The following article by Gabriel Lerman appeared in a March 1999 issue of the Argentinian newspaper LaNación. The article was very kindly translated by Matias Pirolo...
The Other English Patient.
La Nación: You haven't worked too much as an actor, lately.
Sting: I haven't worked, lately. Neither as an actor nor as a musician.
La Nación: Why?
Sting: Because I have been through one of my periods of dryness. It's my working form. I don't work all the time. I don't work over long periods in which nothing comes to my mind, and suddenly that process reverts and I start working desperately. Fortunately, in the last months I have become very creative. You have heard nothing, but I'm preparing a new album, that is going to be released in September. It is called 'The Lovers'. There will be twelve songs that are love stories as well, told from different angles, they are not necessary personal stories and that's part of the attractiveness for me.
La Nación: Why aren't they personal?
Sting: Because I've done it in the past already, I have confessed my life through my songs. I no longer need my creativity to be therapeutical.
La Nación: Could you talk about which have been your principal musical influences?
Sting: That would be a very long interview, and I have come here to talk about the film ('Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels').
La Nación: Well, talking about the film, did you act because your wife, the executive producer of the film asked you, or because the character really interested you?
Sting: I have to say that the enthusiasm my wife had for the movie was very contagious. She came with the script and with a small demo of what the movie was going to be like, and all of it had so much energy. She was convinced that it was going to be a successful movie, and she suggested to me that I act for free, just to help the people that were making the film. And I accepted, because I trusted blindly in her instinct. And I must admit she was right because the movie has been a great success.
La Nación: Have you ever said "no" to one of her projects?
Sting: No, I'm clever enough to know that she's more intelligent than me, and that when she says something to me, she has her reasons and that I do well in letting her do what she wants to. In that sense, we have always got along very well.
La Nación: The other two members of The Police have announced that they are touring soon. Did you know about that?
Sting: Of course. The "Police Tribute Tour"...
La Nación: What do you think about the project?
Sting: I can't wait to see them...
La Nación: Are you going to see them?
Sting: Of course. I'm going to be in the first row...
La Nación: You have been through many phases in your musical career. After The Police you had a jazzy period where you played with Branford Marsalis. You say you are now in a new phase, in which direction you are heading now?
Sting: All these influences you mentioned, they still interest me. I still like pop, jazz, Latin American music (specially Brazilian)... I still like classical music... I hope all these influences help me to grow in an organic way, and help me to be a better musician and a better composer...
La Nación: Sting sounds different now than ten years ago?
Sting: Yes, I think the sound is different now because technology is different. My music is much more different now than it was five years ago, because all music sound has changed because of technology, and I'm sure that in the next five years it is going to change in the same way. As a musician, I don't necessarily have to follow this change of sound, but I have to be aware of the changes.
La Nación: What do you do when you are in those periods of dryness?
Sting: I panic... But then I calm down when I realise that it is part of a circle, and that I'm going to be creative again.
La Nación: Do you feel obliged to be creative? At this stage of your life, you could rest...
Sting: That is the same as asking me if I still feel the need for breathing. I'm used to living a creative life, to create all the time. It's something that happens to every artist. You have to create. It's not something you do to kill time, it's a real necessity.
La Nación: Where is your work in the music of 'Kingdom of the Sun'?
Sting: I keep working with them. We have been collaborating for more than a year. We are exchanging ideas all the time and generating new possibilities.
La Nación: Did you say yes to Disney because you are interested in Latin American issues?
Sting: It's possible that it was one of the reasons why Disney put their interest in me, because the story happens in the old Inca empire. I accepted because the challenge was writing music for children. It was something I have never done before, a real shame for a father of six. So, I was puzzled to see if I could do it or not. It's been a hard task...
La Nación: All the time new The Police anthologies are being released, does this surprise you?
Sting: Of course that makes me feel good, the fact that people keep remembering The Police. But the truth is that I don't handle that anymore. It's something that belongs to my past, something of which I'm proud of, but something which I have nothing to do with now. I prefer to live in the present...
© La Nación (Argentina)