Tears For Fears:
Reinventing The Seeds Of Love
We rarely make
records that we enjoy making, says Tears For Fears Curt Smith. The
only criteria we normally enter a studio with is: Thats the last
record - lets not do that again, because it will be boring.
the new Tears For Fears record isnt boring. Everybody Loves
A Happy Ending is the first album by the reunited duo of Curt
Smith and Roland Orzabal since 1989s The Seeds Of Love.
With its colorful cover art and guitar-based pop-rock sound, Happy
Ending is a worthy successor to the Beatle-esque Seeds, and
is also a bold reinvention for Tears For Fears, whose synth-flavored,
quietly anxious songs were a major contribution to 80s rock.
Regarding the new albums 1960s vibe, Curt notes: The
songs were written like they were from that kind of era. We didnt
use any modern technology for the writing process . . . the whole
instrumentation on the record is just guitar, bass, upright piano,
Hammond organ, mini-Moog - they were just old, old instruments and
thats what really makes the sound.
Lyrically, TFF are still mining contemporary angst, with song titles
like Killing With Kindness, Quiet Ones,
and Who Killed Tangerine. Curt describes Everybodys
second cut, Closest Thing To Heaven, as a love
song with political overtones.
The lyrical content of Closest Thing To Heaven
is very much tied to Sowing The Seeds of Love. Our politics
havent changed that much in the time weve not worked
together - were certainly still left of center. [But] I dont
think we ever feel comfortable thrusting our politics down anyones
throat because politicians do that enough.
The time Curt and Roland spent apart saw upheaval both in world
politics and in music. While the early 90s rock scene was
overtaken by post-punkers like Nirvana, Roland Orzabal struggled
along under the Tears For Fears moniker, releasing three albums
that, except for 1993s Elemental, had little impact.
Curt moved to New York because as he now frankly admits, he was
tired of the rock star lifestyle. It was just becoming a big
business and I had lost my passion for music. The business side
was never really something I was comfortable with. Im a homebody.
I didnt enjoy the lack of a private life. In New York,
Curt found the anonymity he wanted. But he also met up with a new
collaborator, Charlton Pettus
He convinced me to start writing again. So we got into these
writing sessions and then he said Lets go play.
Curt and Charlton played in small New York clubs and recorded an
album under the name Mayfield. They both eventually moved to Los
Angeles and had started work on another Mayfield project when Curt
and Roland began to talk about renewing their collaboration.
Roland met [Charlton] and really liked him, says Curt.
So he became the third person. Weve
always had a third guy in the studio because you need
someone to cast the deciding vote. Charlton co-produced Everybody
Loves A Happy Ending and Curt describes him as someone who brings
out the best in people.
As for the title, ironic in that Tears For Fears is beginning again
rather than ending, Curt says it was Rolands suggestion. He
was joking. But I said, Thats perfect! Were
not known for our humor so thats why we used it.
For us the biggest bonus is that we finished the record and
we had a great time doing it. We got on together better than we
ever had before and at the end of the record we both really like
Everybody Loves A Happy Ending