Robert Smith on how family tragedy shaped the “darkness” of The Cure’s new album

He also shares the working title, 'Live From The Moon'

Robert Smith has opened up about how losing his mother, father and brother has inspired the ‘darkness’ of The Cure‘s new album – which had the working title of ‘Live From The Moon’.

Earlier this summer, Smith exclusively told NME that they were looking to finish their “merciless” new album in 2019 – 11 years after predecessor ‘4:13 Dream’. He revealed that the new songs had been shaped by his “experience of life’s darker side”.

Now in a new interview, Smith has claimed that the band are looking to complete work on the record at the start of next month, as well as discussing how his lyrics have been shaped by family tragedy.

“We’re going back in [the studio] three days after we get back from Pasadena for me to try and finish the vocals, which is, as ever, what’s holding up the album,” Smith told The Los Angeles Times. “I keep going back over and redoing them, which is silly. At some point, I have to say that’s it.”

He continued: “It’s very much on the darker side of the spectrum. I lost my mother and my father and my brother recently, and obviously it had an effect on me. It’s not relentlessly doom and gloom. It has soundscapes on it, like ‘Disintegration’, I suppose. I was trying to create a big palette, a big wash of sound.”

Smith added: “The working title was ‘Live From the Moon’, because I was enthralled by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing in the summer. We had a big moon hanging in the studio and lunar-related stuff lying around. I’ve always been a stargazer.”

The Cure live at Øya 2019. Credit: Ihne Pedersen/Press

Speaking to NME about his hopes for the album, Smith said: “I feel intent on it being a 2019 release and would be extremely bitter if it isn’t. At some point I will have to say ‘this is it’, otherwise we’ll just keep recording like we have done in the past. It never gets any better. We’re due one more session then we’re done.”

He continued: “I think I’m generally more of a balanced individual than I was 10 years ago. I’ve experienced more of life’s darker side, for real.

“Before I used to write about stuff that I thought I understood. Now I know I understand it. The lyrics I’ve been writing for this album, for me personally, are more true. They’re more honest. That’s probably why the album itself is a little bit more doom and gloom. I feel I want to do something that expresses the darker side of what I’ve experienced over the last few years – but in a way that will engage people.”

The frontman added: “Some of the albums like ‘Pornography’ and ‘Disintegration’ are kind of relentless. I levelled ‘Disintegration’ with some songs like ‘Lullaby’ and ‘Lovesong’, but I think this one is more like ‘Pornography’ because it hasn’t got any of those songs that lighten the mood at all.”

To continue The Cure’s 40 anniversary celebrations, The Cure will be releasing the CURÆTION-25 set along with their 2018 Hyde Park gig on October 18 as either a limited edition boxset (2Blu-ray/2DVD + 4CD’s) or regular hardbook (2Blu-ray/2DVD).