Robert James Smith (born April 21, 1959 in Blackpool, England), a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, has been the lead singer and driving force behind English post-punk band The Cure since its founding in 1976.
Highly influenced by The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and even David Bowie he started playing guitar at the age of 12. Smith has played the 6 and 12 string guitars; 4 and 6 string bass guitars; double bass; piano; drums; violin; trumpet and trombone, in various combinations.
Robert is the third of four children born to Alex and Rita Smith. His siblings are Richard, Margaret, and Janet (who is married to Porl Thompson, the lead guitarist of The Cure).
Smith grew up in a Catholic atmosphere and went to St. Mary's high school in England as a teenager. However, he is not religious, but sometimes he feels that he wishes he was. One example of his desire for belief is in the aptly-titled Faith.
Smith has written or co-written the bulk of The Cure's music and lyrics in a career spanning 35 years. He has also been involved in other musical projects, including a stint with Siouxsie & the Banshees and his side-project with Steven Severin called The Glove. He has also contributed vocals to a number of independent projects and performances, among them the B-side of the Faith cassette which is a 30 minute track from a movie project - Carnage Visors.
Robert Smith is instantly recognizable for his image, which includes deliberately smeared red lipstick and messy black hair that some have compared to a large spider. He first used Siouxsie Sioux's lipstick while he was high on opium. Smith's image has contributed to the frequent classification of The Cure as a goth band, a moniker Smith rejects. Smith is also known for his distinctive wavering singing style.
Smith's lyrics are frequently poetic and as frequently inscrutable. Smith has stated that they are often the product of some "altered state," such as drugs or sleep.
Smith met Mary Poole in school when he was 14 years old. Smith explains that his class was asked to choose partners for an activity. He mustered the courage to ask Mary and, as he says, got lucky. They have been together since and were married in 1988. The song "Love Song" was written as a wedding present for Mary. They have agreed to remain childless.
In October 2004, he stood in as one of three guest presenters for John Peel on BBC Radio 1, a week before the DJ's untimely death.
"Just Like Heaven" is reportedly Smith's favorite pop song that The Cure has produced and easily one of the public's most popular in which he details a lost love: " found myself alone alone alone above the raging sea / that stole the only girl I loved / and drowned her deep inside of me. "
Public opinion has often been that, according to the music he writes, Robert Smith must be a deeply depressed soul. However, this quote disputes that sentiment:
" At the time we wrote Disintegration...it's just about what I was doing really, how I felt. But I'm not like that all the time. That's the difficulty of writing songs that are a bit depressing. People think you're like that all the time, but I don't think that. I just usually write when I'm depressed." -Robert Smith in a 1989 interview
Smith is the only member who has been in The Cure the whole time it has existed. When asked who their favorite lineup is, most fans will almost always mention Smith along with Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson, and Boris Williams.
In 2003, Robert Smith worked in collaboration with the band Blink-182 on the track "All of This" off their album Blink-182.
In 2004, Blank & Jones remixed " A Forest" featuring Robert Smith on vocals. There is an EP+ Bonus DVD with 4 audio remixes, The music video featuring Robert Smith and an interview by Blank & Jones with Robert Smith that takes place before the video shoot. That year, he also provided vocals for Junior Jack for the club hit "Da Hype". In November, he joined Placebo onstage at their Wembley arena gig to sing Placebo's "Without You I'm Nothing" and Smith's own "Boys Don't Cry." Robert Smith also co-wrote and supplied vocals for the Tweaker song "Truth Is".
In 2004, Junior Jack also did a remix of the song Da Hype on his album Trust It featuring Robert Smith.
In 2005, Robert Smith teamed up with Billy Corgan, the former lead singer of both the Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan, to do a cover of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" on Corgan's first solo release, TheFutureEmbrace.
For more than two decades, Robert Smith has been hinting at a solo album which has never materialized. It is often believed that most of his solo writing ends up in The Cure, with such closer tracks as "Homesick", "Untitled", "Treasure", "Bare", "Going Nowhere", but Smith denied this, crediting those songs to other members:
" I didn't write "Homesick" and I didn't write the music too. It's another misconception. […] Out of the 12 songs on the CD, I think I only wrote six musically... "Untitled"... (to Simon [Gallup]) You wrote that one ? ...It was Roger [O'Donnell]. So it [(Disintegration)] couldn't have been a solo album and if I'd done on my own it wouldn't have sounded anything like The Cure anyway apart from my own voice. The Top album could have been a solo album but it's not true the way we worked in studio […] " – Robert Smith in a 1989 interview
In 2001 Robert was going to end "The Cure" and work on his solo album. He was convinced otherwise by producer Ross Robinson, who himself is a massive fan of The Cure. Ross told Robert that he "had to make at least one more Cure album, the Cure album". This is why the 2004 album is simply titled "The Cure" (says Smith in an AOL interview). Making that album reminded Smith of why he enjoys doing what he does and another Cure album is due out in April of 2006, putting the solo album on hold once more. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.