Stewart Copeland doesn’t seem to ever stop. With The Police he toured the world “six times over, from the sea of Japan to the Cliffs of Dover”, as their song “Too Much Information” used to say. The band went on an extended hiatus after the Synchronicity Tour ended in 1984, and would only play together on very special occasions. The 2007 reunion gave the trio a much needed sense of closure, and although many fans were longing for a new studio album, that wasn’t meant to be.
Meanwhile, Stewart has been involved in a million different activities: he’s a successful writer of film scores, an opera composer, polo player, and, why not, occasional touring drummer. His band Oysterhead, with Les Claypool (Primus) and Trey Anastasio (Phish) played a handful of shows this year, in which the improvisational nature of their sound captivated their massive audience. With his partners in crime Adrian Belew (of King Crimson and Frank Zappa fame), Level 42 bassist Mark King and Italian keyboardist Vittorio Cosma, he also formed an intriguing new band called Gizmodrome, who released their self-titled album in 2017.
Stewart‘s most recent endeavors are as diverse and unique as his legacy. One of them is an art collection called “What is Art?”, in which he was filmed playing with lights on his drumsticks, and the images created by that were turned into giant prints. The other is called “The Police Deranged for Orchestra”, where he deconstructs, cuts and pastes different performances of the band and morphs them into something unpredictable. Last but not least, he’s writing an opera about Nikola Tesla.
Sonic Perspectives collaborator and lifelong The Police fan Rodrigo Altaf, spoke with Stewart for over 40 minutes, and they discussed many aspects of his craft, the early days of The Police, what is it like to write operas, how Copeland met Rush’s late drummer Neil Peart, and a myriad of other topics.
Listen to their chat in the links below, and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, Sonic Perspectives is on Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter and YouTube, where you can be notified about new interviews and contents we publish on a daily basis.
Connect with Stewart Copeland online: Website | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram
Slideshow photographs from Stewart Copeland’s website and Stewart Copeland’s Flickr group.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 47:58 — 110.1MB)
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little typo: the band is Oysterhead, of course:-)
That lyrical quote was lifted from “Too Much Information” is spot on- back in days when Album was a significant word . More specific, an Album titled “Ghost In The Machine.” How prophetic that many people now abbreviate Too Much Information as TMI on social media.
Shayne Gray: it would be cool if you interview Stewart Copeland again. Only this time, ask him stories about rare times when he was lead vocalist for The Police. “Regattta De Blanc” album has “On Any Other Day”.
That song painted a picture of a miserable career government bureaucrat’s life….a dreaded comparison to my own father….it surely ignited adolescent fire in my heart….
But these rare songs got left by the wayside by the front man who is Sting. That’s why I’ve always thought The Police are a trifecta greater than the sum of its parts. Let’s not forget Andy Summer’s “Mother”.
Then in-between again, off “Ghost In The Machine”, you had “Secret Journey” and “Darkness” where Stewart Copeland seems to have stepped up to challenge Sting as lead vocalist? Kinda?.
There is mystery of Stewart Copeland, with his brother Miles Copeland as manager, that speaks to adolescent rebellion, Pshaw!! The very name The Police was satire, sarcasm, and defiance of their own father who was in the CIA. Correct me if I am wrong. Stewart said his father was a so-called American Diplomat out of the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, as far as he was concerned…
When in reality, his father was a spy for the CIA.
Interview, interview, interview. And do report, report, report! Enquiring minds want to know.