I know that you’ve been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a couple times already, and that you’ve had mixed feelings about the Rock Hall as an institution. But I’m curious if your experiences last year inducting The Cure -- did that change your feeling about what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame means, or what it means to be inducted?
It did change my perspective. I was very cynical about it, much like I still am about the Grammys. Which I feel like are “Here’s an award, show up so people watch our TV show.” And again, it was my experience of going through the Oscars that really put the Grammy issue into focus. Our kind of accidental Oscar campaign for Social Network kind of immersed me in that world where I’d never seen so much care and thought and guilt and rules and traditions and specific qualifications… to emerge on the other end of that, somehow holding a trophy… it legitimately felt gratifying. It felt like, “Wow, people that do this thought what I did was really good.” That felt good, you know. Yes there’s politics, and luck, and every other thing involved. But it felt pretty good. It felt like, “That’s a trophy I’m proud to have.”
The Rock Hall, I’d kind of lumped in with the absurdity of, “What are we -- what is this? It’s rock, OK, but Whitney Houston is rock? OK…” Anyway, when I got the call, “Would you induct The Cure?” I love The Cure. And I wanted The Cure to be framed as best they could, and I felt like I could do a good job at that. And when I’m in the audience for that, before The Cure’s segment, and I’m sitting at a table with the guys from Radiohead, who are very cool, and I’m looking around, and I just said hi to David Byrne backstage, who I love, and Bryan Ferry walks up on stage, and Duran Duran’s doing their thing about him, and I can tell they mean it, and Bryan comes out, and I can tell he’s humbled, authentically, and they play and it’s awesome.
I walk backstage and I’m getting ready to do the Cure thing, and I’m not sure how The Cure resonates with whoever’s in this audience. Because the people I saw were all old industry people. But I walk out, and there’s huge applause for The Cure, and…. “Wow, man, this feels pretty good.” I got goosebumps right now just thinking about it. And I say my thing, and I see Robert [Smith, The Cure frontman] come up, and I sensed that he was authentically grateful to be there, and liked what I had to say. I went back and I watched them play, and it was like, “Yeah, all right, whatever’s happening here is pretty cool.”
So I take it back. Now please, let me in.
Is there anybody else nominated who you feel invested in getting in?
Well, look would it be great to be in there? Sure. But when I look at the ballot and see that Todd Rundgren and Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode aren’t in there? They all should be in there before I am. I wouldn’t be up there had it not been for those guys. And that’s when it starts to become a metric that’s hard to kinda… I get it’s not just about achievement, it’s popularity and it’s whatever-the-fuck. That’s when it all kinda starts to collapse into, "Hey, I’ll graciously accept, or I will just as graciously every year get emails saying we were snubbed, for the rest of my life." Whichever way it goes, it’s kind of not in my hands, y’know?