Recording Tears For Fears’ first album in 18 years almost tore Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal apart.
The duo will release ‘The Tipping Point’, their first studio album since 2004’s ‘Everybody Loves a Happy Ending’, on February 25, but sessions for the record were far from plain sailing.
Speaking to the launch issue of Retro Pop, Curt Smith admits: “We got to the point a few years ago where I certainly wasn’t happy with what we were doing.
“Myself and Roland sat down and I said, ‘Look, if this is what you want to do, then you go ahead and do it, but it’s not for me.’
“That ended and we didn’t know what we were going to do. It was sort of up in the air.”
According to Roland, the band was being “pushed in various directions – not only by our past management but also a record company we were signed to,” which led to discontentment between the pair.
Curt adds of the original album: “It was just a lot of attempts at trying to make a modern hit single… And we’re crap at making modern records!”
Initially, they set the project to one side and focussed solely on live work, but it was a tragedy that reignited their creative flair and pushed the pair back into the studio, when Roland’s wife Caroline passed away.
That poignant moment reunited the pair and compelled them to reconvene and reassess their direction, with a view to pushing forward with a body of work that was mutually fulfilling.
“Roland said, ‘Look, let’s sit down and talk about this. What do you feel?’ And I said, ‘I think we have some good songs. But I just think that the recordings really aren’t right. They don’t sound like Tears for Fears – they sound like us trying to be someone else’,” Curt remembers.
“I think he’d come to the same realisation, having taken time away from it… So we sat down and plotted a path forward of how we could finish an album that we were both happy with.”
‘The Tipping Point’ is preceded by its lead single and title track, along with recent release No Small Thing, which begins as an acoustic ditty and flourishes into a full band moment, and became a “catalyst” for the album as we know it today.
Read the full interview in the Retro Pop 2022 Preview Special, out now. Get yours here: Retro Pop Store.