William Fitzsimmons has been divorced twice and has now remarried. The singer reveals what he has learned from his breakups.
William Fitzsimmons’ (43) music is known to many from the popular doctor series “Grey’s Anatomy”. Joy and sorrow are close together here. It is no coincidence that his songs are mostly melancholy and sad. On June 25, the American singer-songwriter will release his new album “Ready The Astronaut”, on which he processed his second divorce. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, the 43-year-old speaks openly about the separation from his ex-wife, but also about his new love and reveals how much he is looking forward to becoming a father again.
Your new album is about the end of your marriage. Did the work help you get over your second divorce?
William Fitzsimmons: It’s not actually a divorce album, it’s more like an album about how to get along with life when everything is falling apart and you have no idea what to do. It’s about failure and falling and the unexpected. Much of the energy that went into the album came from trying to process my second divorce. But I didn’t want to just do another separation plate. I’ve already made too many of them! But yeah, I think it helped me heal in some ways, or at least process some of the terrible emotions I was feeling at the time.
You have had two divorces. Can you now look positively into the future again?
Fitzsimmons: I don’t know if I’m necessarily looking to the future positively or negatively. The older I get, the more I think that the universe doesn’t really care whether things are going well or not. This is not supposed to sound depressing and it is not! It’s more about accepting that a lot in life is out of our control, much more than we are likely to realize! So the best thing to do is love the people around you and try to find happiness in the present. The more worried I am about the future, the more miserable I become.
What did you learn from the divorces?
Fitzsimmons: That’s a big and great question! I learned more from them than anything else! I have learned that happiness has to come from within, and it cannot have to do with attachment to another person. I learned that people can change their minds about anything and that there is nothing you can do to prevent it. I’ve learned that even “good” people can do terrible things. I’ve learned that forgiveness is powerful and can cover up a wide variety of mistakes if allowed to.
Despite the divorce, do you still see your children regularly?
Fitzsimmons: Indeed I do! My ex and I have joint custody, so we see our children equally often. She’s a great mom and we both love our kids like crazy. Being a father is very important to me. I don’t think I’d ever have rested if I’d only seen her occasionally.
While going through the breakup, you went on tour indulging in what you call a “rock and roll walkabout”. What do you mean by that?
Fitzsimmons: (laughs) I stole the term from a good friend of mine. It was half joking and half serious. Basically, I’ve taken the time to figure out what it’s like to actually be single for the first time in my life. I got married for the first time when I was 19. I never went out or took the time to figure out what kind of partner I wanted and what kind of partner I wanted to be. That’s not to say that people can’t get married young and have wonderful marriages, but the statistics aren’t rosy! It was a long process for me to meet wonderful people, gain experience, and find out who I was in a relationship that wasn’t marriage.
You chose the astronaut in your album title because you wanted to escape certain situations as a child. What were they, how did you deal with them?
Fitzsimmons: Some of the situations were probably very similar to those many young people go through: my parents’ divorce, I was bullied a lot as a kid, etc. Others were probably quite unique: having parents with a disability and being weird or because of it to be viewed differently. In all honesty, I didn’t get along really well with any of this when I was young. One of the reasons I got married so young was probably because I thought having a family of my own would be a way to heal myself and gain a new experience. But it would never have worked without healing from the past. I only really started taking care of all of this when my second marriage fell apart, I went into therapy, and tried like crazy to get well. It wasn’t fun, but it was more important than I can even describe.
You grew up as a child of blind parents. Did that make you see the world differently from other children?
Fitzsimmons: I think there were probably two differences. First, that I learned to see the world through my ears instead of my eyes, because that’s how my parents saw the world and taught me to do it. And second, that I’ve learned to see other people as just as valuable and beautiful as everyone else. My parents are incredible and strong people. Just because their eyes aren’t working doesn’t mean they can’t basically do anything that everyone else can do. That was a lesson that I was fortunate to learn very early on.
You recently got married and are expecting a child with your new wife. How do you feel about that?
Fitzsimmons: I feel good! In all honesty, I had no plans to ever remarry or have any more children. But I think life is best lived if you allow yourself to listen to the whole orchestra and not just part of it. I’m absolutely overwhelmed and a little bit scared too, but I’d be crazy if it weren’t for me! But it is good. It’s a change and it’s scary, but it’s life! I no longer want to try to control it because that didn’t work well for me at all. Right now, I’m just focusing on being the best husband, father, person, and artist that I can be. When I try to do more than that, I am putting too much pressure on myself and I am not allowing myself to experience what is right in front of me.
How much are you looking forward to becoming a father again?
Fitzsimmons: I’m as excited and happy as I am fearful at the same time! My daughters are seven and nine years old, so I know what it is to raise a child – at least up to that point. All parents say it’s the best thing ever, but it’s the hardest and most arduous job you will ever do. I never thought I’d ever change a diaper again, but here we are! So I applaud the fear and overwhelming feelings, but I also applaud the joy and excitement. I know this may sound strange to some people, but I’m just being honest. I love my children more than life itself, but it’s bloody hard! Both things can be true.
What do you want for your life together as a family?
Fitzsimmons: I want my kids and wife to be free to be who they want to be. And I wish that I can help them in some small way and not hinder them. That’s it.
On his next European tour, William Fitzsimmons will also come to Germany in 2022: He will give concerts in Cologne (April 19), Darmstadt (April 22), Munich (May 2) and Berlin (May 13).