Andy Anderson drummed with the Cure during their early transformation from dark to light – he played on the Let’s go to Bed and the Walk singles, plus the Top and Concert: the Cure live LPs. He also played with the Glove, and with Brilliant – Youth from Killing Joke’s post-KJ project. Phew! Here’s an interview with him…
How did you get the gig to join Robert Smith in The Cure?
I was working in a band called Brilliant with Martin Glover from the band Killing Joke at Trident Studios in London, and Chris Parry and Robert Smith came along with a cassette tape and asked me to listen to the tape. They had heard my drumming on previous albums such as the Steve Hillage band, Sham 69’s Jimmy Percy’s solo albums and on Brilliant’s recordings, and asked me if I’ll go for an audition for them.
I went, and got the position of playing drums for The Cure that day, and the rest is history. My first drum kit was made up of different drum manufacturers and were either given to me or I found them myself and put them together to make a full drum kit and used that for quite some time before I actually started playing properly in bands, and owning my own.
Can you tell me about the sessions for Japanese Whispers?
The sessions for Japanese Whispers were great as always, I’m always the first in to set up, and to start laying down my tracks, and working from ideas that we worked on, all from demos that Robert and Laurence had previously recorded.How were sessions different for you for The Top with Robert doing everything but drums?There was not much difference at all. I’m very used to working with multitalented musicians, but I find that most multitalented musicians are not very good drummers, so that’s where I step in and get my stuff. Most songwriters have a basic idea of how they would like their songs to go, drum machines are OK, but real drums sound great in most cases, depending on the song and the feel.
How did the tour go that resulted in the live album Concert?
The tour was a fantastic success, it is the first time that I’ve ever done a European tour that every concert was sold out completely, and then to round it off we had the opportunity of recording the Concert album on a few of those nights here in England — specifically London Hammersmith Odeon. I enjoyed every one of those gigs, and we as a band were on top form during that tour, and the results ended up on the album, using the Manor Mobile Studio, which at the time was a fantastic piece of kit. These days you can fit the Manor Mobile into a matchbox, and will it sound the same, but that’s another story.
What can you tell me about your involvement with The Glove?
The Glove album was recorded at Pink Floyd’s studios at Britannia Row, London. Robert Smith had invited me along to do a couple of tracks on the album, I just went into the studio and did my drum overdubs, and I also did a couple of videos, too.