New Sting Album Revisits Winters Past

"This is the station road where my Dad's dairy was," Sting says in the video. "Now it's a Chinese takeaway."

Sting's father was a milkman, with the tenor voice. His mother, a one-time hairdresser, played the piano. Both have passed away.

The story of the English boy who would become Sting is famous in Wallsend. And now Sting is turning the tables, conducting a musical search for the place he left behind.

"I always get writer's block," said Sting. "You know, there's always anxiety. You write a song, you say, 'Well, that's good,' now where does the next one come from?"

This time, the songs came from home.

And now the milkman's son from Wallsend stands on a stage in New York, for his premiere concert here at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

He's here to tell the stories of those winters from long ago, with a 35-member orchestra and some help from Johann Sebastian Bach.

'Just Be Yourself'

Sting has written lyrics to some of Bach's music. The star said the composer is his idol.

"Did you think you'd be collaborating with Bach?" asked Muir.

"I never thought I'd collaborate with him, and I hope he's not spinning in his grave as we speak, but I became obsessed with one of his tunes," said Sting.

Sting wonders where today's young artists get their inspiration.

In England, he's taken on Simon Cowell and "The X Factor" -- the British version of "American Idol" -- for encouraging conformity.

"I worry about the 'X Factor,' because it seems to encourage young artists to merely conform to an existing stereotype," said Sting. "You sound like Mariah Carey, or you sound like Whitney Houston. Whereas the really X factor is to sound completely unique. You know, each of us has a unique voice like a fingerprint, like a signature. ... I think it's impersonation. It's clever to impersonate someone else, but it's more important to just be yourself."

Simon Cowell has said he would now like Sting to go on the show, to mentor young artists. Sting told us he'd do it, if time allows.

But for now, he's got plenty to do. And, he says, a lot to contemplate. Another winter, but this one is different.

"You have said at 58 you are preparing for the winter of your life," said Muir.

"This is the country of eternal youth, so to say something like that is kind of controversial," said Sting. "'How could you say you're facing the winter of your life?' I'm 58. I've been a young man. I've been in middle life. And now I'm not in the winter of my life, but I'm certainly looking at it, I'm preparing for it and saying, 'Well, what kind of old man do I want to be?'

"He said he is entering the winter of his life when he talks about this album. The winter of his life. A little profound. Well, it's sort of a catchall for 'Go buy this!'" said Sting. "I am NOT, in the meantime, I am firmly in the summer."

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