“Tears-for-Fears” singer Roland Orzabal: New album as grief therapy

For the first time since their comeback in 2004, British duo Tears for Fears released new music at the end of February. The album “The Tipping Point” helped singer Roland Orzabal (60) process the death of his wife Caroline, who died in 2017. “If you don’t know what to do anymore, music can take you to a better place, put you in a different state of mind,” said the musician in an interview with “Welt am Sonntag”.

The single “The Tipping Point” is “a love song for someone who dies, who you lose”. His wife Caroline, to whom he was married for 35 years, was an alcoholic, suffered from depression, dementia and liver cirrhosis. “I had to watch my wife struggle with her illness – and how she lost this battle,” says the 60-year-old in an interview. Music has an “effective power” that unites people.

“Never meet your heroes!”

Orzabal used Tears for Fears’ first album, The Hurting, as trauma therapy: it was largely about his difficult childhood. “In my early 20s, it was easy for me to mourn the trauma of my childhood,” said the singer in an interview. “To come to terms with my father being violent towards my mother, my parents’ divorce.”

According to his own statement, Roland Orzabal also owes the fact that he was able to process his childhood to the so-called “primal scream therapy”, which the US psychologist Arthur Janov (93) founded. Janov’s books served as the basis for many of the lyrics of Orzabal and Curt Smith (60), such as the hit “Shout”, and also as inspiration for the band’s name. The duo later distanced themselves from the psychologist after they met him personally, Orzabal says in an interview. “As the saying goes: never meet your heroes!”

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