Manny Elais

Every year produces its musical surprises and success stories, and Tears For Fears was certainly one of 1985’s most pleasant. Their second album, Songs From The Big Chair, managed to please intellectuals, audiophiles, and teenyboppers alike with angst-ridden tales inspired by the traumatic childhood experiences of leaders Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, and psychologist Arthur Janov’s controversial book The Primal Scream. This may seem like pretty heady stuff for the Top 40, but Orzabal, Smith, keyboardist/writer lan Stanley, and drummer/percussionist Manny Elias also produced a collection of songs with infectious rhythms and tenacious pop hooks—an album you could both think and dance to.

Not surprisingly, Songs From The Big Chair was a major worldwide hit. The LP hit the top spot in virtually every country, propelled there by three of the year’s best singles: the grooving “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” the tribal “Shout,” and the complex love song “Head Over Heels.” The first two were worldwide Number Ones, while the last was a Top-10 hit. Tears For Fears’ eight-month world tour was an SRO success, as well.

While multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Roland Orzabal and bassist/vocalist Curt Smith are the core (and the visualfocus) of the band, Manny Elias and lan Stanley give TFF’s distinctively moody songs their power and grace. What is interesting about Songs From The Big Chair, from a drummer’s perspective, is that Elias is a traditional, feel-oriented drummer, fond of, and inspired by, the likes of Bernard Purdie, Steve Gadd, and Andy Newmark. Yet here he is anchoring a thoroughly modern, electronic band more inspired by art school types like Peter Gabriel and Roxy Music. But it is the interplay of man and machine between Elias’ drums and the electronic percussion and keyboards that makes listening to the album so fascinating.

BW: Did you expect Songs From The Big Chair to be such a big hit when you were recording it?

ME: When we were recording this album, we were told by very important people whose opinions we respect that, if it wasn’t out by September of 1984 at the latest, our careers would be over. But there was just no way we could have rushed it and put it out any quicker. So it’s pleasing in that respect to now find ourselves in this situation. We said, “Listen, please. We can’t do it. It’s going really well.” Fortunately, “Shout” came about, and everybody heard that and thought, “Okay, wait a minute. This sounds great. Let’s just give them a bit more time.” And then “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” came about, which originally wasn’t going to go on the album. It was just an idea Roland had, and he wasn’t too into it; he didn’t have any words for it, just the 12/8 shuffle, the triplet on the hi-hat, and stuff like that.

Chris Hughes [producer] had a fair bit to do with how it came about, because we all work together. If I’m not there sometimes, Roland’s great on the machine. He’ll put something down and then he’ll say,”What do you think of this?” And I’ll say, “Oh, why don’t we try this?” He’ll sit down and play my drums, and I’ll think, “Wow!” He approaches it from a completely different angle, so I’ll pick it up and say, “Wait a minute. That’s a great idea, but why don’t we do this?” He’s amazing. He’s so inspiring for ideas. So is Curt. He plays drums really well.

BW: It’s strange how many big hits are last-minute additions to albums, and are often viewed by the artist as throwaway tracks or filler.

ME: Yes. It was literally like that. It was almost a throwaway. We needed another track. In the very early stages, Roland liked a song someone else had written. He wrote about six songs when he took a couple months off, and “Everybody” and “Shout” were two of them. He wasn’t totally enamored of “Everybody” at the time. It’s a great song to play live. It just grooves along.

BW: It’s a little out of character for Tears For Fears. It’s sort of a rock ‘n’ roll shuffle.

ME: It is. It’s very poppy. But it’s nice because it has a certain quirk to it. The fact that it is 12/8 is nice; it’s similar to “The Way You Are,” which is a single we released [in mid-1984] that didn’t do too much, but it had a pattern on it. We felt “The Way You Are” was a bit of a stepping stone for us, though. It took us slightly off track in one way, but it made us stop and think.

BW: How does it feel to be an artsy British band sitting in the Top 10 surrounded by pure pop artists like Madonna, Prince, and Bryan Adams? You don’t really fit in. It’s a pleasure to have a nice band in there.

ME: It’s very gratifying, for the reason you said. We feel—and hopefully I don’t sound too snotty for saying this—good about being there, because we got there on the strength of the songs and a bit of image, but very little image. The reason I say that is because, every time I look through magazines, we’re always there, but if you look in back, where posters and stuff like that are advertised, you’ll see everybody—the Whams and the Spandau Ballets and the Culture Clubs—but there’ll never be any posters of us. What we’re pleased about is that our profile is relatively low as far as that whole image thing goes. I come to the shows and am amazed every night. I’m playing away, and they know all the words to “Everybody” and “Shout.” They even know a lot of the first album stuff, and that’s very gratifying.

BW: What was the particular challenge for you in developing a drum concept for this band?

ME: When the whole thing came together, they asked me to do some demos with them. At the time, I was heavily influenced by the approach Peter Gabriel had taken with no cymbals. I was very aware of Andy Newmark, Steve Gadd, Rick Marotta, Jerry Marotta, Ritchie Hayward, and Bernard Purdie, who I love dearly, and who can all sit on a beat and just make it cook by playing hardly anything. I thought, “I’d love to play that kind of stuff, but there are so many great people playing that. I need a slightly different angle.” I vividly remember that there was nothing much but putting the snare beat on “Mad World,” and it sort of started from there without using any hats. We just developed it into playing patterns and parts that groove, because we have a lot of mid-tempo numbers like “The Hurting,” “Shout,”and “Start Of The Breakdown” that tend to groove, and there’s very little hi-hat work in a lot of them. So we made a point of trying to go for something like that. Between the songs they wrote and the rhythms I came up with, we hit a formula that felt good to us—patterns. “The Working Hour” came about from the pattern. We were in rehearsal one day, and I just started playing the intro pattern, Roland started playing a guitar bit, and lan had a bit of another song. It’s like two songs put together, but it’s got such a groove to it—that pattern—and it’s a little bit different.

BW: “Broken” has a pretty insistent groove to it, thanks to the drum pattern.

ME: “Broken” had a really frenetic LinnDrum pattern on it, which was like mega bass drum beats going off. Of course, I couldn’t play that live, because it was kind of written in the studio. When the riff started off, I just started playing square beats on the snare and popping the bass drum in at the end of the bar. It sounded very rock ‘n’ roll to us at the time and we thought, “Wait a minute. Dare we do this?” It’s something for people to latch onto. It’s normal, as opposed to “The Working Hour” and stuff like that.

BW: Can you tell me how “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and “Shout” came together from a drummer’s point of view?

ME: “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was done totally in the studio. Roland came up with the song, went into the studio, and it was jammed around on, not so much with drums, but with machines to find the right feel. It’s as simple as that, basically. The shuffle feel was Roland’s idea; it was a 12/8 feel. Having already done a 12/8 before with “The Way You Are,” rather than complicate it, this needed a much, much cleaner approach as far as the drums went. It’s like our Steely Dan track in a way. That’s the approach we went for.

“Shout” was another idea of Roland’s rhythmically. It was something I did on a track called “Start Of The Breakdown” in combination with what he heard on a Talking Heads album. Sometimes I listen to a certain band or a certain song, and it gives me an idea for a pattern that’s totally alien to the song.

BW: It’s very difficult to draw a mental, aural line between the acoustic drums and the electronic drum pattern on “Everybody.” They really mesh tightly.

ME: Yeah. The drum machine is playing the 16ths. It’s the combination of that and the triplets on the hats. That works very well.

BW: “Shout” is really a drummer’s song. You control the tempo and the dynamics of the whole song.

ME: Everybody who plays drums should have a go at that number. It’s just great fun. It’s not fast, and it’s not tricky. The rhythm is so simple. It’s so mid-tempo, and it just cooks. It’s lovely. At the end of the set, I can’t wait. I think, ” ‘Shout’—great!”

BW: How do you determine what you’ll play, and what’s left to electronic percussion and the keyboard-derived sounds?

ME: That comes about by actually sitting down and playing. You can mentally visualize it. I pick whatever would be the most groove to play. For example, I personally wouldn’t like to play 16ths on the hat and have the triplet on the machine, since I can’t punctuate quite so much with that. The less I’m playing, the more economical it is for me. In a way, it’s a bit harder because the few drummers that we’ve had supporting us would ask me, “How do you do that?” It’s one of those rhythms that, when they get it, it’s so exciting to play. [He slaps the cross patterns from “Everybody” on his thighs.] It’s pure enjoyment for me.

BW: Does Roland present you and the band with a completed demo including a drum pattern, or does he come in with a song and ask you to work with him on a rhythm?

ME: It varies. More often than not, if he’s written it like a complete song with a rhythm, he’ll tend to stick with that. And I’ll not have that much to do with it, except maybe I’ll say, “Why don’t we try this here? Why don’t we try that there?” Other than that, the songs that I’m more involved with are generally while we’re either sound checking or jamming, or I’ll have an idea and pump it on the machine. He’ll say great and take it away. The way it’s done is very unusual. Often, when Chris Hughes is in the studio, if I’m not there, they’ll come up with something between the two of them. Chris Hughes plays drums, so there’s absolutely no worry about machine programming that’s going to sound just like any other machine programming. He knows about drums, and he knows what drum fills sound good. So it’s great from my point of view. I know I won’t have to go into the studio and say, “Listen guys. That drum fill is on every other record. It just doesn’t work.” That is, I think, a strong point.

BW: So Roland and Chris are very drum conscious.

ME: Absolutely. They all play drums, so we’re very aware of the rhythmic approach to a song, and we feel that how it’s done is very important, as opposed to just knocking it off and keeping it straight 2’s and 4’s.

BW: What song from Songs From The Big Chair or The Hurting were you most responsible for?

ME: Well, I’m not responsible for any of them. The one that I feel I’m perhaps most responsible for, as far as writing goes, is probably “The Working Hour.” There were some chords Roland and lan had beating around in their heads. When I came up with the pattern, they automatically fit. The initial approach was that Roland had a song and an idea. He wanted something a little different, like “Memories Fade” for instance, that could be played with straight 16’s and a square beat on the snare. Instead, I popped in lots of pushes. [He demonstrates the pattern vocally.] Is that going to confuse people?

I’m very verbal when it comes to drum sounds, [laughs] I can’t write it out for you, but you know what I mean. I can’t read music. I did try. I took a couple of lessons once, but it was miles away in Bristol. The teacher was an old jazzer who spent more time telling me about the sessions he did with some female singer on a TV show than actually teaching me what it was about.

BW: How closely do you and Curt work together? I think people tend to forget that he’s a bass player as well as a singer/frontman.

ME: Fairly closely, but in a very nonchalant way. Occasionally, he’ll have an idea or I’ll have an idea, and I’ll say, “Why don’t we try this on this number?” We’ll try it, it will work, and we’ll keep it. But we try to stay away from the “bass drum and bass guitar together” approach. We try to work at cross rhythms as much as possible, rather than actually playing identical notes with the bass drum and the bass guitar. He is also a great bass player. He is a much better bass player than I think people give him credit for, because they assume he’s the lead singer. But some of the lines he’s come up with are exciting to listen to and to play.

BW: Do you prefer working live or in the studio?

ME: I like them both. I like the fact that the unpredictable can happen in the studio, because nothing is pinned down that well when we actually go to the studio. It’s not like, “Okay, this is it. We’ve rehearsed it. Let’s record it.” That’s why we spend so much time in there. With this album, it was more to see what works and what feels good, rather than being totally precious about it. But myself, growing up through the latter part of the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, and all kinds of people like that, I’m very much into playing live. I love playing the drums live.

BW: This is your first tour of America. How are the audiences here compared to others you’ve encountered on your 1985 World Tour?

ME: Great, very friendly. In England, they’re a bit reserved, and they’re a little bit more image conscious, I think. In Canada, they were very friendly, and they knew about Ian [Stanley, keyboardist and songwriter] and myself. Ian and I have been with the band from the year “dot,” but nobody knows too much about us, because Roland and Curt tend to get a lot of the attention. In Europe, they’re beginning to know Ian and me, because it’s our third tour over there. The audiences in Europe are very tough. In Paris, there were 7,000 people in this tent, and it was one of the best shows we’ve done, but their attitude was, “Come on, entertain us! We want to hear it. Play it loud. Hit us hard, low, fast.” You know—take no prisoners.

But over here, they’re friendly. They have a good ear over here. They know if it’s too loud or if it could be louder. Robbie, our sound engineer, said that on a couple of nights somebody’s looked ’round, and he’s said, “Wait, I know there’s a guitar solo here.” So they’re a very appreciative audience over here.

Tears For Fears

BW: What kind of equipment are you using on this tour?

ME: I have a Yamaha Recording Custom kit, comprised of 8″, 10″, 12″, 16″ and 18″ toms, and a 20″ bass drum; I have four homemade octobans, a 17″ Chinese crash, a 20″ thin K. Zildjian China crash, a 17″ normal, heavy K. Zildjian crash, and a 16″ K. Zildjian crash; I have Zildjian hats. I like them a lot. I have an Amir bottom and a Power Beat top on the hats. I have 7- series Yamaha pedals, and that’s about it, I think. Yamahas—I love them. I use a Ludwig snare; I’ve always used a Ludwig snare—a Super-Sensitive. It’s great.

BW: Is there a difference in the way you set up your kit on stage and in the studio?

ME: Not very much. How we set it up in the studio just depends on what’s on the track. Live, everything just goes up, and I reproduce it as near as possible. I have as much fun as possible live by throwing things in. There’s no one over my shoulder saying, “Oh no, don’t do that fill over there.” So live I can basically say, “Do you remember all those fills you didn’t want me to do?” [laughs] So I have a bit of fun like that.

BW: Do you plan to incorporate more electronic percussion into your drumkit?

ME: I used to operate the LinnDrum on the last tour, because we have a LinnDrum click going along with us. I’ve thought about it. I’ve played some stuff and recorded some stuff on Simmons drums, and I haven’t really got on with it. It hasn’t sparked any kind of emotion for me, as far as playing goes. I love the feel of the stick hitting the 8″ and the 10″, and the reaction I get back from it. I would use them if they were called for, but there’s no way I would out of personal choice.

BW: You play a lot more percussive punctuation with Tears For Fears than you did with Interview, where you were basically a straight-ahead rock and pop drummer. Which style of playing do you prefer?

ME: I like what I’m doing at the moment very much, simply because I find that it keeps my interest going when I’m actually playing. However, I do miss that; I’d love Talking Heads to give me a phone call— not that that’s likely—or Hall & Oates, or Springsteen—something like that—just to get up there and push the band. In Tears For Fears, the keyboards are in layers, and they bring in different little ideas here and there. I punctuate and just lay down a basic rhythm with bass drum and snare. I try to keep the bass drum and snare recognizable. Then I fill in a part, and try to make it as musical as possible—I know that sounds a bit high-flying—with the toms, so that it does add a little part of its own to it, and I’ve still got the bass drum and snare pumping away.

BW: Is it important for you to be involved with a relatively mature, intelligent band? Interview was a fairly intellectual, literate pop band, and Tears For Fears aren’t particularly lightweight. Do you prefer to be in a band that has some serious intent?

ME: I do enjoy it. It’s not through design, because both bands asked me to play with them, as opposed to me being a founding member, as it were. After having played with them, I enjoy it a lot more than I think I would if I was with a straightforward rock band. However, I’d love to do what Mel Gaynor does with Simple Minds. That guy’s great. I miss that sort of aspect of what we do, but then I know from what we do that a lot of people think, “Hmmm, this is interesting. This has a different angle on it.”

BW: You’ve mentioned Jerry Marotta and Mel Gaynor, who play with British acts. Do you like any American drummers in particular?

ME: You people over here keep coming out with all these amazing players. I don’t know where they come from. Vinnie Colaiuta: I went to see Zappa and I thought, “Who’s this guy? I’ve never seen him before.” He’s a stunning player. There are such good players over here, and they know about their drums. They know about tuning. They know about the sizes of drums they need to get the sound they want. In England, there are people like Pete Thomas, who plays with Elvis Costello, and Steve Jansen, who used to play with Japan. They are great drummers and they do know their art, but there are many more over here who just appear from nowhere and just knock me out. Omar Hakim is astounding.

BW: Let’s get into the Manny Elias bio. Tell me about your childhood and growing up in Bath.

ME: I wasn’t born in Bath, actually. I was born in Calcutta, India. My father’s father was a very staunch, Orthodox Jewish person who had business dealings in India. My mother was from Australia; her father moved over to India because he was in the aircraft industry. My parents met, and suddenly I arrived on the scene. When I was 12, we moved to England so I could get decent schooling. I went to a prep school in Sussex, until I was about 13 years old, and then I went to a public school in Wellington, in Somerset. That was it. I mean, I wanted to play the drums since I was 12 years old—ever since I heard that intro Ringo does on the toms on “She Loves You.”

BW: That’s a strange coincidence. Rob Hirst of Midnight Oil told me that, when he heard the drum break in “She Loves You,” he knew his destiny was to play drums.

ME: I said to the schoolmaster who taught music at my public school, ” I’d like to play drums. Is there any possibility of that?” and he said [in a wizened, old veddy British schoolmaster’s voice], “Ohhhh, well. Mmmm . . . drums, not really. Piahhno, viola, violin, you know.” I got so much grief. People said, “What do you want to play the drums for?” Basically, people think drummers are of slightly less intelligence than other people because they beat things and make a lot of noise. Unfortunately, that is a general opinion of people who aren’t involved in the end of music that we are involved in. Then I left school, desperately depressed. I was going to study photography at Manchester Polytechnic, and a friend of my dad’s—a guy of amazing character called Daddy Mazda—was sitting at the kitchen table and said, “Hey, what’s the matter with you?” I was looking through a magazine at all the second-hand drumkits in the back. I was 19 at this time, and I still hadn’t really started playing. I said, “I want to buy some drums.” He said, “Why do you want to buy drums?” I said, “Because I want to be a drummer. I want to play in a group. That’s how I want to earn my money.” He asked me how much drums cost and I said, “60 pounds.” This was 1972 or ’73, and 60 pounds was like 500 pounds are now; it was a lot of money. So he said, “Hmmm, alright.” He dipped into his top pocket, pulled out three 20-pound notes, said, “Well, you’ll need taxi fare as well,” and gave me another five pounds. I didn’t tell my mum and dad. I was out of the house [snaps his fingers] like that.

I didn’t really start playing until a year before Interview. I started seriously in 1975, because I used to travel and play with bands here and there. Then I saw Jon Hiseman do a 20-minute drum solo, and I thought, “I don’t believe this!” Now it excites me, but then it frightened me. I thought, “Right, okay.” I got a set of headphones, fixed them up to my set, and I used to play all day long to Average White Band’s first album, an album called John Barleycorn Must Die by Traffic, because I love Jim Capaldi’s drumming on that, the Isley Brothers’ Three Plus Three, and stuff like that. That’s how I taught myself, basically.

BW: So you never took lessons; you’re largely self-taught. Did you regret not learning to read music?

ME: There was a time when I thought, “I wish I could read,” because I could have earned a fair bit of money from that area of music where I might have gotten work if I could read.

BW: How did you come to join Interview? That was your first real band. Weren’t you in a band in public school?

ME: Yeah, I was in a band with a Canadian guy actually, and that band fell apart. We were just doing local gigs around Bath—pubs and little clubs. Allen [Brain, Interview guitarist] and Jeff [Starrs] approached me one day and said, “We’re forming this band. We’re calling it Interview. Do you fancy coming to play a little with us to see what happens?” Pete [Allerhand, lead guitarist] was involved, and we got hold of a guy named Phil Crowther, who did the bass on the first album [Big Oceans]. It just went from there.

BW: I think Interview was one of the all-time great undiscovered bands. Their second album, Snakes And Lovers, is one of my desert island discs. Why didn’t they catch on?

ME: We had lots of problems: no management, the record company was signing acts left, right, and center at the time. We had a lot of Elvis Costello and Graham Parker comparisons thrown at us. We weren’t conscious of it. Jeff [Starrs, vocalist and lyricist] did happen to sound a little like them. Our timing was totally wrong; we were dying and thinking, “What else can go wrong?”

BW: Snakes And Lovers really captures the summer of 1980 for me. It takes me right back to that period of time.

ME: Yeah, it was a very summery record. I got a letter from a DJ in Australia recently who said [he assumes a crisp, Aussie accent], “‘Shout’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ have just recently got you back on my play list, but I’d just like to ask you a few questions about that band Interview. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, I think Snakes And Lovers was one of the rock albums of the ’80s.” We did well everywhere on a very small scale with a few people, and the few people who liked us really liked us. It was a little bit cultish.

BW: How did you come to join Tears For Fears?

ME: Interview fell apart at the same time that the Graduate fell apart, which was Curt and Roland’s band. They decided to leave the Graduate, and Interview fell by the wayside. Pete Byrne and Rob Fisher, who used to be with a band called Naked Eyes, came around. They were called Neon at that time, and they said, “Do you want to do some drums with us? We’re on the verge of a deal, and we need to do a live show.” So I said, “Yeah, sure. I’d love to.” I went to their place, I met Curt, and we got on really well. We did a show, and Roland came along to the show. After the show they said, “We’re going to do some demos. Do you want to do some drums for us?” And I said, “Yeah, I’d love to.” I’d seen Roland and Curt with Graduate, and I thought, “Wow.” They were playing ska stuff like the Specials. They were real moddy, with really short hair, suits, and all that stuff. There was this drastic change from what they were doing, to what I was doing, to what we’ve ended up doing now. And it was really exciting, even doing the demos. When we were doing “Mad World,” I thought to myself, “This sounds like a hit single to me.”

BW: The first time I heard Tears For Fears was the British 12″ single of “Pale Shelter.” That was your second release?

ME: The first song we did was “Suffer The Children”; that was released on a different label. Then they got a deal with Phonogram, and we released “Pale Shelter.” That got a little bit of notice. Then we released “Mad World,” and it was a hit. Then we rereleased “Pale Shelter,” and it did quite well. Then “Change” was released.

BW: You’ve mentioned a number of people as we’ve talked, but in your formative years as a drummer, who specifically did you listen to and who influenced you?

ME: Michael Shrieve, who used to be with Santana, Graham Lear, who also used to be with Santana, Ritchie Hayward of Little Feat, and the drummer on Abandoned Luncheonette, who I hear was Bernard Purdie. The drumming on Hall & Oates’ Abandoned Luncheonette is so economical. It’s just there. The rimshots are brilliant. I loved all that sort of playing! And of course, in the latter stages, Rick Marotta, Steve Gadd’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” Andy Newmark—it would have been an ambition of mine to play on John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy. I’d loved to have done that, because his playing on that is stunning. Julian Lennon, actually, is someone I’d love to do some work with, because I’ve just been listening to his album. I love it.

BW: What do you do to improve yourself as a drummer?

ME: Listen and watch. I don’t actually practice. I can’t make it to a lot of gigs, because we’re out of London, where all the gigs happen, really. So I go to as many shows as I can locally in Bath. When we start working, we’re rehearsing and stuff like that, and there isn’t a lot of time. I’m not that bothered. There aren’t that many groups I’d love to see, and I won’t go along just to see what they’re like. I think that’s an insult to them.

BW: What are your goals as a drummer? What would you like to do in the future?

ME: Goals are very hard things because they keep changing, to an extent. There are various artists that I’d like to be involved with, because with the setup we have, if I’m not doing anything, then I’m totally free to do what I want. As soon as there’s something to do, my loyalty is 100% with TFF. That cuts down any extraneous activities that I can get involved in, but when I do have time, I’d love to work with a number of people. I won’t give you all their names, because it would sound like I’m fishing.

BW: But they might read this and say, “Hey, I like Tears For Fears. I’ll give him a ring.”

ME: Alright. David Byrne—write them down [laughs]—David Bowie, Paul Simon—people like that. People who write songs. This is where I think we score heavily, because Roland writes great songs. His lyrics are intelligent. They’re nice words.

BW: Do you think you’ll be with Tears For Fears for a while?

ME: Who can say? There is a lot of pressure for people to stay together, but we all know that it’ll just go as long as it’s working, it’s fun, and everybody has some creative input to put forward. Otherwise, it would just end up being too formulated, and I think we would hate that, because we’re pleased with the fact that people said to us, “The second album is so different from the first.” And although we don’t quite see it as being very different, it obviously must be, because everybody’s said that. So it’s nice to have that natural progression, which we didn’t do on purpose. All we did was just say, “Let’s put a bit more guitar in this and make it a bit more rock ‘n’ roll, and not so precious.” That’s all we did, rather than to say, “Okay, we’ve got to make this one really different.” There was none of that involved at all. So, if we keep doing that, then I think we’ll be happy.

BW: Did it ever bother you that time was passing, you were nearly 30, and you still weren’t in a major, successful band? Did you ever think of giving up the drums?

ME: No, never. I feel privileged that I’m in a position to enjoy what I do. And I’ve always earned enough money out of it. Recently, even before Tears For Fears came about I did sessions and things like that. It was nothing too grandiose, but enough to keep enjoying what I’m doing, rather than to say, “This is a nightmare. I’m going to work on a building site.” I could never do that.