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"A Year In The Life Of Curve"

Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia look back in awe and astonishment at 12 months
that turned their world upside down

Interview: ANDREW MUELLER. Pics: TOM SHEEHAN

(pic: Tom Sheehan)

JANUARY: MEDIA PSYCHOSIS, INSOMNIA AND BRETT EASTON ELLIS

TONI: We started doing press for Europe in the middle of January. We went to Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and back to London. And then, the day after that, I went to New York and LA for two weeks and did, like, 15 phone interviews a day for 10 days. I got the worst jet-lag I've ever had going there and l didn't sleep properly for those 10 whole days. I'd go to sleep at one o'clock at night and wake up at four in the morning. And I had the tidiest hotel room, because I'd just be pacing up and down the floor, all night, thinking of things to do.

"By the end of it, I'd lost my voice completely, and I was starting to say the most f***ed-up things, I was starting to get really out there. It was a kind of mental LSD, I think... I was allowing this chemical to be secreted by my brain, cos it was the only thing that was keeping me going, because I wasn't eating. It was a bit like 'American Psycho', really. Someone would ask me a question and I'd just start muttering things under my breath. In the end, I think people just felt really sorry for me.

"Loads of people have techniques for doing interviews, or so I gather from talking to people. In a way, that would be good, because it'd be a great way to protect yourself, but we just take it one by one and see what happens. And there's been loads of times, overseas and in England, when we've just got on with them fantastically and I think, if we'd had predisposed attitudes, then that wouldn't have happened.

"So that was the whole of January gone, and then into..."

FEBRUARY: THE PRACTICE THING, THE LIVE THING AND THE TOUR THING

TONI: "We started rehearsals and we did John Peel. Then we went to Paris. Then we did more rehearsals. Then we started the English tour, on February 29 in Nottingham. We did a 25-date English tour and then went staight on to Europe.

"I love touring, though. But what I think is - if you go out, then you go out and do it. You don't come back, you don't come home, you just lock into the life - and you have to, because your real life is on hold. And you have to see it like that, that anything that bears any resemblance to anything is, like, over there - and it's stopped."

DEAN: "But you're - well, I am, anyway - constantly torn between that and what you have when you're at home. I go through stages of being really depressed and, when that happens, I go away for a day, get away from everyone and everything and then come back again."

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MARCH: DANIEL ASH, 'DOPPELGÄNGER' AND EUROPEAN DISUNITY

(pic: Tom Sheehan) DEAN: "We had this mad bus driver, who I thought was going to fall asleep over the Alps."

TONI: "All the band and crew, all 11 of us, were in this one bus."

DEAN: "lt got quite tense. And, since then, half of that crew aren't with us any more. Which gives you some idea of what went down on the bus. I rnean, here and there it was a lot of fun, but mostly it was really miserable."

TONI: "I really liked Stockholm, and I really liked Freburg, in Switzerland, and I really liked the Berlin gig. Most of the gigs were good, but I definitely came back from Europe thinking I would never be able to eat cheese and bread and meat again, ever. I know every band must say that, but it gets to you, you know? And we didn't go to all the places like Spain and Italy where you can get good food. We did do one gig in Paris, where obviously you can get great food, but... we didn't want to play there, they didn't want to see us, they were just too frightened of spilling beer on their f***ing Chanel suits, or something. It was a dreadful gig, that.

"But the British tour was great, yes. Because one of the best things we ever did was those two shows at the T&C. It was just absolutely mega. And even the thought that we could sell out two shows there is unbelievable to us. Because when our manager first suggested we do a second show, we were just 'No, no, no!'

"And I really, really enjoyed the Northampton gig, because we met up with Daniel Ash, and he took us to his house and he got us completely and utterly plastered... that's the first time we've ever been on stage really, really drunk, totally staggering around. And we really enjoyed it, and so did the audience.

"The album came out on March 9... we didn't play that day, ha ha. Um... I thought Simon Price's review of it was very realistic, and I really liked it, and I thought he'd written something he knew was right. He didn't say it was crap, and he didn't say it was brilliant, he just said that's the end of that... phase, and he was exactly right, and he was the only guy who really got it.

"We decided when we did the album that we wanted to shut the door on what we'd already done. I mean, we could go on churning out Curve records that sound like Curve forever. Because the next plateau for us was, and is, the next album."

APRIL: PARISIANS

DEAN: "More Europe. Least favourite places? Paris, I think. I mean, Paris is quite nice to go and see, but bad for us. As long as we don't go there as Curve, it's fine."

TONI: "We do really well in France outside Paris, but it's just this one place, this one little unit, where they just hate us. They really just f***ing hate us, because they get completely wrapped up in that whole thing that started at the beginning, of people trying to drag out dusty skeletons from our past, and all the insinuations of being contrived, produced and put together by other people. And it's just the Parisians. Fashion victims.

"In the gap between dates in the middle of April we weren't relaxing, no. We just write, really. Because also this year we have actually released six other tracks, on 'Horror Head' and the double version of ' Faît Accompli'... sorry, do nothing? What does that mean?"

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MAY: WAR ON AMERICA

TONI: "What we decided to do in America, rather than doing a massive tour, was just to do 10 dates, and then the one with The Cure. And, for some reason, we managed to get away with playing 1000-capacity venues staight away."

DEAN: "A lot of it was to do with that blitz of interviews that Toni had already done, and we knew that 'Coast Is Clear' was doing really well on college radio."

TONI: "Apparently, in some magazine in America we've been voted the most written about new band in America, because there was just tons of it. Nearly every gig, they went totally mad, surfing and stagediving and that kind of stuff. We had this thing where we didn't want to use any barriers, so people were very, very close to us. At this one gig we did in Houston, at the end of it I was playing my guitar, and I started to put it into the monitors so it would feed back, and I was on the floor and l had my head down like this, between the monitors... and people were stroking my hair, just touching it really lightly. It was really brilliant.

"We did go to America with an attitude, a really serious attitude, that we were going to... well, kill 'em, and that was it. I mean, the one in Boston was 800 capacity, and we had the same light show we'd used at the T&C. It was enormous. My sister tried to video that gig at the T&C and the tube burnt out. It was war."

JUNE: STADIUM ROCK, ROBERT SMITH AND GLASTER DISASTER

(pic: Tom Sheehan) TONI: "The Cure support. Dallas Stadium. Unnerved? Unhinged!"

DEAN: "I remember driving up to the place, this enormous thing... it was the size of London."

TONI: "The car park was the size of Milton Keynes!"

DEAN: "The pit was as big as the gigs we were doing... I enjoyed being in that place, and I enjoyed meeting The Cure, and they were brilliant to us, but the actual gig was disappointing, because people were eating popcorn and hotdcgs and things."

TONI: "I mean, you work so hard to get there, and then for some f***er to stand up in the middle of the most emotional moment, and wave at their friends... and then start wandering off to get a hot dog. And they do it for The Cure as well! Robert said to me afterwards, "What did you think?" and I said I wouldn't want to do that for a living. I mean, I have all these grand plans that Curve will become this massive band, but I'd like to escape that, if possible... it's so disconnected."

DEAN: "Glastonbury was... a huge disappointment. Because we wanted it to be brilliant. Because the last open-air thing we'd done was that Slough thing, which was really great. And at Glastonbury the crowds and everything were really up for it, and we played like arseholes, really."

TONI: "But it's so hard to keep it together at Glastonbury before the show, because it's just drink and drugs everywhere, isn't it? But I felt ungraceful, and shameful about it, because so many people were up for it, and we just... wanked, basically. I was depressed for two weeks after that, I just couldn't get it out of my head."

JULY: HOLIDAYS OF THE WELL-EARNED VARIETY

TONI: "I was on holiday in the south of France. And then we had another couple of weeks off after that because Dean wanted to stay home and be with his family because he knew that we were going to Japan."

DEAN: "I refused to do anything. I wanted a month with my family."

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AUGUST: NOT PLAYING READING AND NOT LIKING JAPAN

TONI: "I felt disgusting, really, as a person, because in the end what I felt about Japan was that I liked the place, but not the people, and felt really bad about that."

DEAN: "It's more the people that run the place, and the repression they put on people, until people genuinely believe that there are all these things they can't do."

TONI: "I don't think l could ever feel comfortable in a country that calls women who are over 25 'Christmas cakes', as in they're past their sell-by date. It's lots of things... I hate their superior attitude, like they are culture, they are the meaning of culture. They look down their nose at the rest of Asia, they really do... and Japan is all imports. And there's nothing really truly Japanese about Tokyo, it's just like New York."

TONI: "As for not playing Reading... One side of me says that any band should just be able to get up there and play without a soundcheck or anything. And another says we can't do it yet. And we never said that stuff about how we were making too much money in America to do it. That is just total bollocks. That was them, the people from Reading, saying that about us. Because... we weren't! If they really want to know, our first American tour cost $135,000. Cost us $135,000!"

DEAN: "All we've ever done in America is lost money. And the stage blew away that day, anyway. So it was never our day."

SEPTEMBER: DISCOVERING THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD

TONI: "After Japan, we went to Hong Kong to do press. And it's just the best f***ing place in the world! I want to live there. That is the eighth wonder of the world, that skyline - when you're standing on Kowloon or Hong Kong Island and looking over it at night. And then we went up to the peak, we drove right to the top and smoked this Thai grass and looked at the sun going down over Hong Kong, and it really was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

"Then that brought us home for about a month, so we had a week off - and then started work on the next album."

OCTOBER: WHOOPING IT UP WITH THE MARY CHAIN

(pic: Tom Sheehan) TONI: "Rollercoaster started on October 21. It was f***ing brilliant. Because we'd already been in it once and had the responsibility of headlining 1,000-capacity shows - and all the stress of having to put the PA and a huge lighting rig into a venue every day, and also doing this constant promotional thing.

"So, when we went out on this one, it was like we'd been liberated! We had no responsibilities at all! We just turned up, did the soundcheck, did the gig, and we were out of there. It was just brilliant."

DEAN: "We got on very well with Spiritualized, and Jim and William were quite reclusive, but..."

TONI: "But they weren't as horrific as they're sometimes made out. But all the bands watched each other and were interested in how they were getting on. It was quite jokey, we took the piss out of each other quite a lot. Jason said we all needed quaaludes because we were all too happy. But we certainly could have put up with a bit more of that, because it was such a laugh."


NOVEMBER: BUGGER ALL

TONI: "Actually, we haven't done anything since we came back. We're just waiting to get back to work on the album now."

DECEMBER: MERRY CHRISTMAS, KIDS, LOOK OUT FOR THE NEW SINGLE IN FEBRUARY

TONI: "I'm going to spend Christmas in London, because I haven't done that for ages."

DEAN: "I'm going home, although I might take the recording studio with me!"

(article nicked from 'Melody Maker', 19/26 December 1992)

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