Drummer, Rock Group Founder, Filmmaker
Friday, January 27, 2006 1:00 PM
Stewart Copeland , former drummer and founder of the Police rock group and now filmmaker, will be online Friday, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m. ET to talk about "Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out," a movie he's made from film shot during the early days of the group on up to their superstardom of the '80's and which premiered this week at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
Charlestown, W.Va.: Thanks for taking questions, and for providing the soundtrack to my youth.
What do you hope people take away after viewing the film? Was there a specific goal you want to achieve, beyond giving a glimpse of the band's development and history?
Stewart Copeland: I just want to share a little bit of the thrill of what it's like to ride a rocket ship. I found this film in a shoebox that I shot while I was on that rocket ship and thought you folks might like to see it.
Alexandria, Va.: I can't wait to see it! Do you have any deals in the works for distribution of your new film? DVD?
Stewart Copeland: That's what Sundance was for. That's where all the buyers see and start what I hope will be a bidding frenzy. The DVD will be available as soon as I can get it out there. Will be
Rockville, Md.: I remember seeing a lot of pictures of you holding an early camcorder with a long microphone coming off the top. I reckon this is the camera that a lot of the footage you used came from, no?
Also, did you ever think when you dyed your hair blonde for that commercial all those years ago you'd be doing it for the rest of your life?
P.S. Who's funnier, Andy Summers or the other guy?
Stewart Copeland: Andy's funnier. Sting's suaver.
I stopped bleaching my hair 20 years ago but now it's bleaching itself.
Yes, that was my camera. It was Sankyo 620 with lots of bells and whistles.
Washington, D.C.: I wondered if the other members of the Police were involved in the making of the Sting performance video in l985 "Bring on the Night." Also, since your brother Miles was the executive who put the group on his label A&M records, did you feel like you got the group their record deal? Also, what did your father do in the CIA?
Stewart Copeland: No involvement on Bring on the Night.
Miles never worked for A&M. He had his own record company called IRS Records (REM, Go'Go's, Bangles, etc.). A&M Records in London signed the Police to get Klart Kent who had already had a modest hit.
Regime change. He replaced KGB SOB's with our SOB's.
Stewart Copeland: ALl I saw were the cocktail parties.
Richmond, Va.: Some say the band's break up was because Sting was a selfish glory hound, others say all of you drifted apart musically, and there are other more far fetched rumors. What is/was the real story?
Stewart Copeland: Sting was not a selfish glory hound and we were still empathetic musically. The problem was very simple: Sting arranged his songs completely in his mind which didn't leave room for Andy and me. Both his position and ours were logical but incompatible. He put up with us meddling with his songs for a surprisingly long time.
Denver, Colo.: Perhaps my favorite moment in the 'Police LIVE' video that came out about ten years ago was the 30-second snippet at the end where you were on the drums during a concert and talking to the camera -- is there much of that in the film?
Stewart Copeland: There are no talking heads in Everyone Stares -- just conversations stuff from my buddies clowning around.
Stewart Copeland: Off-camera you can hear me narrating.
Austin, Tex. : The relationship between the three of you has been strained in the past. Did you have Sting's and Andy's permission to use the videos for this purpose? Did any conflict arise because of this work? And do you feel that this work will give viewers an insight into the group's dynamic (good and bad)?
Stewart Copeland: Look, there's a huge myth out there. There was creative tension but our relationship with each other was then and has always been strong. We like each other and always have. The cause of the creative tension I explained a minute ago but as you will see in my film, we always enjoyed each other's company, still do. Don't believe everything you see on VH1. When I broke Sting's rib that time at Shea Stadium we were both laughing hysterically. It was an accident. He smacked me in the knee with his rib ...
Ann Arbor, Mich.: Where can one get a digital copy of Klart Kent; the last I heard it was only available on vinyl?
Stewart Copeland: I'm working on that.
Reston, Va.: How long did it take you to put the film together (that is after you found it).
What did you think of the whole process of getting this far? And can you see yourself doing more in this medium?
Stewart Copeland: It took, after I digitized the material, it took about a year and a half for me to learn the software and to cut the movie.
Sundance was like a a nuclear hit on my little toy project. It exploded it out into the world in a way that has blown my mind.
Yes, I'll be doing more of this.
Coral Gables, Fla.: With so many rock legends getting back together to go on the road do you envision any Police reunion at all?
Stewart Copeland: Nup.
Annapolis, Md: Please resurrect Klark Kent!
Stewart Copeland: My calculations have Klart Kent entering our solar system soon. There is a tiny (for him) window of 2,586 years.
Columbus, Ohio: I hadn't even heard about this movie, this sounds great! Hope to see it on release, or on DVD, whatever it takes ...
How far back does the film take us? I've always been curious about the really early days, the "Landlord"/"Fallout", before the first LP.
Also, is Gizmo still a go?
Stewart Copeland: I got the camera in 1978. The first two years were unfilmed but in the movie I tell that part of the story with animated stills and narration.
Gizmo is still a go. Maybe take it out of Italy to Spain and France this summer.
Stewart Copeland: What is Gizmo? Find out at stewartcopeland.net.
Washington, D.C.: Whatever happened to Miss Gradenko?
Stewart Copeland: She married up.
Washington, D.C.: Your music for Ziad Doueiri's "West Beyrouth" was fantastic: will you consider composing more Arabic-influenced soundtracks or music, should projects some your way -- do you find any particular enjoyment or inspiration when working with that tradition?
Stewart Copeland: I'm looking for just that movie. I've got Arabic music in my blood.
Albany, N.Y.: Mr Copeland,
I was a big fan of The Police "back in the day." However, I would like a personal apology from Andy Summers for the song "Mother." Can you facilitate that?
Look forward to seeing the film.
Stewart Copeland: I'll call his mom.
Silver Spring, Md.: Stewart - Is there any chance that the "Police Around the World" movie will be released on DVD? I loved watching it as a kid, especially the footage from India and the Middle East. Are any parts of this film incorporated into your new movie?
Thanks for everything -- best of luck in the future!
Stewart Copeland: I'm sure after the stunning smash success of "Everyone Stares" that the record company will get around to releasing any Police stuff that they have.
Courthouse, Va.: As someone who tuned in and turned on to Regatta de Blanc when Message in a Bottle was released when I was in high school, thanks for being a fun part of my adolescence (I always agreed that "the other ones are complete BS")!.
Between your experience and Miles' in the music biz, how has the environment for making music and selling records changed in the past 25 years? More or less fun?
Stewart Copeland: Making music has gotten easier; selling it has gotten harder. Making music has been democratized, but the market is in the hands of fascists. Any damn fool can play but you better keep your day job.
Philly, Pa.: Will there be a soundtrack that goes along with the film, hopefully with a lot of live tracks?
Stewart Copeland: I'm working on that. The soundtracks are strange lobotomies of Police music that were unblessed by my comrades before the movie. Andy likes the stuff now that he's seen it in the film. I'm still working on Sting.
Washington, D.C.: Hi Stewart,
In light of your interest in Arabic music, are you producing any songs for the Bellydance Superstars or other artists on your brother Miles's Mondo Melodia label?
Also, given both of your interests in filmmaking, did you have a role in American Bellydancer, or did Miles have a role in the making of your new film?
Police fan from way, way, back in the day (and now bellydancing)
Stewart Copeland: Now you're talking REAL conflict. These are the screaming matches that everyone imagined were a staple of Police life (but weren't). My beloved brother Miles and I rarely engage in business that does not explode in our faces. We appreciate each other's endeavors from afar and laugh about it over family dinners.
Arlington, Va.: Very impressed by your soundtrack work, but love your drumming too. Any plans for another Oysterhead album or other musical side projects?
Stewart Copeland: Yes, I've rediscovered drumming. I love it.
Oysterhead may be coming back around soon. Our plan was always to come down from the mountain together at 5-year intervals.
Alexandria, Va.: Some of us are Police fans and some are Police fans and Stewart Copeland fans. For those of us in the latter group, are you ever going to release an omnibus; a collection of your soundtracks, film work, light opera, etc? Some of this stuff is rather hard to find and it would be nice to have a great big box set! By the way, you made me into a drummer ... hanks!
Stewart Copeland: Sorry 'bout the drummer thing. Ya shoulda grabbed a mike. The drummer always works for the singer.
The soundtracks are owned by many different parties and therefore difficult to release but I'm working on a compilation of everything possible. There is rather a lot of it. With over 40 movies and countless TV shows it'll have to be a trunk set.
Arlington, Va.: Did you travel a lot as a kid, or do you have memories of the DC area? (Both is possible, I guess.) Where did you actually live? What did you like/dislike most about it?
Stewart Copeland: I was born in Alexandria (Va., not Egypt). I lived there for two months before traveling to Cairo, Egypt. I didn't get back to American till I was 18 after living in Lebanon and England. People are disappointed when they hear my American accent because they regard "The Police" as an English band but I've clung to my American-ness all the way.
Arlington, Va.: Hey,
Just have to say that whenever my little 5-year-old girl hears a Police song, she wants us to download it. And when I do, I'm always impressed with your drumming. Even today, it still seems unique, very active, hyper and rhythmic, not the usual "tick-tick-TOCK-tick-tick-tick-TOCK" that you hear everywhere else. You really seemed to make "the drummer" an important part of that band.
Stewart Copeland: Thanks for your kind words. My little girls like it too but when they hear any music on the radio that they like, they assume daddy made it.
Stewart Copeland: Gotta run folks. Thanks for your questions and warm words. You can keep current with my various missions and activities at stewartcopeland.net or you can check that unauthorized weirdo at stewartcopeland.co.uk.
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