Why Robert Smith Hates Duran Duran

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The Cure’s founding members, Robert Smith, Michael Dempsey, Laurence Tolhurst, Marc Ceccagno, and Alan Hill, had a school band called Obelisk. It can be seen as the beginning of a musical journey that would lead to the creation of best-selling records. In 1978, after several lineup changes, it turned into the gothic rock band the Cure, and Smith was their only constant member.

In the same year, another English band from Birmingham was founded, Duran Duran, and their mainstream popularity came thanks to the American music channel MTV. Their self-titled debut studio album dropped on June 15, 1981, and took place in the channel’s lists and programs. It brought them fame in the US, but one of their contemporaries, the Cure vocalist Robert Smith didn’t like Duran Duran at all.

Robert Smith’s Thoughts About Duran Duran

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New Wave Music’s bands created and released more pop-oriented songs, and the genre became an umbrella term for power pop, synth-pop, and ska revival. Between the ’70s and ’80s, it reached its highest popularity and success, and Duran Duran was one of the artists that held an important spot in the genre. They were also one of the New Romantics, an underground subculture movement, and belonged to the Second British Invasion.

The Cure members were interested in alternative rock, post-punk, and gothic rock music. Considering their genres, it’s not surprising that the band was against giant label companies that didn’t focus on making art but prioritized radio-friendly music to gain more money. The Cure was after the darkest and gloomiest version of underground rock, so their music was independent and attacked the consumerist culture of that time.

During one of his previous interviews with the Guardian, Robert Smith highlighted that they had us vs. them attitude toward bands like Duran Duran, which was more into pop rock. With this method, they could separate themselves from other ’80s artists who had different perspectives on music. Smith explained that the reason behind his negative thoughts about the famous rock band was rooted in that Duran Duran represented everything they fought against.

In Smith’s words, he said:

“It was generally Duran Duran, which is sad because they loved us and used to come to our shows. However, they represented everything we hated: the whole glamorous ’80s, consumer bullshit; this horrorshow we were up against.”

Smith argued that Duran Duran was the embodiment of consumerism and the glamourous ’80s, which he described as a horror show. The Cure icon also mentioned that he felt sad about hating Duran Duran and everything they represented because the band loved the Cure’s music and attended their performances many times.