In every generation, a little Tears for Fears must fall. During MTV's initial crest in the '80s, a drop landed in the form of the moody, ebullient video for "Shout." A few years later, the magical mystery tour "Sowing the Seeds of Love" expanded consciousnesses, and much later, a new clutch of fans heard the stately grand piano of "Head Over Heels" in 2001's Donnie Darko (not to mention Gary Jules' limpid cover of "Mad World"). This year, American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert brought "Mad World" to yet another crop of teenyboppers.
It's a deep legacy for a band never known for prolificacy. In the early '90s, the duo of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith split after a mere three albums, and while Orzabal kept producing material under the Tears for Fears moniker, the two didn't reconcile until 2004's Everybody Loves a Happy Ending.
"When I left the band, it was a time when we were just tired of each other," explains Smith. "We were still in our late 20s at that point in time, and we'd been living in each other's pockets since we were 13. I guess we didn't really talk for nine or 10 years, and then out of the blue Roland's manager called me and asked if I'd be interested in working with Roland again. Initially I thought no, but then I sat down and really thought about it, and the fact is that being married with a family and everything else, things are very different for me. And I thought to myself, maybe they're different for him too. Our relationship is probably the best it's been because it's relaxed and we have more precious things at home than work."
Tears for Fears toured extensively in support of Happy Ending, but this year's short summer jaunt is a loose, informal affair, says Smith. "Over the last couple of years, the only touring we've done is in Europe with a full orchestra, and it doesn't really leave you much room to experiment. We said, well, why don't we go and do some shows and actually play again and not have that very rigid format? This tour really is specifically for our enjoyment."