6/30/1983 No. 1
A Walk On The Weird Side
You wouldn’t expect someone with a hit record to look disappointed. But hearing that ‘The Walk’ is scurrying up to the top of the charts is real Bad News to Robert Smith of The Cure.
"We had this agreement with our record company, " he explains, "that if our single was a hit then we’d agree to do all the various things that it entails."
"So we’ve had to do promotional work and Top Of The Pops and so on."
His face clouds over. "I don’t like doing any of those chores. I’d sooner be getting on with more important work."
The other half of The Cure, Lol Tolhurst, nods agreement.
"You’re going to have to start going in to Polydor again, Robert."
Mind you, right now any activity will please their record company because The Cure haven’t made a record for six months. But their quietness on the recording front doesn’t worry Robert at all.
"It’s taken a lot of pressure off us," he says. "We’re not in the public eye so much and other groups have had to take on the mantle that we had."
This mantle has been that of ‘serious’ music makers.
Over four albums, The Cure have moved from sharp pop songs like ‘Killing An Arab’, through the moodiness of their two middle LPs (‘Seventeen Seconds’ being guitar based while ‘Faith’ relied on synths) and into the intense ‘Pornography’, their last LP.
The line-up of the group has changed as members have come and gone but Lol and Robert have been the nucleus all along.
They’ve kept away from all the routines that groups normal go through, giving rare interviews and making limited public appearances.
Despite this, they’ve gained a large audience. Only New Order and Echo And The Bunnymen can boast of as loyal a following.
They are stars.
Robert looks disbelieving when I tell him.
"We’ve never considered ourselves as pop stars," he sneers. "We’ve never done anything to try and start that sort of image."
"And the people who we’re friends with don’t like stardom and certainly wouldn’t let us think of ourselves as anything as stupid as that."
Fair enough. But who are those friends who don’t want stardom? You might not be too surprised to find out that it’s Siouxsie And The Banshees.
Robert and Lol have been close with the group ever since Robert helped out when two Banshees deserted in the middle of a tour four years ago. Robert played for the rest of that tour and still plays for The Banshees. How does that all work out?
"Well, there’s The Banshees and The Cure," says Robert. "But Siouxsie and Budgie have got The Creatures, while The Banshees’ bass player Severin and I are in a little thing called Glove."
Tapping swiftly on my fingers I calculate that Robert is in three groups. A busy man.
But what’s his position in the Banshees? Does he ever feel like getting up to sing with them?
He laughs. "Oh no. I’m sure that if I ever suggested anything like that to them they’d kick me down the stairs. No, my standing in the group is that of guest.
"I don’t take part in the decisions they make or intend to. I’m satisfied with that. I’m as much a part of the group as anyone could be."
Of course, being in three groups isn’t enough for the man. He’s also busy writing a ballet. Ballet?
"Yeah, it’s something I’m doing with some members of the Royal Ballet. It’s in three parts and I’ve written two of them. The Ballet are just back from the Far East so I’d better get on with it."
Robert must be a workaholic. He’s also working on the new Banshees album and planning the next Cure LP.
"It’ll be nothing like our recent singles," he promises. "If our last LP ‘Pornography’ took you to the edge of the cliff, this one will plunge you over it."