The Police’s Stewart Copeland Details Sting’s Technique To Record Fast
Sting spent a long time with The Police and created five albums together throughout his musical career. The Police drummer Stewart Copeland recently talked about the recording process of this band and revealed Sting’s technique to form a song during the recording sessions quickly.
Sting joined with The Police in 1977 and formed a band with the lineup of Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Henry Padovani, who was soon replaced by Andy Summers. The band released five albums together, including the song, ‘Every Breath You Take,’ which got its album ‘Synchronicity’ nominated for five Grammy Awards.
He officially worked with The Police until 2008, and then he focused on his solo career. He released 15 albums as a solo musician, and each record managed to have a notable song. Hence, his songwriting and composing skills were considered one of the best and ensured him his spot as one of the most memorable musicians.
Recently, Stewart Copeland talked about Sting and his recording process with The Police. He stated that Sting recorded fast and systematically. The band usually played their songs, received Sting’s feedback, and then did three takes which generally resulted in the usage of the second take. He hurried up the process by not trying to make everything perfect and moved on even if there were imperfections in the sound, thinking no one would notice.
Here is what Copeland said about Sting’s recording process:
“Well, it was very close to that spontaneity. For the last three albums, I recorded the drum parts about half an hour after hearing the song for the first time. Sting had a great technique, which was Andy and I would get to the studio, and we’d been writing songs. We’d play all seven of them in a row [and he would react to the material].
By the third or fourth one, everyone’s staring at the floor or the ceiling. ‘I think I’ve got to make a phone call,’ you know. But Sting would reveal his songs, one by one. ‘Okay, that’s great. What’s next? What have we got here?’ We’ve already heard all of Andy’s songs; we’ve already heard all of my songs. ‘What have you got there, Sting-o?’
He’d pull out one of those songs [like] ‘Tea in the Sahara,’ and we’d get right on it, figure it out and do two or three takes. Usually, the second take was the one. By the way, they’re in a real hurry. ‘Oh, that’s great, Stewart.’ You know, ‘It couldn’t be any better than that!’ Because they’re in a hurry, they want to do their overdubs. ‘It’s fine, it’s fine! Nobody will ever notice that little fuck-up there!‘
So, they’re in a hurry to get on with the fun. And by the way, once I’ve done that, they redo all of the basses, redo the vocals, redo everything. But I’m stuck with that original drum pass with all of its imperfections.”
Every musician has their ways and techniques of perfecting a record. It seems like Sting had no such sort of desire, and considering the fact that he won 25 AMAs and 17 Grammy Awards, a record doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. He released his latest solo album, ‘The Bridge’ in 2021, the first rock album he had released after 2016.