"This is something I wouldn’t have believed if you’d told me 20 years ago": Chino Moreno couldn't be more thrilled that The Cure's Robert Smith appears on the new Crosses album

Chino Moreno and Robert Smith
(Image credit: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Deftones frontman Chino Moreno has expressed his delight at the fact that one of his great musical heroes, The Cure's Robert Smith, guests on the new record by his side project Crosses. 

In a new interview with Paste magazine, Moreno admits, "this is something I wouldn’t have believed if you’d told me 20 years ago."

Expressing his long-standing love for The Cure, and explaining how Smith ended up contributing to Girls Float † Boys Cry on the recently-released Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete album, Moreno says, “If you listen to The Cure from the late ‘70s when they first started, their sound has gone through so many stages. Robert can do a lot of different things - musically, and with his voice as well - so it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know this about Robert‘ until I worked with him.

"I feel like I’ve always [been aware of his range]. With the song that we worked on, Girls Float † Boys Cry, it wasn’t so much the music itself that made me want to have him on there. I feel like there are little nods to The Cure within the song, but that wasn’t it. For me, that was one of the saddest songs in this whole batch. It was maybe a little over two years ago when that musical bed for that was first created, and… I don’t want to say I wasn’t in a good place, but I was just sad.

"Everything I say in that song is exactly the way I was feeling. And then it had kind of been put on the back burner. When we brought it back out, I had to complete the lyrics and go in and actually sing the song. I wasn’t in the same place - thankfully - but it was such a snapshot of that time that I was able to dive-in to that moment for a minute and remember what I was feeling."

Moreno goes on to say, "One of my favorite things about Robert Smith is his ability to to really convey the sadness within a song. I just so happen to lean a lot towards the more melancholy Cure stuff, and the sadder Cure songs are some of my favorites. So I thought, ‘If I can get Robert, this would be the perfect song to have him take part in.’

"Luckily, he obliged. I already had the lyrics when I sent him the song, and he texted me back, ‘I would love to do this.’ I was like, ‘Whoa!’ Even at that time, it didn’t sink in. I’d talked to him over the years about working together on something but, you know, I wasn’t sure it was ever going to really happen—not until he sent the vocal back with his voice singing these words that I wrote. That’s when it really hit me, like ‘Wow, this is something I wouldn’t have believed if you’d told me 20 years ago'."

The mutual respect between Deftones and their hero has led to various acts of 'cross-pollination' over the years. The Sacramento metal crew covered The Cure's If Only Tonight We Could Sleep on the MTV Icon show dedicated to the English band, while Smith remixed Teenager for Deftones' White Pony remix album, Black Stallion, which was released in 2020. Smith also hand-picked Moreno's band to play at the Meltdown festival he curated in London in 2018. 

Listen to Girls Float † Boys Cry below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.