Legendary Cure frontman Robert Smith had a swift chat with NME after winning the 2020 award for Best Festival Headliner, beating fellow nominees StormzyThe 1975Lana Del Rey and Cardi B.

“It’s great getting an award for playing live,” Smith says, “It’s very rare, and yet…amongst fans, that’s how we’re most known, particularly over the last decade. That’s all we’ve done, really.”

The Cure has, in fact, played a staggering thirty-five shows across five continents over the past year. Smith noted that the band challenged themselves to see how many big festivals they could headline around the world. The tour included the Cure’s first time playing in South Africa, which he found “very gratifying.” The strategy was to play each show as if it would be their last, giving immense poignancy to the performances, and an excellent experience for their fanbase.

“I love playing festivals. I don’t actually love going to them, but I love playing them! You get to see stuff and meet people you don’t normally see,” says Smith, adding that as a band becomes more mature, it’s not about being the headliner, but simply enjoying the entire experience. He also credits younger bands for boosting his inspiration.

The Cure is wrapping up their long-awaited forthcoming album, the first of three planned releases in total, but Smith does not yet know the timetable of when it will be released.

“I’m too old to commit to anything like that,” he said, thrusting the golden raised finger of the NME Award at the camera for effect. “Wait and see!”

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