The Cure’s Discography: Robert Smith Looks Back
With the money we got from Three Imaginary Boys I bought ten days of studio time. We only used eight, so I got my money back for the last two, which was lucky ’cause we spent far more than I thought we would on beer. We did all the photos the day we finished recording at about eight o’clock in the morning. I said to the bloke, “Could you do some that are out of focus.” And they’re the ones we used, because the ones in focus looked so hideous.
During Seventeen Seconds, we honestly felt that we were creating something no one else had done. From this point on, I thought that every album was going to be the last Cure album, so I always tried to make it something that would be kind of a milestone. I feel Seventeen Seconds is one of few albums that genuinely achieved that.
With “A Forest” I wanted to do something that was really atmospheric, and it has a fantastic sound. Chris Parry said, “If you make this sound radio friendly, you’ve got a big hit on your hands.” I said, “But this is how it sounds. It’s the sound I’ve got in my head. It doesn’t matter about whether it’s radio friendly.” He sometimes thinks that I’m willfully kind of stopping this from having more success, but I’m not. One of the reasons people like the band is because they’re never quite sure what’s gonna happen next. If we were predictable, we wouldn’t have really lasted this long.
By Smith’s own admission, Faith is the Cure’s “difficult third album.” Recorded over a month in a handful of different studios, the somber Faith was born of death, isolation drugs and alcohol.
The whole band had a family member die, and that really colored Faith. The initial demos that we did in my mom and dad’s dining room are really quite upbeat. Then, within about two weeks, the whole mood of the band had completely changed. I wrote “The Funeral Party” and “All Cats Are Grey” in one night, and that really set the tone for the album.
When we toured on the back of this album, the mood was so somber. It wasn’t a particularly healthy thing to do because we were reliving a really bad time, night after night, and it got incredibly depressing. And so I kind of have mixed feelings about Faith.
A lot of people around the band began reacting badly to the fact that we were becoming successful, on a very limited scale. There was a lot of jealousy and sour grapes and people saying, “You’ve changed!” We had changed because we weren’t going to the same pubs all the time, because we were touring Europe. So we lost a lot friends, and we became much more insular. We would just drink ourselves into oblivion, and play these songs.
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