Manny Elias – The Original Drummer of Tears for Fears

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Manny Elias is an Indian born English drummer and record producer. He is best known for being the original drummer with Tears for Fears during the 1980s. He was also originally a member of the rock band Interview from Bath, Somerset.

Before joining Tears for Fears, Elias had drummed with the band Graduate, who was at that time signed to Paul Weller’s Respond Records label. He also drummed for The Colourfield when they supported Tears For Fears on tour in 1985 and provided session work for Shriekback.

Manny Elias Music Journey

Manny Elias
Manny Elias

Manny Elias was not initially an official member of Tears for Fears, Elias began working the band to play the drums on two albums, 1985’s “Songs from the Big Chair” and “The Hurting”, appears in six of the band’s promotional videos from that era, as well as participating in their subsequent tours at Live Aid in Philadelphia. From the 1985–1986 tour, he also took on a managerial role, but was not credited as an official member; rather, he was regarded as the band’s “special guest drummer”.

Elias drummed on Tears for Fears’ 1986 album “The Seeds of Love”, and co-wrote and sang backing vocals on two tracks: “Advice for the Young at Heart” and “My Life in the Suicide Ranks”. During a Tears for Fears concert in Australia on their 1999 Big Chair tour. Elias was forced to leave mid-concert due to a virus, while he was replaced by former bandmate Manny Parry. After leaving Tears for Fears in 1986, Elias has provided percussion on albums from such artists as Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill and Julian Lennon.

Manny Elias Projects

Elias drummed on Paul Weller‘s 2001 album Illumination. He also released a solo album, “Sunrise”, on the One World label. As a record producer, Elias has most notably produced albums for I Am Kloot and The Veils. Furthermore, in 2009 Manny joined forces with members of TFF’s touring band from 1985/86 to form Headshells with original Tears For Fears keyboard player Ian Stanley and bassist Lee Gorman.

The band was billed as “Ian Stanley, Manny Elias, Lee Gorman & Will Gregory.” They played one live show at The Grand in Clitheroe to a capacity crowd. Shortly after the event, which was well-received by fans of classic Tears For Fears songs, it was announced on Manny’s official website that he was too busy to commit to Headshells on an ongoing basis so they would cease activity.

As of 2013, Elias teaches drums in schools in the Greater Manchester area and is playing with Ian Stanley again. He has also taken part in several Tears for Fears events including re-recording “The Hurting” and the band’s official induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Elias Started His Own Company

Manny Elias Performing
Manny Elias Drumming

In March 2013, Elias started his own artist development company called Favourite Colours Management which has since signed up a number of acts including Dirty Love [band] an alternative rock band from Manchester. Manny Elias is currently writing and recording with guitar player Simon Fowler (Ocean Colour Scene) as The Galaxians for their debut album to be released in early 2010. His other recent projects include Temple Cloud, Grappafoot and The New Electric. He has recently been invited to play with TFF at their Manchester Etihad Stadium concert.

Manny Elias is married to actress Emma Samms. He has three daughters, Johanna (born in 1989), Lily-Rose (born in 1997), and Teddie-Rose (born in 2000). His daughter Johanna has played the drums with The Veils and contributed backing vocals to their second album “Blow Up the Pokies” (2007).

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