The five bands Robert Smith hates with a passion

There is something joyfully youthful about Robert Smith. He’s been rocking the same mopey college aesthetic now for over 40 years, slowly mutating it into your favorite Kaftan-wearing aunt’s general oeuvre. And just like that student, his opinions have often come out as unguarded snarls.

Over the years, he has sunk his claws into the likes of Queen, Def Leppard and Morrissey, later claiming his feud with the latter was “imaginary” despite a slew of lambasts to the contrary. He isn’t the provocative type, really, but he is a witty fellow with things to say, so if you probe him in the right way, then he may well have a harsh word to say.

Below we have curated his most outspoken opinions over the years and collected the bands that he hates most in this world. He might love David Bowie, The Stranglers, Mogwai, Placebo and more, but not everyone he has come across has lavished in praise. Nevertheless, even when he is hurling abuse, at least he is usually funny about it.

The five bands Robert Smith hates:


Delving into the darkness with The Cure, Smith found songwriting inspiration in the sincerity of ethereal stars like Nick Drake. Thus, it is perhaps no surprise that Queen’s gaudy, fun pop was not to his liking.

However, he was harsher than you might expect when it comes to criticism of their output. “Well, I never liked Queen,” he once said, “I can honestly say I hated Queen and everything that they did.” I suppose there is the Smith way of doing things, and the Freddie Mercury way, and never the twain shall meet.

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The Darkness

If he hated Queen, then it only stood to reason that Smith hasn’t been going to be too fond of their mark II emergence from 2003. When Smith was asked about playing alongside the Lowestoft hair rockers at Reading & Leeds Festival, he likened them to his dearly be-loathed Queen and criticized: “To have that rehashed and reheated for a second time around is pretty weird. So, no, I don’t like the Darkness at all.”

It wasn’t merely the lack of originality that rubbed him the wrong way either. The Cure frontman also thought of their twee styling as less than charming and dubbed them a “comedy band”. In short, not the kind of act he was happy to be headlining alongside.

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Smith recently stated that his feud with Morrissey was merely “imaginary”, stating: “I’ve realized how easily these things can spiral because people want it to be something. They’re desperate for it to be some sort of soap opera.”

However, that seems starkly contrasting to the time when he said, “If Morrissey says not to eat meat, then I’ll eat meat. That’s how much I hate Morrissey.” And things got worse still when Morrissey retaliated by calling Smith a “whinebag” before The Cure frontman savagely snarled, “Morrissey’s so depressing if he doesn’t [off] himself soon, I probably will.” Just a friendly bit of competitive soap opera from everyone’s favorite auntie, I suppose.

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Def Leppard

Robert Smith proudly proclaimed the indie tenet that The Cure would never go mainstream unless the mainstream came to them. With Wish, it almost did. Sadly, they were pipped to the top spot in the States by Def Leppard. This was a fact that stuck in Smith’s craw.

“I wanted the album to be number one in America,” he opined. “I hate Def Leppard. I hate them anyway, but I hate them even more now.” Once more, it would seem it is the glam side of talk that the frontman is against. Despite sharing a love of Bowie with the Def, it was their hair rock side that Smith couldn’t stomach.

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Duran Duran

Duran Duran never made any apology for what they were all about. In fact, Simon Le Bon once even said, “That was the whole point in forming a band. Girls. Absolutely gorgeous girls.” They were a symbol of 1980s excess and irreverence, but Smith wanted his music to have more substance.

As Smith recently explained: “It was generally Duran Duran, which is really sad because they loved us and they used to come to our shows. But they represented everything we hated: the whole glamorous 80s, consumer bullshit; this horror show that we were up against.”

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