Cure co-founder Lol Tolhurst returns with Levinhurst

He may be famous as the co-founder of The Cure, but Lol Tolhurst says that fans should come to hear his new band Levinhurst at Radio Radio tonight with an open mind. “My past is a bit of a double edged sword for me,” Tolhurst said. “It can open doors, but it doesn’t always open people’s minds. There’s certainly an element of my past in this album. It’s not the poor man’s Cure. It’s something completely new. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making it the most distinctive picture of where we are as a band right now.”

Tolhurst co-wrote some of The Cure’s biggest hits, but after an acrimonious breakup with the group in the late 1980s, he dropped below the musical radar for more than a decade. “Mainly I’ve been raising my son, who’s 12 years old. I’ve been storing up experiences. I moved from England to California. I got divorced, I got remarried. All these things have changed. It’s been a radical change in my life, and I think that’s reflected in the album,” Tolhurst said.

“The impression I want to give is of a bit of a journey, a redemptive journey in your life. Because that’s what’s happened to me. I’ve been through the wringer in my life and come out the other end, and I’m glad to have made it through the tunnel.”

In the interim, he’s made up with life-long friend and fellow Cure founder Robert Smith. “It’s like family. Sometimes you get on and sometimes you don’t. A few years ago, Robert and I got back together and decided we wanted to be friends again.”

Most recently, Tolhurst formed Levinhurst with his wife and vocalist Cindy Levinson and instrumentalist Dayton Borders. Their first album, Perfect Life, weaves together influences from rock, Middle Eastern, electronic, Gothic and many more styles. “I like a lot of the electronic music being done today,” Tolhurst said.

“Some of these people are not musically adept in the traditional sense, but they have very exciting ideas, and they utilize what they have, and it reminds me of myself when I was starting out, right at the tail end of the punk movement … I like any music that I perceive as honest. It doesn’t actually matter what style it is. If I can hear that the person who’s making the music is being real and honest, then I can relate to it very easily.”

Some of those same modern artists often point to The Cure as an influence on their own work. “It’s both humbling and flattering at the same time,” Tolhurst said. “I get to realize just how much we contributed to and changed the rock world. I look back at a lot of what we did and I have a lot of pride in it. And with some of these new acts coming up, I see a passing of the torch.”

Though it’s been more than a decade since his last recording, Tolhurst said he slipped comfortably back into songwriting and leadership roles. “We went out to the desert, all of us at one point, and had a couple of creative periods out there and wrote a lot of things,” Tolhurst said. “By and large myself and Cindy worked on the lyrics, and I did a lot of the music with Dayton. I learned a long time ago that a band can’t be too democratic. There has to be a captain in charge of steering the ship, and at the moment that’s me.”

After the final few dates of this tour, the band will be heading back into the studio for a remix album, with Robert Smith producing at least one track, and then on the road again for a larger summer tour.

WHO: Levinhurst

WHEN: Wednesday, March 31, 9 p.m.

WHERE: Radio Radio, 1119 E. Prospect St.

TICKETS: $10, ages 21 and over


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