Here In the Studio we were both honored and thrilled in Fall 2013 to be able to share Sting hosting a very personal discussion of his family as well as their cultural history, centered in the shipyard of the Northern England seaport city of Walls End/ Newcastle, where “your casket is sealed with a riveter’s gun…” and retold as fable as the bold multi-dimensional album and 2014 Broadway musical The Last Ship . At that time his first original new music in a decade, Sting explained here in part one that his best-selling 2005 memoir Broken Music, followed by the record-setting 2007-08 Police reunion tour ( the third largest in concert history ), left his creative tank empty and his muse AWOL. Sting’s career then was not unlike the real life cruise ship Costa Concordia: massive, gleaming, yet run aground and listing heavily on its side.At the close of the twenty-first century’s first decade Sting was longing for a rising tide which would lift him up and right his creative course, and he discovered that it was only he that had anchored his musical vessel. The former chief of Police found that in fact he was immersed in very personal inspiration reaching back to the Soul Cages in 1990 following the death of his father and, as such, Sting just had to give himself permission to get out of his own way.
“Well, you know that I have total freedom to do whatever whim takes me,” Sting admitted.” And in the end you end up like a curator. You say, ‘Oh, I’d like that in my museum. And that, and that, and that.’ And you mix and match, and I think that I’m pretty good at creating a synthesis of different disparate elements, and hopefully make something new. I’m not a folk musician. I’m not a jazz musician. I like to try and create a hybrid, which for me is where the creative spark is. I’m not there to be steeped in tradition, that’s not what I do. I’m much more of a gadfly. I like sparks flying. And the results are unpredictable, and not always successful, but I think it’s worth having the experiment. So that’s what my job is- to mix things up a bit.” Listen here to Sting in part one of two on the fifth anniversary of The Last Ship. –Redbeard