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6/1/2000  Apple - Hot News
Where Music Is The Cure, Mac Is Its Machine

One of the longest-running successful alternative rock acts ever, The Cure is currently touring the U.S. as part of Cure’s Dream Tour 2000, a worldwide journey to promote the group’s latest album, “Bloodflowers.” We caught up with keyboardist Roger O’Donnell during rehearsal at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA.

In 1976, an English fellow named Robert Smith picked up his guitar and started the band that would become The Cure. With hypnotic swirling melodies and often poetic lyrics, The Cure have sold more than 20 million records through the years, with hits including “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Why Can’t I Be You?”, “Love Song” and “Friday I’m in Love.”

The Cure’s emotionally charged and driven music remains timeless and delights its fans in live performance.

Integrated for Disintegration
Roger joined The Cure for the “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me” tour, and started contributing musically for the band’s next release, the highly atmospheric “Disintegration.”

“When I was a kid, I left art school to join a band, and I’d been in bands ever since,” says Roger, “Then one day a friend of mine who was with me in the Thompson Twins joined The Cure, and he asked me if I’d like to join as well. So I did. That was in 1987.”

Ahead on the Tour
In the course of a long career, The Cure has toured the world many times. Being on the road isn’t always easy for the members, or their families. Communication is the key to sanity during extended road trips.

“I think touring and being away from home takes its toll on everyone,” says O’Donnell. “But we still enjoy playing live so much that it makes it worth it. It’s just a shame we can’t go home every night.

“I stay in touch with my family and friends by email on my PowerBook. I check it twice a day,” he says. “And it’s nice to have the thought of going back to your hotel room and having some email waiting for you.”

Down-d-down-d-down with Digital
Roger uses Emu keyboards, sound modules and samplers for his work with The Cure. And his contributions to the songwriting process are all done in MIDI on his Power Mac using Digital Performer.

“I wanted to start to use sequencers, and I liked the Performer interface. It only worked for the Mac, so that’s when I bought my first Mac,” says Roger, “I got it home and I don’t think I slept for three nights, just playing with it.

Mac Fever Meets The Cure
“I’d used computers before, briefly, but they were IBM PCs and it was horrible!” confides Roger, “You know, it was the usual love story, you’d name a file with the wrong extension on it, and then find out you could never open it again.

“So, I got that first Mac and have been on Macs ever since,” says Roger, “and I’ve used Digital Performer for over 14 years now.

Happiness is a Warm PowerBook
“We’ve all got PowerBooks and a couple of Power Macs with multiple PCI slots for use with ProTools. We’re very dedicated Mac users,” he adds.

But they’re not alone in the industry. Roger sums it up, “So many music producers and engineers are diehard Mac fans.”

From Cubase to ProTools
Where Roger is a Digital Performer faithful, Robert is a fan of Steinberg’s Cubase VST. “We used Cubase a lot on the last album, ‘Wild Mood Swings’ but ‘Bloodflowers’ was the first time we used ProTools and Radar to such an extent.”

The whole “Bloodflowers” album was recorded on Radar and then edited in ProTools. “Robert’s got ProTools on his PowerBook, so he could take things home and edit them and then bring them back to the studio to rework them.”

“It was quite a steep learning curve for us, but it proved to be very useful,” adds Roger.

“We also program and design our own Web site on Macs, using Dreamweaver.”

Obviously, there’s no cure in sight for Robert and Roger’s Mac addiction. Roger proclaims, “My Mac truly is one of my best friends.”

- Stephanie Jorgl


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