Airborne Toxic Event Learn About Death While Getting Drunk With Robert Smith
It can be a very difficult thing to cope with.
I got drunk with Robert Smith in a hotel room once -- just sat there for three hours drinking beers and chatting -- and he told me at 26 that he realized he was going to die, you know, someday. That was true for me probably around the time my mom got sick and all that stuff happened to me [before the first album]. You suddenly realize that your time is finite, and that the choices you make in life end up revolving around how much time you think you have left. That can be monstrously disfiguring. That can really f--- you up. It's terrifying. That fear and sense of diminishing and dwindling is eventually really redemptive because it's humbling. You realize like "I need to be a person of merit." I want to be a certain type of man in the world. You set about that task. This record deals with that idea a lot. I was struggling with that a lot these last years.
Is this album your way of fulfilling the desire to do something great with your life?
I don't know about great. Time has this way of making your day-to-day exuberances and failures just seem trivial and almost charming. Being on tour the last couple years, I've met a lot of people and I get a lot of long letters from people that are touched by the songs. I've met people who've died that were fans, where we spent time with their families and [I've had] everybody and their mother telling me "That was our breakup song" about one or another Airborne songs.
What happens is you start to feel like your stories are just part of this larger human narrative. You're just one of a million stories. But that's cool. Your failures don't seem so bad. Your successes don't seem so great. There's room to just be alive and part of this grand narrative. I felt that a lot when I went to write this