The following transcript is of a webchat Sting did in November 1995 with Mr Showbiz Celebrity Lounge
about Starwave's 'All This Time' CDROM...
Welcome to the grand opening of the Mr. Showbiz Celebrity Lounge. Our guest today is Sting, the world-famous singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and environmentalist. Sting's latest project is the CD-ROM 'All This Time', a multimedia exploration of his music, background, creative influences, and personal interests. Below, you may post questions you would like to ask Sting; our moderator will select the best of your questions for Sting's consideration. Now, ladies and gentleman, we bring you Sting...
From bananafish: Some of the lyrics in your album liners have what we call 'invisible lyrics.' The two most notable examples are a verse in 'Walking in your Footsteps' (They live in a museum/it's the only place you'll see 'um) and 'The Soul Cages'. What's the story behind these lyrics? Why didn't they make the final cut.
Sting: In the editing process of the record... certain things have to go. Sometimes lyrics go... and I don't like that! So, I sometimes put them in the liner notes, (if they were good lyrics). So then the listener can put them back in... sort of a creative/interactive thing that I was getting into long before any of this!
From Ernesto: Who were your specific influences on the bass?
Sting: Paul McCartney, for his melodic ability on the bass... Jack Bruce is also one of my favorite singers as well as a bass player, Ray Brown... great jazz double bass player. all of this information is available in the CD-ROM. (check out the pub!)
From Shelley Smyers: You've experimented with a lot of musical styles. Do the blues interest you at all?
Sting: Of course there are elements of the blues still in my music... you have to dig deep.
From Thomas Clark: In 1988, you sang 'I Burn For You' at Jones Beach while I proposed to my wife.
Sting: I hope you are still married and happy...
From Chris Robinson: I know 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' takes some influence from Nabakov's 'Lolita' but is there SOME autobiographical influence? After all, you were a teacher.
Sting: ...absolutely not! How dare you?
From Lauren V. Fong: What's 'The Grotesque' about, Sting?
Sting: In the Grotesque I play an evil butler who takes over an old country house. It's a comedy.... (well, it's supposed to be!)
From Sean B: Do you have any new material that you will be debuting during your upcoming European Tour?
From The Moderator: The response to Sting has been overwhelming. Please be patient as we try to work through all of your excellent questions. Thanks.
Sting: Hopefully there will be a new album in March. I'm currently in the middle of recording, and the album will be called, Mercury Falling.
From Geordie: There have been suggestions that your hearing is not what it used to be.
Sting: Like most rock musicians, I work in industrial levels of noise and there is some loss of midrange in one ear. This is not career threatening or much of a problem.
From Dan: What is the process by which you compose your music? Do the lyrics or music come first, and do you often incorporate the use of computers in your writing?
Sting: I use computers the way I would use a diary... all of my musical ideas for the past twelve years are logged somewhere in my Synclavier computer. As far as writing songs goes, there are no rules... sometimes the lyrics come first, sometimes music, sometimes they both come together.
From Mike: I noticed you are on the Jimi Hendrix tribute album, was he an influence to you?
Sting: Jimi Hendrix was a major influence on my life. I saw him when I was 14 in a little club. He was one of the people who made me want to become a musician in the first place.
From Jersey: Why does the lyric "It's a big enough umbrella, but I always seem to get wet" appear in many of your past and present songs.
Sting: As far as my memory goes, the umbrella line only appears twice in my songs. but I do like to quote myself in new songs. It's just a fun thing to do. So people like you can spot it.
From Rob: Will Kenny Kirkland be on the new album? David Sancious?
Sting: David is currently making his own record and Kenny Kirkland, my friend from the Blue Turtle days has taken his place and will be touring with me in the new year.
From Amanda Penrose: what of all your songs do you like best?
Sting: Asking me which of my songs I like best is a little like asking me which of my children I like best... they all mean something special to me. Warts and all.
From WSK: Are you typing or is someone typing for you? You know, Stewart did his own typing when HE was online...
Sting: of course I'm doing my own typing! What do you think I am? a schmuck?
From Matt Dilnot: Do you get much time with your kids when your preparing a new album?
Sting: That's why I record at home.
From AMANDA: do you use the internet often??
Sting: only during mating season...
From Beth Meetsma: We know where you are in cyberspace. Where are you PHYSICALLY now? And where are you working on your next album?
Sting: I'm at home...
From Lisa Hornberger: How many bees do you actually keep? Why bees, Sting?
Sting: My bees are all numbered.
From Charla Jane: Would you ever consider moving to the Himalayas and having 2 wives?
Sting: I did that in my last incarnation.
From milton: Did you enjoy your experiences appearing on 'Saturday Night Live?' I love the elevator sketch!
Sting: I think I'll be appearing on SNL on the 24th of February, '96. I always have fun on that show.
From Gabbleratchet: What is your purpose in life?
Sting: My purpose in life is to learn and be happy.
From Scott Lewis: How long are you going to be on-line? (I'm getting kinda hungry and I'm wondering if I should order a pizza or just wait for you to stop talking.)
Sting: Order one for me, but hold the pepperoni. (I'll be on for another five minutes).
From Louis Richards: Do you still talk to Andy and Stewart?
Sting: only on the Internet.
Kristen Brandon: Are you a vegetarian?
Sting: Yes, I am a vegetarian...
From Dominic Ferris: Thanks a million Sting. You should do this again sometime.
Sting: Dear All, There are apparently over 2000 messages in the queue. I'm sorry I couldn't respond to everyone, but I definitely enjoyed reading all of them. Perhaps I'll do this again some time. Good night. Sting.
From The Moderator (Starwave): Thanks Sting for taking the time to answer questions and to everyone who posted. If you missed any of this, stop by the Mr. Showbiz Celebrity Lounge tomorrow for a complete transcript.
© Mr. Showbiz Celebrity Lounge
Is it time Sting was forgiven? The unshaven, unworried rock aristocrat strolls the borders of his sumptuous Jacobean pile funded by a decade of vastly successful solo artistry. His enemies are few - the apocalyptic brigade, a touch of premature deafness and a phlegmatic British press unable to cope with his penchant for the selfless gesture. "You're pointing at the moon but people are looking at your finger..."
It is the biggest dilemma in the caring career of Pop's Very Own Captain Conscience. Sun City: should I stay or should I go? Sting visits the confusing, garish game park-cum-human hellhole that is the new South Africa. "Bewildered" is the word we're using. "Confused" and "nonplussed" are jockeying for position. And, when a few drinks have been taken, "guilty" comes stealing up on the inside rail. Sting is in South Africa. Sun City to be precise. As in "I-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi ain't gonna play Sun City..."
Gentleman's Agreement: Sting dreams a world without junk. "In The Police he was a pop star, the best we've had, a potent force delivering blistering reggae-tinged chart-friendly hits apparently to order." That's the new Q on Sting, delivering Britain's attitude about its homeboy. Here, he came across as the lead blond of a fluffy threesome who successfully crafted themselves into heavy new-wavers with AOR cred, and by the time he went solo he was a guaranteed rock-mag cover. He had attempted the oddest new career - jazz, don't you know - with music that, in retrospect, unfolds like a single piece of steel, ignoring orthodoxy yet achieving the field's flexibility and no hot-tub vapor, laughing in the face of rock yet getting on more different sets of nerves than most punks ever manage, skipping pop rules yet selling millions, admitting in public to a yen for Mozart...
The role of renaissance bloke: It's 10am on a Saturday at Drapers Brothers Dry Cleaners, and Dougie and Don Draper are preparing for the weekend rush when the door clatters open and in comes a Mr Sting. "I was just wondering if you could clean this donkey jacket, like," he says in rich, Newcastle Brown tones, shrugging out of the garment in question. Dougie D (maroon slacks, fawn cardie, pervert scoutmaster-style nylon wig in a worrying shade of lemon) duly ingratiates himself, customer care skills to the fore. "No problem at all," he oozes. Meanwhile Don D (two-tone overall, spectacles, pervert woodwork teacher-style nylon wig in a worrying shade of chestnut brown) is anticipating a visit to the theatre to see American illusionist David Copperfield. "Every little thing he does is magic," he sings repeatedly...
Sting has lately reasserted himself as a musician, and won a roomful of awards. Now he is releasing his greatest hits. He gave Nicholas Barber a guided tour of 10 years' work. "Sting's house, please." That's all you have to say to taxi drivers at Salisbury station. No need for directions or addresses, they know where Gordon Matthew Sumner lives. And does the local rock god ever descend to town, I ask the driver as we make the nine-mile journey. "Occasionally," he says. "We see his wife Trudie (Styler) more often, and the kids and the nanny. But Sting, he's a busy man, isn't he...?"