Stewart Copeland Explains Why Sting Won’t Feature In The New Police Album

After the recent release of his album ‘Police Deranged for Orchestra,’ The Police’s Stewart Copeland sat down with Goldmine for an interview. During the chat, he shared some insights into the new record, which features his orchestral arrangements of old songs, and revealed why he won’t be working with Sting, or, well, a copycat of the rocker in the upcoming album.

First things first, Copeland explained why he chose to collaborate with three female singers, Amy Keys, Carmel Helene, and Ashley Támar Davis, to replace Sting’s vocals. In the interview, he commented on his new vocalists by saying:

“They are three quadruple-scale top-class singers. In this case, I have exhorted them to step forward, grab the spotlight, and take it and run with it, which they have more than delivered. Each of them has a different attitude, but they come together and coalesce beautifully. Ashley is tinkling away on the top, Carmel is the most country even though she is a Metallica fan, and Amy has the most earth mother voice.”

Then, Copeland explained his decision to choose female singers instead of Sting or a copycat while remastering ‘Murder by Numbers,’ and went on:

“I made the decision to use them due to practicality. I couldn’t put some guy up there pretending to be Sting. I would get killed, so I thought I would remedy that with three soul sisters. I got lucky to have Police songs sung by this female vocal trio like The Chiffons, a sound and style that I missed as a kid when I was listening to harsher stuff like The Jimi Hendrix Experience.”

Further in the conversation, the former Police member talked more about ‘Murder by Numbers,’ as the interviewer commented on its ‘suspenseful film sound.’ About the track’s harmony, he said:

“The original harmony came from Andy Summers, but what I did was to take his vertical harmony and lay it out horizontally with the saxophone solos and keep the chords throughout the track. I may even go so far to suggest it is a bit of jazz there which is not usually my forte. Yes, it is an obscure song, but when we play it live, it burns down the house.”

The musician also mentioned the audience’s reaction to the 1983 track, which was only available on vinyl as a B-side of ‘Every Breath You Take.’ He explained:

“My experience is that songs that people know generally have more impact than a new song, and I thought ‘Murder by Numbers’ would qualify as a new song to the audience because they didn’t hear it on the radio a million times, but in fact, it goes down in our concerts as one of the best received of all the songs, maybe because the orchestras love playing it and really lean into it, no matter what orchestra we are playing with.”

You can watch a live performance of the Copeland version of ‘Murder by Numbers’ in the video below.