A few months back, most everybody was surprised to hear that the Cure's Robert Smith was going to collaborate with pop star Ashlee Simpson on some of her new material -- and no one more so than Smith

A few months back, most everybody was surprised to hear that the Cure's Robert Smith was going to collaborate with pop star Ashlee Simpson on some of her new material -- and no one more so than Smith himself.

The truth, according to Smith, is that the two parties have not worked together in any form as of yet, but a pairing is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

"I would be hugely surprised if I end up working with Ashlee this year, but I haven't ruled it out," he tells Billboard.com. "I went to see her in Chicago. We have people we both know, and I have some nephews and nieces who think she's really good. I was impressed. The fact is, when she got on stage and sang, she was really good."

"It was staggering the amount of coverage that got," Smith adds. "I was encouraged to issue a denial, but I thought, why? I don't deny anything. I don't see the point. I've worked with lots of different people down the years."

According to a Geffen spokesperson, Simpson's next album should be out before the end of the year, but no release date has been confirmed.

As for Smith, he revealed he has another unusual collaboration lined up, but declined to elaborate at this stage of the process, other than to say, "It's in a different genre than the one I'm associated with."

"The people who are involved, their label doesn't know about it," he says with a chuckle. "I don't know that they'd be happy. I mean, I could well tarnish other peoples' reputations -- people who rely on being squeaky clean or family friendly. Their label might not look very kindly at all to them working with someone as objectionable and as suspect as me."

As previously reported, the Cure will release a new album in October via Suretone/Geffen and will be on tour in North America this fall.

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