April 22, 1996

LOS ANGELES (Reuter) - The Queen wasn't the only notable person celebrating a birthday Sunday: Cure singer Robert Smith turned 37 and spent the day preparing for the release of the band's new album, ``Wild Mood Swings''.

His haul of gifts included a mug featuring the Queens Park Rangers soccer team, while his wife Mary gave him some handmade cards.

``We don't really exchange presents,'' Smith told Reuters in a telephone interview Monday. ``Well, we do but only when you see something you think someone's going to like, but you don't really wait till birthdays.''

His fans tend to give him ``lots of weird stuff'', some of which he keeps in his music room. But the best gift Smith could receive would be a rapturous welcome for the band's first studio album in four years, which hits stores May 7.

As its title suggests, the 14-track ``Wild Mood Swings'' (Fiction/Elektra) covers the gamut of emotions with upbeat songs like ``Gone!'' and ``Mint Car'' and the more traditional downer items such as ``This is a Lie'' and ``Sick of it All.''

Smith's favorite is the morose closing track, ``Bare'', but the overall recording process was one of his most enjoyable since he founded the band in 1977, he says.

``I've let go of less important things and I've tried to delegate more within the group; whereas in the past I've really been desperate to have my fingers in every pie, but now I just taste it at the end.''

The band, featuring bass player Simon Gallup, guitarist Perry Bamonte, keyboardist Roger O'Donnell and new drummer Jason Cooper, is currently rehearsing about 100 songs for a tour that will reach the U.S. in early July.

Before that, the band will make its U.S. network television debut on ``Saturday Night Live'' on May 11.


15:31 04-22-96

Last Revised: Monday, 15-May-2006 14:59:59 CDT

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