eh? Do you feel like a bunch of old fogies in the face of all the younger popstars these days?

Robert: "No, not really. I mean, we are old, I suppose, when you compare them to us but I never think that feeling old has anything to do with your age. And I haven't done any growing up at all over the past ten or twelve years. I still feel the way I did when I was eighteen. Anyway, there's room for everyone. I mean there'll always be groups like Bros and they'll always be more popular than us for a certain length of time, but I'm more concerned with things like integrity and longevity and being able to do things without cringing! I don't feel like I'm thirty. Man, there are people who are ten years younger than me who seem to be really old."

Alex Kadis: What made you decide to marry Mary after so many years as a happily dating couple?

Robert: " parents and Mary's parents were really pleased when we decided to have a proper wedding cause you only get married once and so we wanted it to be all romantic. That meant we didn't want the press and The Cure fans there - it wouldn't have been fair on Mary 'cause she'd have thought, 'Even today the group's more important.' We did it so that all our families and relatives and friends could have a good get together and also..." (gets a bit dreamy) "it just seemed right somehow..." (aw...) "it's not really a reason - just a feeling. I mean, I asked Mary to get married ages ago but she only said yes last year! She'll probably say it's the other way around - she said 'You know you proposed to me seven years ago...well the answer's yes.'"

Alex Kadis: Aw. And word has it that you got married in your sneakers. The very ones you're sporting now, perhaps?

Robert: "Em...yes I did get married in my sneakers. I can't remember if it was these ones exactly...probably not. But I had everything alse done properly."

Alex Kadis: So will you have lots of kids?

Robert: "No I thinks I'm too selfish to have kids. I mean I know there's lots of benefits to it. but it's a huge responsibility. I don't feel I'll ever be ready for it - I'm too irresponsible and immature."

Alex Kadis: Have you become a creature of domesticity since you've tied the "knot"?

Robert: "Yeah, but I always was. I'm a brilliant cook. Unfortunately all my specialties are really spicy and Mary hates spicy food! We don't have anything in common! I like cooking because it's really mindless, I can't stop thinking about really weird things when I'm cooking" (?) "and then you've realized that you've put sixteen squillion pints too many milk in something. I like cooking for two but I've never had a dinner party. We had a barbecue last summer in the torrential rain but it seems really pointless cooking all that lovely food and then someone just eats it." (???)

Alex Kadis: Of course. Um, why do you think they call you "Mad Bob"? (Ahem!)

Robert: "Oh, look! I'm not mad!" (He could've fooled us viewers.) "I do a lot of stupid things though. I'm like that because I spend so much time with the group - that is a great responsibility. I mean, look at them! Someoneís got to take charge of things! You ask me why I don't want to have children - well it's enough looking after them! People calling me 'Mad Bob' only stemmed from a certain period in time when I went a bit funny. I'm prone to bouts of excessive behavior, but no more that anyone else. I just don't choose the right time. I suppose in retrospect I do the things that do seem to be weird."

Alex Kadis: Like...?

Robert: "Like climbing out of the roofs of cars while they're zooming down a highway, or betting that I can get around the outside of a hotel by jumping from balcony to balcony, and usually I think, 'Oh that was a really stupid thing to do!' I'm not like that all of the time. And I'm very willful too; I often work myself up into a frenzy because I quite like it. I don't do it too often because people wouldn't take me seriously, would they?"

Alex Kadis: Perish the thought, Mad Bob!

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

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