Sting argued that most defunct bands could find value in reuniting – but only once and not on a permanent basis.
In a recent interview with Music Week he discussed his experience of the Police’s reunion tour of 2007-8, saying they were very clear about what they wanted to do and had no desire to take it any further.
Asked if he’d recommend other bands getting back together, Sting laughed. “Once!” he said, before explaining: “You should do it once and the timing should be right. When the Police reunited, it had been long enough and it was the right time to do it. And I’m taking credit for that because that was my decision. Doing it again would just be gratuitous and that won’t happen. But we did it, and everyone was happy that mum and dad got back together again and had one last fling.”
Drummer Stewart Copeland previously described the experience as “pleasure and pain” together, and Sting agreed with that assessment. “[I]t’s an intense relationship,” he said. “You start out in a band together and you live together; you sleep in the van together; you share hotel rooms. Your life is completely welded with the other guys in the band, and that’s intense.
“We still love each other and respect each other, but I’m happy not to be in a band. I have much more freedom and when I have my own band, everyone’s role is very clear. We just get on with the job. When a young band starts out, the roles are much more flexible and that creates tensions. But it’s all natural, of course…I think it gives you a competitive energy, a buzz.”
He added that if the time came to split, it’s usually obvious: “[T]here comes a point where it just gets in the way of the creative process and you’re dealing with ego as opposed to actual musical ideas or the currency of musical ideas. When the flow stops, that’s when a band has to break up.”
Sting went on to state that he, Copeland and Andy Summers hadn’t considered writing more songs together, saying: “It was – what’s the word – nostalgia, with recreating that thing for a short time. No, we didn’t even try.”
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