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Stewart Copeland recalls origin of the tension between The Police

The Police
Photos by Randy Miramontez and Rob King

Classic Rock

Stewart Copeland recalls origin of the tension between The Police

The Police was active only for nine years and released just five studio albums but it was enought to make them one of the best-selling bands of all time with an estimated amount of more than 100 million records sold worldwide.


In an interview with The Hole (Transcribed by Ultimate Guitar), the band’s drummer Stewart Copeland recalled that the origin of the tension between the band members was that Sting became a better songwriter over the years and learned how to work in a studio, so he needed them less and less.

Stewart Copeland recalls origin of the tension between The Police

“Creatively, we started to rub because (Sting) was getting very affirmed as a songwriter. And pretty good, even though Andy and I started out with a lot more experience in the studios. But by album three and four, he now knows how to use a studio. And by the way, he’s pretty clever with arranging the songs that he’s written.”

“And so, (the songs) became compromises, rather than collaborations. Earlier, when we were mutually dependent, it was a collab. After he’s written a few hits, he had very clear ideas. And that’s where the clashes began, it was all about the music and what we should do with it. And that became more and more intense.”

He continued:

“But socially, we still got along fine. As soon as we went out on the road, we were blazing. We had a great time, because the audience affirmed what we’re doing this for. That’s the reason why I’m on stage. Those folks out there going crazy — that’s what we’re here for. But the tension was strictly musical,” Stewart Copeland said.

The group was formed in 1977 and lasted until 1986, reuniting in 2007 and 2008 when the group made a successful reunion tour. They released five studio albums and have sold an estimated amount of more than 75 million records worldwide.

After the end of the group, all the three members Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland started their solo careers and have collaborated with many artists over the decades.

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