Robert Smith says the Cures were never a “goth” band – right?
To be or not to be> Goth is the question …
Has The Cure ever been a gothic band?
Band leader Robert Smith recently claimed that no, but without these generations of Goths in the audience, would the band be playing Dog and Duck instead of arenas! (Speaking of arena shows their 2019 Glastonbury show was one of the best of the year – review here)
Of all the subcultures that existed in the post-punk era, “goth” has always been the most problematic. Maybe because it didn’t really exist at the start of the so-called scene which was normally called ‘Alternative’ music at the time. Even when the clubs started to merge and the clothes got darker, it still wasn’t called the Gothic scene – Goth being. a retrospective term that was added later and mostly with a sneer by the music press.
No wonder many bands have never been comfortable with the term. Andrew Eldritch hates the word and Siouxsie looks baffled when put in the Goth box. The latest to rebel against the word is Robert Smith of The Cure, whose group is considered one of the main groups in the form (The Cure’s 10 best songs here) despite arriving as an artistic group. pop Buzzcocks in the early days of punk before turning. of on their darker journey.
It’s an interesting contradiction – the Cures had a huge influence on the scene and certainly adopted some of its darker hues in their style and music, but it very well could have been a path they were already following. For many years, however, they were the main driving forces behind the culture, perhaps unwittingly, with their fourth album “Pornography” considered one of the top ten albums in the form, and their dark influence was felt well. away from the fever of British post-punk culture.
Robert Smith himself conflicts with the term, as he explained to Rolling Stone in a recent interview.
“It doesn’t come from me. It probably has to do with the movie’s release. There is always a lazy tendency when people write “puff” to release it. Inevitably even before opening the attachment of [the film company], I think it’s going to start with “goth”, “goth rock”, “godfather goth”, “gothfather”, “goth that”, and I think, “For the love of shit”, and of course, this ‘was here. So I answered a scathing little email saying, “Damn, can you …” you know?
I don’t consider The Cure to be a gothic band. I have never. I grew up in a world where goth wasn’t quite invented as we know and love it. And I was part of that subculture as far as I went to the Batcave with [Steve] Severine. The Banshees were pretty much a Gothic group for a while. But even they weren’t really. But real Gothic groups existed – those who were part of this initial movement. They were Gothic groups, and not me. I was doing “let’s go to bed” when goth started. So we had done porn and “Hanging Garden”, and it has a look and kind of vibe and atmosphere, yeah. But was I responsible for the Gothic? No. And if I was, I would be very happy. But I wasn’t.
Did the goth play a role in the cure?
Inevitably, I think it had some sort of influence. “Cold” from Pornography, I think, sounds gothic, as far as you can tell it has that particular sound. I’m aware that we played a part in it, and I think we’re part of goth history, without a doubt, but as a footnote. The Cure is just not a gothic band. When people tell me you’re gothic, i say you’ve never heard us play or have no idea what gothic is. One of those two has to be true because we’re not a goth group.
I just remember for a moment the goths were outraged that people thought we were a goth band. They hated us because we sort of got off the ship, they thought. Because we sound like we do on Pornography and the next thing we do is “Let’s Go to Bed” and “Love Cats” and “The Walk” and all these kinds of silly pop singles. So they don’t understand that before doing porn we also did Three Imaginary Boys and Seventeen Seconds. We had nothing to do with Gothic. It’s like we’ve been through that phase and I did a few things that seemed to be part of it, and then we moved on.
Do you like gothic music?
I have never been a big fan of gothic. I loved the subculture. I like subcultural stuff like that where people have a vision of what the world should be, how they should be. I think it can be really lovely. There is a bit of a sinister side to subculture-ism, but overall it’s a good thing. It helps people feel like they belong to something when they probably feel the need to belong. And I prefer goths to skinheads. And I also like the fact that he represents a kind of “other”. It’s dangerous to look like a gothic. In some parts of England you run the risk of getting beaten up if you look like a goth, which I think is fucking outrageous. So in that sense, I feel a community of spirit with goths and other subcultures who choose to live an alternate lifestyle. But I wouldn’t consider myself to be a part of it.
All of John Robb’s words, see his archives here
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