"The Tears" is the name of the band formed by ex-Suede
members Brett Anderson
and Bernard Butler
in 2004. Anderson and Butler had fallen out during the making of Suede's album Dog Man Star
in 1994, and managed to pass nine years without speaking to one another. Indeed, the only contact the two of them had had in the intervening period was when Butler nearly ran Anderson over in his car one evening. Needless to say, it's a story they both enjoy telling in interviews.
Anderson claims that the band is named after a Philip Larkin poem, Femmes Damnées, which ends with the line "the only sound heard is the sound of tears". Anderson, the band's lyricist and vocalist, claims to be a fan of Larkin's. Butler, who plays guitar and piano and writes most of the music, is the more down-to-earth of the two, claiming that the name came from when his children were arguing in the back of the car, and he said to his wife 'oh, here come the tears'.
The two began talking together after Suede disbanded in December 2003. They began writing music almost immediately, with Butler handing Anderson the music which was to become their first single - Refugees - the day after they first met up. Writing proceeded rapidly, and by March they decided they had enough good material to form a band, which was when they began to bring in the band's other members, Nathan Fisher on bass, Mako Sakamoto on drums and Will Foster on keyboards. This was also when rumours that the two had reunited were first circulated in the music press, particularly in the NME.
The band played its first gig in Oxford, England's The Zodiac to just 200 people in December 2004. This was perceived by most in the audience to be little more than a warm-up, or a dress rehearsal, and reviews of their live shows have steadily improved since then. Butler finds his inspiration in classic folk music, from Bert Jansch to Nick Drake, as well as white soul and glam pop. The music The Tears produce is, as a result, fairly accessible and mainstream, without resembling much else that's in the charts in mid-2005. Anderson's lyrics, meanwhile, find their inspiration in past love affairs and politics. His themes include asylum seekers and the problems of a materialistic and celebrity-fixated culture. Naturally, he's not a big fan of Big Brother.
The band's first single, Refugees, was released on April 25, 2005, in three formats, two CDs and 7" vinyl. The b-sides, distributed across the formats, were Southern Rain, Branded, Break Away and Feels Like Monday. The single peaked at #9 in the UK singles chart, and #1 in the Indie chart.
The band's debut album, Here Come The Tears, was released June 6, 2005. It reached #15 in the official UK album chart, and #2 in the Indie chart. Its track listing is as follows:
5. The Ghost Of You
6. Two Creatures
8. Fallen Idol
9. Brave New Century
10. Beautiful Pain
11. The Asylum
12. Apollo 13
13. A Love As Strong As Death.
The band's second single Lovers will be released in July, 2005.