Tears for Fears cofounder Roland Orzabal is thinking about his future. Now middle-aged, the musician behind “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” wants to be sure that 2017 is a year to remember.
“I’m 55 and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep doing this,” says Orzabal, who is joined in Tears for Fears by Curt Smith. “So, I just want to make sure this year is a good year.”
Part of 2017 will be spent coheadlining a tour with Hall & Oates, a jaunt that comes to Gila River Arena in Glendale on Monday, July 17. The band travels south to headline Casino del Sol on Thursday, July 20. The run includes many days off in between gigs, something that Orzabal isn’t used to
“I couldn’t believe it when our manager called us and told us about the days off,” he says with a laugh. “We’re used to zigzagging across America, creating this whole circle and ending up in the same place we were a week ago. Fingers crossed, in such words, it should be a walk in the park.”
Tears for Fears is slated to release its seventh full-length album in the fall on Warner Bros. Records. Orzabal calls it a “top-secret project,” one that collaborators like the English pop band Bastille haven’t even heard. He’s not sure that fans will experience the songs on tour, either.
“This is in discussion,” he says. “The first thing I said was, ‘For god’s sake guys, we have to put out something (an album) so we can play something.’ I know the album’s not due to be released until October, but it would be nice, in my opinion—and I’ve expressed my opinion on Twitter—if we played at least one songs off the new album and release it to the public in some form so they don’t just have it on their phones.”
According to Tears for Fears’ spokeswoman, the tour will feature the hits.
Orzabal says he has played the album, whose title cannot yet be revealed, for a few people in the industry in England. They described the release as “clubby.”
“Do you know what that means? Most of it is very danceable,” he says. “Most of it is up tempo. There are a few emotional songs, but most of all they have crazy electronics. It’s very modern.
“I was quite surprised myself during the playback. I thought, ‘I think we may have accidentally made a great record.’”
Tears for Fears has been working on the album, its first in 13 years, for five years. Last year, the band had to delay its work when Orzabal’s wife was treated for an undisclosed illness.
“That held everything up,” he says. “So, we had to cancel a tour. We stopped working on the record, and we started again at the end of last year.”
Now that the project is “in the can,” Orzabal is focusing on the tour, which features songs like “Shout,” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Sowing the Seeds of Love,” “Mad World” and, in some cities, a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”
“I count myself very lucky that our songs have resonated and held on,” Orzabal says. “I’m also very lucky that artists have chosen to reinvent the songs as well. It makes it more interesting for me, I must say. I feel very privileged in many ways.”
To keep current, Orzabal relies on the musical tastes of his 22-year-old son, who introduced him to Metronomy, Frank Ocean and “countless others”
“I do listen to an awful lot of new stuff, but vicariously,” he says. “That’s how I keep it fresh.”
Hall & Oates, Tears for Fears and Allen Stone, Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, 623.772.3800, gilariverarena.com, 7 p.m. Monday, July 17, tickets start at $30.25.
Tears for Fears, AVA Amphitheater at Casino del Sol Resort, 5655 W. Valencia Road, Tucson, casinodelsol.com/events/tears-for-fears, 8 p.m. Thursday, July 20, $30-$65.