Police Man - The Police's Andy Summers' latest solo set is a collaboration with classical guitarist Ben Verdery, First You Build A Cloud (RAR). RC asked Summers about it..
Interview Date: October 200
POLICE MAN - The Police's Andy Summers' latest solo set is a collaboration with classical guitarist Ben Verdery, First You Build A Cloud (RAR). RC asked Summers about it.
The new album was extemporised, so were there any out-takes?
Yeah, a couple of things that in the end we thought, 'nah'. We always record more than we need, as you never quite know where they'll go, and you eventually put the best ones together. A couple got too weird and out-there.
Will there be a DVD of The Police tour?
Yeah. A lot of it has been filmed, and we're doing Rio and two shows in Buenos Aires.
Has new material been mooted?
We haven't got that far yet.
Is there anything unissued in the archive?
Not The Police, but I've got a lot acetates sitting in trunks in Los Angeles in storage, white labels - everything I ever did, and most ofThe Police stuff. I didn't record anything before Zoot Money, but I recorded under a pseudonym once. But I'm more into creating new music and moving on, 'cause I just think I get better and better at it! I don't have much sentiment in that area, though maybe there'll be a box set at some point. But it's hard to think about it as I'm so involved in The Police now and things are on hold creatively.
Which other guitarists do you admire?
Ralph Turner is a great jazz player, Philip Schofield, John Abercrombie, Philip Caffrey.
What other instrument would you like to have played?
Piano, which I got quite a long way into and took lessons for years, and I've started on classical guitar again. And cello would be good.
Who would you like to work with?
Paul McCartney. We all grew up with The Beatles - the fountainhead of rock.
Do you keep a diary?
Yeah. I was writing it this morning. And I've kept a journal of everything so far - always have done.
Is there anything you'd have done differently?
I suppose you could ask why did we break up The Police in 1983? We could've kept going and going, and it was a bit of a shock at the time. I had to deal with it, and it was difficult, but I got back with my wife, which was fantastic, and it all turned out very well. So maybe we could've kept together longer back then, but then we might not be doing it now.
What was the first record you bought?
The Shadows' Apache.
What was the last CD you bought?
I live in LA and it's only occasionally I'll buy one - I might go to Tower, but I've already got everything I really like on my iPod. I rarely sit and listen to music, except in the car, when I'm trapped, and that's a Mercedes with an incredible sound system.
Did you collect vinyl?
Yeah, and stupidly I sold it all off and now I wish I hadn't. It'd be worth a fortune now, but I needed the space. But I kept all my blues and classical records, and I've since gone out and bought more vinyl records like every other wanker on the block!
What music would you like at your funeral?
Something to make everybody pissed-off and upset - but nothing religious, and not in a church.
Who would you do on Stars In Their Eyes?
What else have you been up to lately?
As well as the photo-book and exhibitions, I've written a movie script and I'll possibly be directing. I'd also like to write a book, but it depends on time. I write prose every day and I love that. I have to have headspace for it and I like the process.
What unfulfilled ambitions do you have?
I'd like to do a couple of solo guitar albums. I have a huge backlog of compositions, not recorded, but stored on MiniDisc over the last three years, and I'd like to bring those to fruition. I write a lot at home in my beach house and record on Pro-Tools. I like playing them back and looking for a bridge that plays off a verse, and then I record them properly in my home studio. It's sweet - a bloke's place, looking over the Pacific with all my books, music, a few guitars, and I sit there and love it. And I meditate too, yoga and stretching, play tennis and work with my trainer. Plus I'd like to travel to Tibet and places in Southeast Asia like Burma.
Is there anything you'd like to change about yourself?
Not really. I'm perfect! ... No. I could be a bit more tolerant, possibly.
Will The Police be going in five years' time?
I dunno. It's an interesting moment. But I'm wondering for the first time in my life - we might still be playing as The Police. Who knows? It feels like a grand finale, and I don't want to put the mockers on it at this point, but this feels a great place to end. We won't stop playing, though whether I'll go on relentlessly touring until the grave, I don't know. Somehow I can't see myself going back to playing in the clubs.