Smith seeks Cure for writer's block

His band is in its fourth decade of existence, but The Cure's Robert Smith has no plans to make the rounds on the nostalgia circuit.

Now he's got to write new lyrics to prove it.

In an expansive interview with Reuters late last month, the post-punk veteran said he's been suffering from writer's block of late in crafting lyrics for his band's 14th studio album, the release of which was recently pushed back to May 2007. Smith said the band has recorded 33 songs for the release, rumored to be a double album.

"I want [the words] to mean something, it's not enough that they rhyme," the 47-year-old Smith told Reuters. "I find myself stopping short and thinking, 'I've done this before, and better.' I've given myself a deadline to finish the words before Christmas. If I don't I should be shot."

All dramatic proclamations aside, Smith does want to finish the record before the band hits the road in March for a tour that will kick off at the Ultra Music Festival at Miami's Bicentennial Park March 27. The band will be touring to promote the new album as well as The Cure: Festival 2005, a 30-song live DVD compilation that hits stores this week.

The Cure's lineup has thinned since 2004's self-titled album, as keyboardist Roger O'Donnell quit last year. But Smith said the return of original Cure guitarist Porl Thompson--his third stint in the band--will more than make up for O'Donnell's departure.

"There's no need for keyboards when you have Porl playing guitar," Smith said. "He can pretty much create any sound you want. He's brought back a sense of urgency and we've got a rock edge again."

Simon Gallup, the band's on-again, off-again bassist since 1979, and Jason Cooper, on drums since 1995, round out the quartet.

"Being a four-piece is getting back to a stripped-down stage look and sound," Smith said. "The fact that we can turn out anywhere with very little equipment and play is the old idea of The Cure. It's less grand than things we've done in the past, but we're still planning to play for three hours."

Despite being one of the forefathers of the "emo" movement and largely regarded as a pioneer of the goth rock movement, Smith disputes the "goth" label for his band.

"It's so pitiful when 'goth' is still tagged onto the name The Cure," he said. "We're not categorizable. I suppose we were post-punk when we came out, but in total it's impossible. How can you describe a band that put out an album like Pornography and also Greatest Hits where every single song was top 10 around the world? I just play Cure music, whatever that is."

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