Robert Smith and the rest of his Cure boys might’ve been quietly chuffed to be one of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, but word to the wise: If you’re ever lucky enough to talk to him about the honor, do not. Or if you still do, bring the enthusiasm level down to a zero. Let this chat between Smith and the Rock Hall’s on-site interviewer give you all the confirmation you need about the idea, as Smith — in his monochromatic best; gently scratching his face — wasn’t sure what to make of all the cheerfulness being flung his way. “Um,” Smith finally musters up when asked if he’s as excited as the interviewer, “by the sounds of it, no.” End of scene.
Following the band’s induction segment, Smith admitted backstage he’s still a bit skeptical about the Rock Hall’s ethos — but not so much that a snub was on his agenda. “I’m not quite sure about the whole thing. It’s probably a cultural thing. And I just don’t know,” he explained. “On the red carpet, they asked me was I super excited? In a funny way, I feel like we’ve been subsumed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” He added, thinking about how his younger self would’ve reacted to the honor: “There’s a part of me who’s like, ‘C’mon if you were 15, you’d be like, Fuck this.’ But at the same time, there are people in it who are my heroes. So it would be really really wrong of me to be anything other than delighted to be part of this.” There’s nothing wrong with some healthy ambivalence, as others could tell you.