Curt Smith and Tears For Fears Hit the Road, Jack
Disclaimer: Those of you who hate Twitter might want to just close this page and walk away now before you read any further. Your disdain for those who rely on the social media platform (what is it you call those that do? Twats?) is likely to erupt into a boiling volcano of rage by the end of this post. Or you may have your mind changed when you realize Twitter is not just about reading about Charlie Sheen’s mojo. Intrigued?
Let’s get the meat and potatoes on the table right off the bat. Lovers of all things 80s will be digging their Bass Weejuns out of the closet in anticipation of the upcoming Tears For Fears tour that will start hitting cities across the US, Mexico and South America on September 8. Sorry, fellow Canadian based fans-no dates have been announced for this side of the border. Somehow, some way, I will find reason to blame Stephen Harper for this.
Now, on to the Twitter business.
Tears For Fears bassist and vocalist Curt Smith is one of those guys who gets what Twitter can do for an artist that chooses to embrace the platform’s accessibility to both new and established fans. If you’re on Twitter, follow @curtsmith to see for yourself exactly what I mean. He isn’t on there to only promote a project or grandstand (which, from now on, will be referred to as ‘Sheening’), but to engage the fans that have taken the time to follow him and send him tweets. He replies to questions from them, re-tweets their posts, and hosts Twit Chats where he tries to talk to everyone involved. You also get the impression that he has a wicked sense of humour.
Case in point: I once jokingly tweeted Curt if (TFF drummer) Manny Elias and Simon Philips (session drummer to the stars) got into a street brawl, who would win? Curt’s response? “Two drummers? They’d never land a punch.”
Just how Twit-friendly is Curt?
I once spent an afternoon trying to get Peter Gabriel’s attention on Twitter. That particular afternoon I noticed he had tweeted several times while I was reading my feed, so I knew he was on there. I started off with a simple statement to him:
“Peter..lv your music. Biiiiiiiko!!!”
Nothing in response. I tried again.
“Peter…r u going to remake Sledgehammer? Kanye can rap on it!”
Again, zilch. He was still on there, though. He had just retweeted something about a human rights fundraising gala somewhere. I decided to ramp it up a bit.
“Peter…I’m shocking my monkey right now. Pls retweet.”
“Pete…you & Tony Levin could be the Wonderbread in a tasty Moon sandwich. What say you?”
Pete say nothing.
On the other hand, when I fired this off to Curt,
“Curt…if your arse was a life jacket on the Titanic I would have been the 1st one in the water”
the cops were at my door in less than thirty minutes. That’s an artist who knows how Twitter works.
All kidding aside, Curt has even used Twitter as a tool when recording solo projects, enlisting musicians he’s met through tweeting to play on some of his more recent material. After hearing about cellist Zoe Keating on Twitter and checking out clips posted of her on YouTube, Curt recruited her to play on his single All Is Love. Smith also released the track under a Creative Commons license, which allows anyone to remix, perform, or share the song, providing it’s not being used for commercial purposes. Personally, I think it’s pretty cool when an artist opens the door to the collaboration process, rather than keeping everything shrouded in secrecy.
Here’s All Is Love for your listening pleasure. If you’re one of those ADD types who give a song four seconds to make a statement, up the meds a bit and give this one its full run time. It’s worth it. You can find the track for download over at iTunes.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area you might want to check out Smith’s upcoming Residency shows at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. Smith has dubbed the shows ‘An Evening of Music and Sarcasm’, and the intimate setting should allow for plenty of up close audience interaction. Dates for the shows are April 14, 21, and 28, May 18 and 25, and June 1. Tickets are $25 for general admission seating and can be purchased here.
So, to finish things off here’s a little Tears For Fears for you all. Happy Sunday and all that jazz.