Interview: JAM WEBCHAT (2000)

July 17, 2000

The following transcript is of a webchat that Sting did in July 2000 with JAM (Canada)...

Gord: With all the B-sides, soundtracks and other rarities you have put out over your solo career, do you have any plans to release a box set retrospective in the near future?

Sting: Well, there are so many that it would take a lot of work and I'm very busy at the moment. But I suppose at the end of this tour I'll be looking for something to do and there's always a couple of jewels you've forgotten about.

Wendy & Dave: What did you think of George Michael's version of 'Roxanne', and have you any plans for a cover of 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go'? ;-)

Sting: George is one of my favourite singers and I thought the song was ultimately successful. Different than me. I already covered wake me up before you go go but nobody liked it.

Dawn: I'd like to know how you manage to keep the band and crew inspired while you are on the road for such extended periods of time? Any funny jokes?

Sting: Cruelty, threats blackmail....and when that doesn't work I have to pay them well and give them a good time. Everyone likes to be on a winning team this season everyone's very happy.

Iaia Merlino from Treviso Italy: Krishnamurti used to say that there are no silly questions, but intelligent answers. This is a silly question, give me a good answer. What do you think before going to sleep, at night?

Sting: What do I think? Ummmm I often think that sleeping is not a talent I have and the other thing he taught was how to switch the mind off but I've never quite managed it.

Nadine Browne: There have been many times in your solo work where you have taken a departure from the wonderful style that defines you work, and you try something new. What have you yet to attempt and which experiments with different sounds and styles did you enjoy most?

Sting: I don't really set myself and parameters and my basic premise is that I make music to have fun. I want to tackle just about anything if it seems like fun so I mean creativity is not about obeying rules but about breaking preconceptions people have of you.

Chris Monti: Hi Sting. Are there any Canadian music artists you enjoy listening to? If so, who?

Sting: Yes ... Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cobern, Brian Adams.

Ralph: Hello Sting, Honestly, What would it take for the Police to record a few songs? The music you make together is very special. 'The Beatles Anthology' was special. can something be done similarly for the Police? Thanks.

Sting: Well, if the Grand Canyon were to rejoin itself maybe there would be a possibility. We got back together for my wedding. It made me firm in my belief that its best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Christina - Hollywood, CA: I'm sure everyone is going to ask, but is 'Englishman in NY' in Central Park going to become a reality? And if so, when?

Sting: It would be a very nice idea but its top secret. I can talk about it maybe next month ...if it's true or not.

Brigitte: What did you learn from your teaching career that helped you with you as an artist now?

Sting: I think every experience ;I've had has somehow entered the program and teaching is not unrelated or entertaining. My job is to entertain children for our time and they would learn as a side effect I hope. I think its quite significant that I was a school teacher. I enjoyed it.

sting's #1 fan: is it difficult to see your wife and children while on tour? have your family ever asked you to contemplate "early retirement" so that you can spend more time with them? is it difficult for them to "share" you with the world?

Sting: Um, that's a good question. Obviously the tension between being a family man and having a busy schedule...I think its a matter of finding a balance. If I stayed away all the time I wouldn't have a family... If I was home all the time I wouldn't be happy. It's a balance most people have to find.

Alexander Coassin: Will you ever release an album of the standards you have done in various different settings (i.e. 'Round Midnight', 'My One and Only Love'), or of the B-Sides to your singles? Songs like 'Pirates Bride', 'Lullaby to an Anxious Child', 'End of the Game', are among your best in my opinion.

Sting: I do have a great deal of material of that nature in the archives and again it would just take a great deal of work to compile it. Maybe someday...although I wouldn't want it to seem that I'd run out of songs. An acoustic set almost limits what you do. Whatever a song needs I'll do.

Ken Johnston: What was that wah/flanger type effect(s) you used on your bass in the earlier days of the Police?

Sting: I used to double all the bass lines on my fender guitar so you played to octaves, any flanging was basically a mistake on my part.

Christina: Is it true that you will be receiving a star on the Walk of Fame, and if so, will it be during your stint in L.A. this August? I live near Hollywood Blvd. and would love to come down to say congratulations.

Sting: Well, I've been offered the honour but I was too embarrassed to accept it. To have to go down there and get on your hands and knees. Its not really what I need. I do respect everyone else who has one but its not the kind of thing I look forward to.

sting's #1 fan: Does your son joe have a band? if so, will he ever be an opening act for your shows?

Sting: My son would not be my opening act. He's too good. He has a number of bands he's a very good musician and a talented artist and he doesn't need to be associated with me.

Erin Johnson: I am an attempted rape victim, and had it not been for your music, I don't know if I would have made it through the ensuing period alive. At the risk of being melodramatic, I cannot imagine my life without your music. Please, continue to provide us with your thoughtful music and beautiful voice. Tell me you won't stop singing until you can no longer.

Sting: I get a lot of letters from people who've been through intense situations and I have to say that music has been a healing influence in my own life. I don't think I'll ever stop singing. I think I'll stop breathing first.

Jay: Your latest tactic is to assume the perspective of others. A dog, a dolphin, a prostitute, etc. What about assuming the perspective of Sting himself? Aren't you inspired to write from your own life experience anymore? We want you, dude.

Sting: Ummm.....I think there's a time in your life when you write biographical songs and then there's a time when you don't need to. Its a time when you see the world from different perspectives. That's how I feel at the moment. I'm not hiding anything.

Tom Rosling: What do you think of different gear remix of 'when the world', does this mean that the police will reform to perform this song? well it was worth asking any way, keep up the excellent music.

Sting: I think its actually in the charts in England. I don't mind people remixing the songs its not something that I would necessarily get involved in. I don't mind people using is as a basis for a new kind of art.

Dario: If there was one year in your life that you could live again, what year would that be and why?

Sting: This year's been pretty good but to live it again would be boring. I have no interest in repeating. I'd rather live in this moment right now to the max.

Macha Lapierre: Hi, Sting, I saw you in an interview 10 years ago, and you said you can't write when you are happy. Do we have to wish you to be unhappy?

Sting: I think this was my modus operandi when I was younger. I needed to be in crisis to be creative. Now, it is different. I really don't think it is worth sacrificing your life to be creative. I would rather be happy than be creative. I think I have managed to prove that it is true. You can be happy and creative at the same time. That was a young man talking. I didn't know very much.

Isabelle, Granby: Pourquoi avoir repris "Ne me quitte pas", de Jacques Brel? Connaissez-vous d'autres chansons fran?aises que vous aimeriez reprendre?

Sting: Je suis un très grand fan de Jacques Brel. Je ne comprends pas très bien le fran?ais... J'aime le sens poétique des chansons fran?aises. Je voulais chanter depuis longtemps la chanson "Ne me quitte pas". Mais mon fran?ais est plut?t réduit pour en chanter d'autres...

Lucie Pelletier - Montréal: Bonsoir Sting, je sais que vous avez déjà été professeur par une biographie vue à la télévision. Aimeriez-vous un jour à nouveau enseigner, mais cette fois la musique?

Sting :-) J'ai déjà enseigné la musique plus jeune. Je crois l'enseigner en faisant ce que je fais, par mon dynamisme et ce qu'inspire ma musique. Mais qui sait, peut-?tre un jour vais-je retourner plus directement à l'enseignement...

Martine Le blond / Québec: Allo Sting: à quand un album en guitare accoustique?

Sting :-) Je ne suis pas s?r d'en faire un un jour. J'écris les chansons, et ensuite choisis la musique la plus appropriée. Peut-?tre en écrirai-je un jour, qui iront bien avec un son acoustique, mais ce n'est pas le sens de mon travail.

Valérie Audet: I read somewhere that you hate some song, one song that you had composed for the police. I don't remember the name of the song, but it was really popular. Why do you hate this song?

Sting: I don't remember hating any of the songs I have done. I think this is misinformation.

Sophie: I saw your show yesterday at the Molson Centre. It was a very, very nice evening. What are you doing to be in good shape like that?

Sting :-) Well, I do yoga every day. And I do two hours of a show, which is very athletic. So I spend four hours of my day with physical exercise. When I was younger, I was an athlete. I liked the discipline of training. I was a runner.

Bec Howard: Dear Sting, Do you enjoy the fact that you are so well known or do you ever wish that you could just go out and do ordinary stuff without being recognised? Caught your show at the Royal Albert Hall and it was fantastic, thank you.

Sting: Yesterday I walked through Montreal on my own and one guy said to me "I can't believe you're walking around like this" and I said "It's my right". Fame is not a bad thing I enjoy being famous. I enjoy being treated normally ..I don't like being chased or hysteria.

Alex: Do you intend to release a live album in the near future?

Sting: I made a live album about 14 years ago so maybe its time to tape a few shows to see how we're doing on this tour. It would be largely based on what this current tour is.

Kym: What new project(s) is Trudie involved in at the moment?

Sting: She's producing movies, made a sequel of 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' and running a family.

Jay: Can you tell us about the situation you were in with Lynn which spawned 'Don't Stand So Close To Me'? What was Lynn's last name?

Sting: Maybe he knows more than I do!

Jorge Casquero: How many songs are you recorded for the Disney's 'The Emperor's New Groove'?

Sting: First of all, the film was called something else. It was called 'Kingdom Of The Sun', with a different set of characters. I wrote six songs for those characters. And then the cast got fired and they changed the director. They changed the script and then they changed the title. And then they asked if I wanted to stay on to do some songs for "The Emperor's New Groove." So I wrote two songs for 'The Emperor's New Groove'. The beginning and the end. I really did two movies for them. My wife actually did a documentary on the making of both movies. It is quite dramatic, because everything falls apart. And then it comes back together again. Some of those songs will appear in the making-of movie.

Moderator: Will it be released?

Sting: I would think so. It's called 'The Sweat Box'. It is about the whole process of collaborating on an animated film, from the point-of-view of the directors, the animators, the producers, the Disney infrastructure, the actors, me. And how the film is ... how difficult it is to make such a thing.

Moderator: When will the movie that became 'The Emperor's New Groove' see the light of day?

Sting: It comes out before Christmas.

Sting: I'm grateful that I have fans and its nice that they've taken trouble to come online and ask me questions and listen to what I have to say. It's nice to speak to you all! Good-bye.

© JAM Webchat



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