KROQ Interview

KROQ 106.7
Los Angeles, CA
July 19, 1996
Transcribed by Richard Boyda

Robert: ...three in a row and we just stayed in the Cleveland area cause we've just been in Pittsburgh and Columbus, I think...[inaudible words]

Richard Blade: Well of course growing up in England one of your ambitions would be to stay in Cleveland for 3 days in the summer (laughing)

Robert: It's been a nightmare, yes

Richard Blade: So how's it for you to get back on the road after all this time?

Robert: Um, I've forgotten how tiring it was. It's a long show - we played about 2 hours 45 yesterday. And doing 3 back-to-back is, uh, taxing to say the least.

Richard Blade: Well it might be taxing for you but I'm getting a thumbs up here from our music director who's a huge fan of yours, and the longer you play the better for cure fans. Um, is the second prize [?] of a lot of Cure standards that we can expect to hear from you like Pornography,etc?

Robert: Um, we...we've learned a lot of different songs; we're adding songs all the time. I think we've done 7 or 8 shows now and I think we've played 62 or 63 different song. So by the time we get to you [in LA] we've probably played 100 different songs, so it's, it's one way of keeping us fresh. Cause otherwise I feel that we might just kind of wander across America doing what we've done before, so ummm, anyone's got any requests tell us so we'll be able to play on this one.

Richard Blade: Oh, now you've said that the phone lines for the rest of the day here at KROQ had to be "could you let Robert Smith know this song?" Um, so in other words your set list varies from city to city and night to night?

Robert: yes we, we started, we're probably going to start with the same song each night and uh, as we've done, even finish the main show with the same song, so. No, it's we're trying to mix it up all the time but, I mean some songs do pick themselves; it would be pretty dumb to kind of not play certain songs. And also we want to play our percentages and new stuff cause it's fresh and it's changing all the time. But we're also doing songs, oh we played a song called Like Cockatoos yesterday night which we haven't played since 1987 so, um, its almost like playing new songs [here he mumbles something about any old songs not the radio stuff]

Richard Blade: And how are the fans responding? You seen a lot of the dark make-up etc in the audience?

Robert: Um, no they've been really incredible actually cause we started off the tour in Britain and the difference is quite stunning between the audience reaction there and over here. I mean they're so loud over here, I've forgotten how keen everyone is to have a good time in America.

Richard Blade: So in England it's more, wait til the end of a song and then (polite clapping in the background)

Robert: yes, go on...prove that you're good so...[more mumbling]

Richard Blade: How is it for you now to go back out and face the crowd and when you start into a song and the crowd recognizes it and you hear this roar of approval? Is that like a real kick for you?

Robert: yes, and [here he mumbles some more; here's what I male of it] the concert is the only thing that makes sense of me doing this again, I mean the kind of traveling side of it and living in hotels, it's alright but I'd rather be at home. It's only really the shows that I kind of think, well, that I walk off the stage and feel completely...a mixture of drained and elated, it makes it all worth while.

Richard Blade: Wow. Now you went through some ahhh, long legal battles. How much of the creativity did that sap out of you, because that must have been really tough being an artist to have to sit with attorneys etc,etc...

Robert: Um, it was pretty tedious. I tried to use it by ummm...cause I had to be in court a certain number of hours a day. I just used it to think about things really. I wasn't...I mean I was there physically but mentally I was miles away, I should say.

Richard Blade: Did that uhh, give you any inspiration for writing on WMS or is it something you just put behind you now?

Robert: No, it was more...I was thinking about the um, the things we've done in the past. I was using the time...because we had to rake over hundreds and hundreds of old documents, contracts and all this kind of rubbish. But um, I've decided to use it to get like an overview cause I realized that next year's the 20th anniversary of the Cure. We'll be doing some kind of, I don't know, it will be like a hits album or a, you know, there will definitely be a book and probably a cd rom and stuff, so I [more mumbles] contract [more] I'm already trying to put that together in my head, give myself a head start.

Richard Blade: Let me take you back then to 1977: did you ever think it would go this long?

Robert: No...I didn't think I'd get to the end of 1977 (laughter)

Richard Blade: the, uh, sound of Wild Mood Swings is very different which is actually not unusual for the Cure because every one of your albums evolves and has a different sound to it. But the rhythms inside Wild Mood Swings, where did they come from?

Robert: Well...there was a year...seems like we've turned to by now...but we had an old house in west of England and just all moved in together, the new line-up with Jason and he's the drummer and Roger whose come back on keyboards after being away for five years. And we've spent a lot of time just, like, getting to know each other through music and we listened to a lot of different stuff and we were just playing for the fun of it, and then gradually we started the recording process and it was very hard to tell when we started making the album. It started kind of making itself in a weird way. But that sense of enjoyment, just playing music with no other ulterior motive is something that I think a lot of people forget about. Because when you start playing, the reason why I started playing with a group of people is because it was really good fun and then over the years it sometimes gets a bit dissipated even though what you're doing is enjoyesble there's always some reason for it's either a show,there's an audience, there's a record. And it's just that sense of playing music that nothing else comes out of it except for just having fun. I think strange [can't tell what he says here] onto Wild Mood Swings, that's why its a different sounding record.

Richard Blade: Well that's good. I'm glad the fun's there and the fun is there for you now with the American audiences on tour, right?

Robert: Ya, its, um its weird doing it again though. Cause I have to have a different head on when I get out on stage cause it's quite scary.

Richard Blade: Well, we're looking forward to seeing you. We've got 2 nights at the Forum; the 1st night there is already completely sold out, there's a few tickets left for the 2nd night. And there's a 3rd show going on sale for all the folks behind the Orange Curtain down in Orange County for Irvine Meadows which is one of our favorite venues for August 17 and those tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 10. So, uh, were you serious? Could you stay on the line after we finish this and give me maybe an address or something because what I'll do is if you like, I'll have people call us today and also fax us with requests.

Robert: Okay

Richard Blade: And then I'll send them off by the end of the day by like, they'll have till 5 o'clock.

Robert: Alright

Richard Blade: And then I'll like FedEx them off to you.

Robert: Okay

Richard Blade: And, um, so if anyone wants to...if they have a favorite song they should call up or fax, is that all right?

Robert: (laughter) there will be the entire back-catalog by 5 o'clock today

Richard Blade: I know, you'll have to go through and go oh, my god, I don't want to learn that one again

Robert: There will be in installments...yes, we'll do a different set each night.

Richard Blade: Alright, now for something completely different apart from music, alright? Before we play a Cure song. Uh, an English movie opens today over here in the States that we did a KROQ screening of called "Trainspotting"

Robert: yes

Richard Blade: Did you get to see that one in England? or read the book?

Robert: No, I was given the book actually, um, it's one of those just in the pile, it's one that I; I was never really attracted to the idea in the book.

Richard Blade: Of the heroin use,etc?

Robert: yes, I don't know, I was a bit...although I've read in interviews with him, I think there is a sense there's glamorized in the book, however hard people try and deny it, I don't know...

Richard Blade: Well actually that's really good hearing a KROQ artist say that b-ecause unfortunately over the last 12 months several of our artists have either OD'd and passed away or find themselves in legal ramifications b-ecause of it, so more power to you Cu... uhh, Robert for that you know, and the band, you know, the Cure, for keeping on going and keeping on that straight and narrow. So we're looking forward to seeing you for 3 nights in August the latest night going on sale is tomorrow morning at 10, the Cure at Irvine Meadows August 17th and we will be faxing you or FedEx-ing you a whole bunch of requests...

Robert: Alright

Richard Blade: The 1st request-

Robert: They've got to be Cure songs though.

Richard Blade: Oh, yes,yes.

Robert: We don't take any requests for that old Tom Jones numbers.

Richard Blade: (laughter) Ladies and gentlemen, it's Robert Smith doing "It's not unusual" (more laughter) Alright, well thanks so much Robert. Hang on the line so we can get an address to send those requests to you...

Robert: Okay

Richard Blade: Take care

Robert: Bye

Richard Blade: Here's the Cure on 106.7 KROQ. It's Fascination Street; can't wait to see 'em.

Then he plays the song, but apparently didn't turn off the microphones because you could still hear them talking in the background saying something like:

Richard Blade: Robert?

Robert: yes Why have I got the music coming out?

Richard Blade: Let me turn it up...

I was hoping to maybe catch that address, but they didn't say it. Oh, well. I think I'm going to go and put my hands in a bucket of ice now... this is perhaps the longest thing I've ever written in my life. If you read the whole thing, though, then I guess I provided just that much entertainment to someone out there and the whole thing was well worth it...I think I'll go dust my lemon lies now...bye!

Last Revised: Monday, 15-May-2006 14:59:56 CDT

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