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Tears For Fears had “stopped communicating”. The ‘The Hurting’ hitmakers – Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith – will return with their first album in 17 years, ‘The Tipping Point’, next month.
But the follow-up to 2004’s ‘Everybody Loves A Happy Ending’ comes after much turmoil within the group and a “dark period” in Roland’s life, following the death of his late wife, Caroline Orzabal, who battled alcoholism and mental illness, which led to him seeking grief counselling, and his own stints in rehab.
In an interview with Music Week, Roland said when asked if there was ever any doubt there would be another LP: “It was always in the balance.
“We’d forged an album, back in 2016, and Universal – who had our catalogue – said, ‘We love this, we’d like to take two tracks and put out a greatest hits album’.
“The Greatest Hits came out, ‘Rule The World’, and it did very well.
“But we were left with a depleted album – once we’d taken those tracks off, we realised it wasn’t good enough.
“This coincided with a dark period of my life. I was having a lot of personal problems with my late wife who was becoming more and more ill with mental illness and alcoholism [Caroline Orzabal passed away in 2017]. So we dropped the ball for a little while.
“We went back to touring, and Curt [Smith, Tears For Fears co-founder] and my relationship got stressed beyond anything natural. We stopped communicating.”
The 60-year-old musician also credits meeting a new partner with bringing him out of the doldrums and recalled how he and bandmate Curt, also 60, reconnected doing the thing they do best: songwriting.
Roland added: “Things started to look up. I did therapy, grief counselling and a couple of rehabs, met a new woman, and my general demeanour and approach to life started to brighten up.
“I sat down with Curt at the beginning of 2020 when he had one foot in the door and one foot out the door.
“We sat in his house and, for the first time in decades, wrote a song together and, by the end of 2020, we listened to the whole thing and went, ‘Wow’.
“Thank God we didn’t release anything in 2016 because this is the best of the two albums merged together.
“What’s most important is the narrative of going through dark times and coming out of dark times, as opposed to the narrative of just going through dark times.”
Tears For Fears had an acrimonious split in 1991, before reuniting in 2000.