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Interview with Robert from VIDEO TANK in 1996

transcribed by Soli
Robert 1996 on Japanese TV[47K]

This interview was conducted on March 6, 1996 at Jane Seymour's manor in Bath, England.
(A lot of the questions and answers are cut off before they are actually completed, a language barrier I suppose.)

Interviewer : So, you're here for a year and if you consider this type of atmosphere...

Robert Smith : I think I am now, yeah. But, I mean, the, the first ten years of the Cure we recorded exclusively in cities, and, and usually London. And then in the middle of nineteen eighty f... six I thought, why do we always record in London? 'Cause it's kind of, we, in those days we would spend like, two or three months, but it's still like two or three months out of the year, and I thought we could go anywhere and record.
It seemed kind of dumb to just kind of like...

Interviewer : Since, uh, "Wish", Porl has left, and Boris has left. And uh, could you tell me a little bit about Roger and Jason and how they came about to join you?

Robert Smith : Yeah, well I, I knew that Porl was gonna leave, 'cause he'd, he'd told me before the "Wish" album that he was gonna leave.
'Cause he, um, he's married to my sister, one of my sisters and they wanted to start a family and he wanted a like, change of life, so. Then he joined Page, Page and Plant (grimaces), which didn't quite fit in but (slight giggle) Jimmy Page was his idol, so I could understand it.
And Boris left for sort of similar reasons, he just wanted to play in a group with his girlfriend, and I didn't want his girlfriend in the Cure, so (laughs)... it was a straight, straight forward choice for him, really.
And getting Roger back in has kind of added to it in, in all respects, really, because he's, he reacts a lot on a personal level to the group, which is a very good vibe and very, keeps us all laughing.
And he's also a very accomplished keyboard player, which we've, he's only been, he's been the only person that's ever been in the Cure that's, like, an accomplished keyboard player. So he does add that extra dimension, which has been important on this record.
But I think replacing Boris was the, by far the most difficult job that I've ever had in finding a new member for the Cure in all the years that we've been going, because Boris was a phenomenally good drummer. And a very peculiar individual and, and had a very, very big say in what the Cure did and uh, it took us about eight months to find the right replacement, it's a long time. But I think Jason fits the bill perfectly, which...

Interviewer : How did you find Jason?

Robert Smith : We went through a very, kind of old fashioned process of just advertising for... a new drummer (smiles). I think international pop group, internationally famous pop group (smiles) requires drummer.

Interviewer : What's the title of the new album?

Robert Smith : "Wild Mood Swings".

Interviewer : And how did you come to this uh, title, did you have many, like, short lists until you came to this title

Robert Smith : The, the, when we first started, the album was gonna be called "Bare", B A R E. Um, and it was supposed to be a very stripped down, very straight ahead kind of record. Very naked. Um, and it turned into something completely different.
And, "Wild Mood Swings" is actually the title that I've had for my mythical, well it's not mythical at all, my solo project that I did a long time ago. So I have to find a new title for it. 'Cause it suited this much more that it actually suited what I... I, I gave it that title, to my stuff, 'cause it was, it was ironic, 'cause it was no, it was just really straight ahead melancholy.

Interviewer : The melody is very much "you", it's very, very, holds very much a trademark, which is yourself. Now, how does this come about?

Robert Smith : It never arises out of jamming, the Cure have never written a song that's arisen out of a jam (clears his throat), 'cause we don't jam. That's uh (pause)... I don't know, the, the, the tunes that, that occur, I mean, they, they're just, like, a part of writing a song.
They just kind of, I mean, quite often if I'm sitting at home and I think of a good tune it's, then I quickly go and I'll just write it down, and I'll play it quickly, and then I'll come back to it. Or sometimes I'll just sit there for a few hours and figure out if it's gonna work, or what I can do to it. But that's just I, that's what I enjoy doing, it's just... That isn't work to me. It just kind of happens. And if it doesn't, I don't worry about it, I go for like, weeks at a time without thinking of anything. Just like, you know, weeks at a time with a completely blank head (smiles).
But um, but lyrically, and vocally the, I never, ever think about it until I get in and I stand behind the mike and then whatever comes into my head, I sing it, and that's it. No one's ever heard it before, and I never do it more than once. (Scratches his head).

Interviewer : With this new album, are the lyrics very much personal, or are they social?

Robert Smith : Um, they're always, um, I mean, personal in the sense that they're always um, to do with me. This album isn't, it's the first one that isn't. Lyrically, a lot of the stuff that's on here. It's about like, sung in the first person, but it isn't really, a lot of it isn't really what I think, which is kind of the first time ever. I've taken like opposing view points to things that I really believe in. Because I figure that after this amount of time, if anyone's remotely interested in what, in, in, in me, or like, like from in the perspective of like what I've written...
  (the interview gets cut off and videos are played. )

  Special thanks to Soli for the transcription.

1996 VIDEO TANK - Interview with Robert (Quick Time Movie) | TV appearances Index
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