The Cure’s Robert Smith, following an interview with keyboardist Roger O’Donnell the previous night, just gave a 45-minute interview with former MTV VJ Mark Goodman and former Spin and Vibe editor Alan Light on Sirius XM Volume 106 program Debatable.
First the bad news, Robert Smith indicated that he did not want to be locked down in celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Disintegration with more shows this year, at least certainly not a tour. He explained that while he doesn’t want to say that they will not be performing more shows in celebration of that classic album, he is instead eager to do new things, such as showcasing material from the upcoming new album. This is why he decided to have a global Livestream for the Sydney concerts, just in The Cure don’t play more of those shows, so at least everyone can have a chance to see the Disintegration celebration.
“I don’t really want to dedicate the rest of the year to celebrating something that happened 30 years ago,” Smith said. “I’d much rather celebrate what we’re doing now. So the idea of the global stream of Disintegration was really to give me a bit of an out in case I decided we’re not going to do it again.”
Instead, Smith suggested:
“I’ve got some ideas of how we could incorporate it into some of the things we might do later in the year.”
“So if we end up playing a Disintegration show, we’ll end up playing a Disintegration show at some point, somewhere,” Smith said. “But if we don’t, it doesn’t matter. Just watch the live stream.”
Elaborating further on Roger’s comments (listen to his full interview here) about the rehearsals for the Sydney shows, it is worth noting Robert reiterated that the band with be performing some songs for the first time since recording them in the studio. This could be in reference to the “Lovesong” B-side “Fear of Ghosts”, (and/or Lullaby B-sides “Babble”, and “Out of Mind”) as “2-Late” was already dusted off for Teenage Cancer Trust 2014, and several concerts on the 2016 tour.
As for the status of the new album, Robert says that he still needs to add some vocals to the mix, preferably in tandem with Reeves Gabrels virtuoso guitar playing. Also, he indicated the need to get the running order right for the new album.
“My only dilemma at the moment is getting a running order that works,” he said. “I’ve gone through so many different running orders. My favorite running order is so utterly bereft of hope, it’s so morose. I played it to a couple of people whose opinions I value and they just look at me and think it’s so dismal, in a really good way. It’s just relentless. My favorite running order is about 47 minutes of just relentless doom and gloom.”
Additionally, as “Lovesong”, a track penned as a wedding present to his wife Mary, was a happier composition and brought the drearier songs on Disintegration into sharper relief, Smith felt the need for a similar track for the new record.
To solve this problem, he’s considering getting the band to record a track he had written and demoed but hadn’t originally planned to use.
“But I actually think the album needs just something ever-so-slightly off-kilter to make the rest of the songs work better,” he said.
Smith then went on to clarify on O’Donnell’s comment that this would be the last Cure album,
“As far as I’m concerned, yeah, this is it,” he said. “But I’ve gone into every album thinking this is it, and not glibly. I actually think this is it. … (but) we’ve already recorded two albums worth of stuff. It’s either going to be a double album or there’s two albums made, if I can get the words and the singing done.
Smith then discussed to everyone’s surprise that he has a discovered a real fondness for “Curætion” by saying that he will be announcing a new US Festival soon, in the vein of Meltdown, or Hyde Park. This will be on the West Coast, featuring 10 bands in or around the Los Angeles area.
“We’ll be announcing another one later this month, which will be a really special one, actually, because we’re curating it,” Smith said. “So it’s going to be on the West Coast. There’s going to be about 10 other acts, all hand-picked. I just wanted to do something a bit like (last summer’s 40th-anniversary concert at London’s) Hyde Park. Something a bit celebratory.”
Although he wasn’t yet sure whether it’ll be a single- or multiple-day event, he made it clear that “It isn’t going to be a Disintegration show”, adding: “It’s going to be just a celebratory show with a load of artists who all in their own right deserve to headline festivals.”
“I can’t wait to announce it,” he added. “It’s such a great bill.”
Unfortunately, there were also plans to the same in the NYC area, but sadly they were scrapped, as the date was “slightly too late in the year” and the outdoor location they’d been eyeing fell through.
Smith also went on to say that he’s finished the Hyde Park concert film with Tim Pope, and it will be released in cinemas this summer.
“It’s another bit of nostalgia,” he said, “but it’s such a good show. I just wanted it to be known. It’s a legacy piece, really, and Tim’s done a fantastic job with it.”
Smith also added that there is a Meltdown concert film that was directed by Nick Wickham, who is also doing the live stream from Sydney, which should be released around the same time as the Hyde Park concert film.
When asked if Smith would consider writing a memoir, Smith mentioned he had digitized all old Cure material, and at some point, he wants to narrate a history of the band. But he is in no hurry because he wants to make the next album part of that history.
Whether this is part of Tim Pope’s upcoming documentary on The Cure or not, isn’t clear, but it likely our previous article about the footage being ready from the film was incorrect, and Pope was instead screening an edit of the Hyde Park show instead.
The Cure’s new album, either way, should be released between October and Christmas.
Now, as Robert Smith has indicated in the interview, the release of Pornography, which came out today in 1982, had coincided with his 20th birthday, and the release of Disintegration with his 30th. Later Bloodflowers would be released as Smith turned 40.
Now as Smith has now achieved the milestone of 60, can this trilogy of “doom and gloom” albums now turn into a quadrilogy?