Letter to Robert Smith

Conceived and Written by Cory Wyatt

Summit, New Jersey 07091
September 12, 2001

Robert Smith
Suretone Records
1411 5th Street Suite 200
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Mr. Robert Smith,

    The events that rocked the world yesterday have affected me so deeply I feel the need to reach out to you. In my times of need, I have always turned to music to calm my wounded soul by immersing myself in something outside of what was bothering me. This time, however, I feel that my feelings have become too powerful to fix by ignoring them.  I can’t get the image of the planes hitting that building out of my head, and the sounds of the screams of those New Yorkers haunt my dreams at night. I’ve been drunk every minute since the news broke, and I can’t shake this feeling like much more is coming. By no means did I think that New York was a safe city, but I never could have imagined that such a massive scale attack could take place. I thought for sure that the government would have snuffed out anything that could cause this much destruction and violence, especially in a city as big and iconic as NYC. But here we are, in a crazy world where death and mayhem are a part of the human condition and nobody is safe anywhere.
    My decision to write you acts partly as an opportunity to get my own thoughts down on paper, but with the added benefit of writing to one of the greatest musicians of our generation and someone who I personally feel has always understood my struggles. Since I was a young child I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety issues, and I was never one who fit in with my peers. Music, especially dark and brooding tunes like the ones you are known for, have always given me an outlet for my angst and sadness when I needed it the most. Your catalog is so expansive and so immaculate that I haven’t touched the boundaries of it yet, but the albums and songs I have heard so far have left a lasting impact on my daily life. I still remember the first time I heard Disintegration two years ago. I’ve never been so relieved to know that my feelings of inadequacy and utter defeat were transcribed so perfectly into such a sonic force. I must have replayed that tape ten times that week, and I cried every single playthrough. In short, I could say that your music has influenced me to take my next steps in life.
    Capitalizing on my feelings about this national tragedy and the despair I can feel from this city around me, I’ve been writing lyrics and learning how to sing. I think the thing I most want to achieve is to make a band that is true to myself and captures emotions as captivatingly as you have in your many years of recording. I don’t want to be another rip-off goth band, riding the coattails of bands like Joy Division, Siouxie and the Banshees, and your own band The Cure. Rather, I’d like to transfer those feelings of angst, of depression and of hopelessness onto music that is more based in traditional heavy metal. Despite all of that, I want my music to have somewhat of a mainstream appeal, so that people of all walks of life can have that experience I had the first time I listened to you. If I can accomplish half of what you did on “Just Like Heaven,” blending moody overtones with popular radio chart success, I’ll be perfectly content.
    Basically, my hopes for this letter is that it’ll reach you and you’ll write back with some amazing advice that will change my point of view and give me some much-needed guidance in these crazy times we’re living in. However unlikely that may be, I’ll be happy knowing that I could let you know how much you’ve impacted my life and that this letter has helped me straighten out my thoughts.

Thank you for the music,
Gerard Way