Sting Calls The Police ‘A Trap’ In A Rare Interview And Explains His Departure

Sting opened up about the reason behind his departure from the Police in a previous rare interview that recently resurfaced. The singer revealed he felt trapped after some point and wanted ‘total freedom.’

In 1977, Sting formed the Police with Stewart Copeland and Henry Padovani, who was soon replaced by Andy Summers. The trio released their debut album, ‘Outlandos d’Amour,’ in 1978, but it was their second one, ‘Reggatta de Blanc,’ which turned them into one of the defining bands of the era. The band produced three more albums in the following years. However, the powerful trio eventually disbanded in 1986.

At the height of their success, the disbandment came totally as a shock to the music world. There were conflicts and creative disputes within the band, so they were no longer satisfied with what the Police were offering them. During a rare old interview that was recently uploaded to YouTube, Sting explained why he left the band and continued with a solo career.

The singer said their final album, ‘Synchronicity,’  made him realize that it would be his last time within this seemingly democratic atmosphere. During his tenure with the Police, he needed to make his songs suitable for his bandmates, which was quite limiting for him. Instead of that, he wanted ‘total freedom’ in the writing process of his songs without any external intervention.

Also, Sting explained during this rare interview that he still feels proud and grateful to be a part of the Police, but it was a ‘trap’ to him at the same time. He described the environment within the group as oppressive, in which he couldn’t find an area of freedom to do what he wanted. He doesn’t deny having a role in creating this mess, but he somehow needed to save himself and ‘breathe new air.’

Although they had this massive success in their hands, it all seemed meaningless to Sting at the time. People around him always warned him not to leave the group, but he wasn’t afraid of change, so he wanted to try new things. The singer also revealed that the point he decided to leave the band was just after their show in Shea Stadium, the peak of their career.

Sting speaking on the reason behind his departure from the Police:

“I saw that album, ‘Synchronicity,’ as being the last time I would go through that process of being in this seeming democracy. I wanted total freedom to write whatever songs came into my head without having to tailor them for the needs of that trio, which I found very limiting at that point. Grateful as I was for having been in the band, as proud as I am of that band, it was essentially a trap.

I was asked the other week, I was in Lithuania, and they said to me, ‘Why did you leave the Police,’ and I said, ‘Well, why did you leave the Soviet Union?’ They said, ‘Okay, we understand.’ It is the same kind of oppressive atmosphere, and I am not saying I wasn’t the creator of this. I was part of this thing that I needed to escape. I needed to breathe new air.”

He continued:

“Even though we were huge, and people would have that epithet that would be the biggest band in the world at the time or whatever that means, it is meaningless, but you know you can’t leave this band. People told me I couldn’t leave my job and if I left teaching, I’d lose my pension. That’s what they said, so I’m not terribly sentimental or afraid of change.

I decided to leave the Police on the night of Shea Stadium. It was probably our biggest gig, the apotheosis of bigness, a huge amount of people, exposure, and everything. I thought after this, everything’s just diminishing returns. I spoke to the other guys and said, ‘We can’t just keep doing this. It is boring, it will get boring. People will hate it.’ They agreed, and it was at that point I started to think about how I would carry on.”

You can watch the full interview below.