“The Cure are the Led Zeppelin of the fucked-up generation,” says Carlos Dengler, bassist for Interpol. “They will never get old.”
Dengler’s band opened for their musical idols at the KROQ Inland Invasion show last month in Los Angeles, where vintage New Wave bands such as Bow Wow Wow and Duran Duran mixed with Eighties-influenced newcomers like Hot Hot Heat. But it was the Cure, who have been absent from these shores for three years, that had everyone talking.
“When we were just kids, the Cure were always there,” says Paul Hawley of Hot Hot Heat, who admits his band was inspired by the goth rockers’ early work. “It’s amazing what comes back through your subconscious when you’re older.” Even the little girls understand. “They talk about stuff we’re going through — sadness, depression, love,” says fan Melissa Loza, 18. “Bands our age just don’t do it like the Cure.”
None of this surprises Robert Smith. “This sudden groundswell must’ve come from kids listening to Disintegration and then growing up and starting bands,” the Cure singer says. Smith is working on a new Cure release, due out next spring. “It’s going to be a very heavy album,” Smith says, “Cure heavy, not new-metal heavy.”
In the meantime, you can listen to today’s Cureheads — Interpol, the Rapture, AFI and Hot Hot Heat — Smith does. “I try and spot how I’ve inspired these young bands,” he says. “I buy their albums on Amazon.”