Curt Smith Answers Some Questions:
What is your favorite album of Tears For Fears?
Everybody Loves A Happy Ending of course, the favorites always tend to be the most recent
If asked to record or perform a Beatles song as a tribute, which would you and Roland choose and why?
Far too many to choose from but I think "Come Together" would be one of our favorites.
What is your favorite video of Tears For Fears?
Sowing The Seeds Of Love. It's the one video that really captures visually what we were trying to achieve musically.
How would you rate each Tears for Fears album out of 10 and why?
The Hurting - 8/10 - fantastic for it's time but hasn't aged as well due to the production.
Songs from the Big Chair - 9/10 - a very complete album musically, lyrically and it's production has held up well
Seeds of Love - 6/10 - I still however think that the track "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" is as near to perfection as we've got, unfortunately I think the album in general has too many weak songs and overblown production
Everybody Loves a Happy Ending - 9/10 - I believe every song is strong and the production and feel is refreshingly relaxed
What is the one style you still chuckle about, when you look back to your TFF days in the early 80's?
Bad clothing, especially the Katherine Hamnett pants that look like diapers.
Do you know if Caroline Orzabal is in the TFF video for "Shout"? I have friends who say she is the one behind Roland dancing snd wearing red boots...but me and another friend are pretty sure she's the blonde in the back (towards the left of Ian Stanley) and is wearing a gray diamond-patterned sweater. (She can be seen when the two little blonde boys sing into the microphone in the foreground). Do you know which (if any) is her?!?!
I looked and don't see her anywhere in the video, she is however quite prominent in the "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" video.
Based on the set lists posted by fans while you and the band were on the road touring/promoting Everybody Loves A Happy ('04-'05), it seems that you guys played MOST of the new album with the exception of "Killing With Kindness" and "Ladybird". I was wondering, why were those 2 songs never played live? I personally feel they are two of the strongest tracks in TFF's body of work.
I believe we did do "Killing With Kindness". "Ladybird" turned out to be a little too complex to perform live.
"Fish out of Water" reminds me of "How do you Sleep?" Lennon to McCartney. How were you two able to rise above the animosity and reunite? Without going into too much detail, who made the first move at reconciliation and were there apologies on both sides?
At many points in any relationship bad things are said in the heat of the moment. Roland approached me to do another record and neither of us has spoken about it. We're grown up enough to know that in the grand scheme of things it's unimportant.
What is your favorite Tears for Fears bass line to perform?
"Sowing The Seeds Of Love"
Hello Mr. Smith! You got a fairly well know Hollywood starlette to be featured in your music video for "Closest thing to Heaven". How did Brittany Murphy come to be in the project?
We met, I asked and she said yes.
I think TFF has also many beautiful 'darker' songs like "Watch Me Bleed", "The Hurting", "The Devil", and many more songs... Do you both (Roland and you) like and initiate these songs or is it one in particular? What kind of style in music do you both prefer?
We both do to a certain degree as we think an album should always have balance.
Who wrote "What are we Fighting For"?
Charlton & I.
I noticed you have a cowriting credit on "Sowing the Seeds of Love" - what was your contribution to the track? Your vocal tag is fantastic!
What were your influences when writing the new Everybody Loves a Happy Ending album?
Anything we were listening to or had listened to (Floyd, Flaming Lips, Air, Beatles etc.). We honestly don't think about it but work on the premise that we should make the best album possible at that given moment.
By all means don't answer this if you don't want to but, how is your relationship with Roland these days? Was he different to work with on the recent album to your last experience with him?
Polyamorous? We get on much better that way.
Do you have a view on Roland's Tomcats Screaming Outside?
No, they're in Bath outside his house and I'm in LA. There's always Google Earth I suppose.
What's your favourite track on Everybody Loves a Happy Ending?
"Secret World" (sometimes alternating w/ "Size Of Sorrow")
Your vocal on "Advice for The Young at Heart" was absolutely fantastic. Would you consider performing this song again live?
I must confess that it's not one of my favorite songs even though I do as you say sing it well
Will there ever be yet another TFF album?
We of course never say never.
Looking back now many years later, how do you feel about The Seeds of Love as an album overall?
I think it was a great piece of production. "Sowing the Seeds of Love" itself is probably still the closest we've come to perfection. My only negative is that I think a couple of the tracks were substandard and meandering.
Have you run accross any of your old TFF band/tour mates in recent years? Will, Manny, Nikki, Oletta, etc. What do you think of Goldfrapp (the band)?
Over the last few years I've seen Nikki, Oleta and Ian Stanley. LOVE Goldfrapp.
Besides Japan, what other Asian country have the band toured in? Will you still consider doing shows outside the US/Euorope, say, The Philippines?Thanks so much, God Bless.Ted
For me unfortunately it's only been Japan. Would love to do more but only time will tell.
There are several versions of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by many artists. Nas is a hip hop group that comes to mind. They sample the song. Many artists have. A compliment it may be, but do they have permission to do so? How does that work? How do you react when you hear that?
For anyone to use samples of our music on a commercial release they need to ask our permission, give us a writing credit and pay royalties. Some I like more than others
"Mother's Talk" - what is the 2 syllable phrase repeated over and over? Everyone I ask says "James Brown", but I don't hear it.
It is indeed an audience chanting James Brown.
What exactly is being said under the music in "Pharaohs"?
It's a shipping forecast from English radio.
What is your favorite TFF song from the Roland solo era?
"Fish Out Of Water".
Roland has been very quiet for a while. Is there any news you can share with us about him?
He's living in England again and he has far more hair than me.
Were you involved in the remix "Everybody Wants to RUN the World" or was that done by a third party?
My involvement was limited to singing the word "run."
On "Last Days On Earth" from Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, what sound is that at the very start of the song? It sounds almost like a ball being bounced off a piano key.
It's actually a preset on a Korg synth called "bouncing ball."
Why does Tears for Fears have two versions of "Mother's Talk"? Is it true that the group decided to reject the first version?
Yes, we felt it could be better and more rhythmic.
Have you heard Patti Smith's version of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"? If so, what do you think of it?
I have. I find it a little peculiar, though I feel honored that she recorded it.
Is there another TFF album coming soon?
What are your favorite songs on each TFF album?
The Hurting - "Mad World".
Songs from the Big Chair - "The Working Hour".
Seeds of Love - "Sowing The Seeds Of Love".
Everybody Loves a Happy Ending - "Secret World".
I have always wondered why you walked away from TFF and would really like to hear your side of the story.
There were two main reasons. One, Roland and I were finding it increasingly harder to agree with each other on anything. Two (and far more important), I really wasn't dealing with being famous very well, especially the lack of a private life. This was at a time when I was going through a divorce from my first wife and it became very clear that I really had no close friends in the UK, just "interested parties.” I then met Frances in New York and started to enjoy the freedom that NY gave me. No one cares who you are and I was free to be myself without being judged by anyone.
How come when you and Roland sing TFF songs, one person sings a whole song instead of one person singing one verse and another person sings another verse?
As far as singing goes, it's normally quite obvious which songs suit either of us as we have very different styles of singing. Normally the chorus is both of us.
What exactly is "The Working Hour" about?
It's from the TFF socialist period (he says with a smile), it's about "working for the man."
Do you sing along when you're out and about shopping and a TFF song comes on?
No, but my children take great pleasure in embarrassing me by singing along as loudly as possible.
Did you and Roland ever get into a fistfight? Like an all out brawl?
No, we use words - which is a far more painful experience.
Have you ever heard the version of "Shout" done by the metal band Disurbed?
I actually met Disturbed in Chicago and went to the studio when they were recording it.
Roland wrote most of the TFF songs, and has a fine voice, yet you sang lead on many of the group's biggest hits. Why is that?
Normally it's down to whose voice suits which song. Our voices are quite different and it's normally obvious who the song suits the most.
How old were you when you met Roland?
Why didn't you guys like "The Way You Are"?
It was a confusing time for us as we hadn't found a real direction after The Hurting. We're really not into doing one off singles as it doesn't allow you the creative room that an album does. It's OK but certainly not the best thing we've done.
Do you like Roland's dancing? ..The "Mad World" video springs to mind!
It's an acquired taste.
Are you and Roland making a new album? How long does it take to make an album, anyway?
Not at the moment, we're too busy doing other things. How long is a piece of string? (It varies of course.)
Why is there no Tears For Fears MySpace page?
Because Elllll-trrrringham hasn't created one in his spare time. (For those of you who don't know Fred, he was responsible for all the drums on Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, and obviously has too much free time on his hands right now.)
How is Roland? What's he up to these days?
We haven't spoken for a while, but last I heard he was fine and had just finished writing a book. He also travels a lot so is hard to pin down.