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...hang the dj

...hang the dj is a music blog. Old school, shoegaze, psych, and darkwave are featured genres.

Legal disclaimer: This blog is my personal, independent website. It is not affiliated with Bell Media, nor does it represents the thoughts, opinions, desires, etc of Bell Media

For music submissions, press releases, or questions/concerns:

hangthedjmag (at) gmail.com

Or hit me up on Twitter: @CristinaRocks

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Robert Smith was interviewed today on BBC Radio 6 Music by Matt Everitt. The interview mostly focused on the 25th anniversary of Meltdown Festival, which takes place this June in South Bank. Smith is curating this year's festival and spent a good portion of the interview explaining how everything came together, plus offered up some details about The Cure's 40th anniversary and future plans. The full interview is available to stream here, and nuggets from the interview are posted below:

On celebrating 40 years of The Cure:

"It's a double edged sword really, because in some ways I hate the sort of legacy aspect of the band because I don't really feel it is important. It's kind of there, but it doesn't really play any part in my day to day life. I suppose it's just a way of recognizing everyone that's been involved and for all the people around us that it's been 40 years since we've gone on stage as the Cure. I mean it's been longer than that since we've been playing, the band itself first played in '76 but but we dropped the Easy Cure name and became The Cure went down to a three piece on July the 9th. I still have the poster of from the Rocket Pub in Crawley, I found it in a box which is quite weird that I would have kept it."

Smith revealed that he has a copy of The Cure's first official show (as The Cure) that took place July 9th, 1978 and claimed he's going to release it at some point:

"Yeah I've got it on tape, I'm going to release it. It was recorded on an old cassette. I used to record everything from the side of the stage, it's a bit, scratchy, grungy...it's noisy.

We started the first part of the show with something called Mourning The Departed, which was horribly pretentious. We made this music and we dressed up and we had a seance in the pub before the show and it was all very tongue in cheek but kind of funny. It set the scene for those that didn't understand what we were doing, which is why we dropped the "Easy" and become The Cure. There were a lot of locals that missed the guitar solos and were outraged that we turned into this horrible post-punk band, but yeah it was good. It ended in a fight as proper gigs usually do, it was a good night."

As for curating Meltdown, he revealed the one BIG act he invited to play was The Rolling Stones, but they turned him down. He called the invitation somewhat tongue in cheek, and claimed that part of the reason he asked them to play was to show Meltdown organizers that he was aiming high as a curator. Smith also confirmed that he personally wrote letters to every artist he asked to play and said he hand wrote the invitations because he was "properly brought up."

Smith revealed he'll close out the final day of Meltdown by performing a special set dubbed CURATION-25:

"It's kind of recognizing the 25 anniversary of Meltdown but also the clue's kinda there in the name as to who's going on stage with me; it'll be me and four other people I know really well...primarily the show will be drawn from Cure songs I imagine, but there'll be interpretations of Cure songs and they'll be different configurations of people on stage. To be honest I haven't really decided myself how I'm going to do it, but I know it'll be based around me and the rest of the band because for me it's all part of kind of the 40th anniversary vibe. It will allow me to explore some of the songs that we don't play a lot or at all, and to kind of add in some different kind of instrumentation, that kind of thing really. Whatever it ends up being it'll be completely different from the Hyde Park show which is just going to be a celebratory Cure show celebrating 40 years of us playing music."

Smith has been to Meltdown a few times over the years and says his ultimate highlight was watching David Bowie perform Low in full. He revealed Bowie's performance and presentation of the classic album inspired him to stage The Cure's Reflection trilogy shows:

"Probably one of the most memorable for me was seeing Bowie in I think 2002 playing the Low album and that was so inspiring and in fact it led me to doing the trilogy project which I did with The Cure which was doing three albums, we did Pornography, Disintegration, and Bloodflowers albums and made a film with that, and it was actually that night watching Bowie that inspired me to think that I could do something along those lines."

Smith said there is new Cure music in the works, and the band is planning to head into the studio next month armed with demos. He said if all goes well there will be some new music to play at Meltdown and the Hyde Park 40th anniversary show. He explained that curating Meltdown forced him to listen to new music, which inspired him to get back at writing his own new music:

"I listen to a vast amount of different types of music so I thought to myself what I should do is listen to newer bands, listen to more new music more than I have probably in the last six years. It's kind of acted as a catalyst to me, I've suddenly fallen in love with the idea of writing new songs, it's really had a really good effect on me.

I've been listening to a lot of different kinds of new music and becoming more aware -- it's reinvigorated my sense of creativity, I feel like I want to join in. I want to do something new. So yeah, I hope it works. I'd be happy if it does, but if it the demos aren't very good then it doesn't matter."

Smith said he wanted to make sure The Cure's schedule was free in 2018 in order to work on new music, because if they're ever going to put out a new record it's going to have to be soon:

"I sort of wanted to leave space, because I had a feeling like if we didn't do something new this year we'd never do it again, because the 40th anniversary of the first album is in 2019. I thought if we don't have something out new that year, that's it, I don't think The Cure will ever have another album. So I thought I better leave some time to do some writing if we want to go into the studio."

Though The Cure will only be doing a few shows in 2018, he emphasized that 2018 will NOT be the end of The Cure. Smith is already planning gigs for 2019, some of which will be album anniversary shows, including The Cure's debut album and possibly Disintegration, which turns 30 years old in 2019:

"We've already signed up to do some things so I think we'll pretty much end up going around the world again next year, but probably play a mixture of festivals and our own shows and I think we'll be playing different kinds of shows next year, I think we'll be recognizing various anniversaries like the first album. Maybe Disintegration, I think is coming up for a big anniversary next year and also obviously if we do end up doing something new then we'll be doing shows around something new which will be *new*. At the moment I'm just excited by it, I hope it all works out although I'm old enough to know if it doesn't, it doesn't really matter."

One thing he didn't discuss was The Cure's 40th anniversary documentary that he's working on with Tim Pope.  Everitt didn't ask Smith about it, nor did Smith mention it, so the status/timeline for the project is still anyone's guess.

Listen to the full interview with Robert Smith here.

Published April 10th, 2018