Robert Smith explains why The Cure flourished during the “particularly awful” 1980s
The Cure frontman Robert Smith has been reflecting on the band’s early success as he puts the finishing touches on their new album.
Smith, who remains the only constant member of the band having contributed to its formation in 1976, is currently finishing his vocal additions to the new record. In what will be their 14th studio project to date, the new album has been given the working title of Live From the Moon and will see the group return to some of their darkest themes to date.
The Cure’s early dark, moody releases immediately pigeonholed them into the punk, post-punk and new wave movements of the time. When reflecting on this period of their existence, Smith said: “I still feel the same kind of frustrations as I did when I was at that age about how things are done, not just in the music business but the world in general,” while in conversation with the LA Times.
Despite what his frustrations, Smith was still the lead vocalist of arguably one of the biggest bands of the genre, relentlessly touring and recording record after record. “The ‘80s were particularly awful, and yet we flourished in it because we represented an alternative,” Smith explained. “Corporate greed became rampant in the ‘80s. I still feel angry about that kind of stuff, which is kind of odd because most of the people my age that I was growing up with don’t seem to care that much anymore,” he added.
Smith, actively attempted to manoeuvre The Cure away from the dark reputation they had picked up in the early ’80s, created numerous hit songs which led the band close to the mainstream ‘pop’ sound with tracks such as ‘Lovesong’ and ‘Friday I’m in Love’ being the obvious reference.
Now though, personal family tragedy has resulted in Smith and The Cure recording some of their most moody material to date: “It’s very much on the darker side of the spectrum,” Smith explained. “I lost my mother and my father and my brother recently, and obviously it had an effect on me. It’s not relentlessly doom and gloom. It has soundscapes on it, like Disintegration, I suppose. I was trying to create a big palette, a big wash of sound.”
He added: “The working title was Live From the Moon, because I was enthralled by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing in the summer. We had a big moon hanging in the studio and lunar-related stuff lying around. I’ve always been a stargazer.”