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Reunited Police thrive on tension

The members of reunited rock band the Police are at war with each other — and they couldn’t be having more fun.
/ Source: Reuters

The members of reunited rock band the Police are at war with each other — and they couldn’t be having more fun.

Days before the group begin a first world tour in Canada, drummer Stewart Copeland says he, singer/bassist Sting and guitarist Andy Summers are thriving on the creative tension that tore them apart more than 20 years ago.

“It’s not the most comfortable place in the world being in the Police,” Copeland, 54, told Reuters on Friday. “It’s a bed of roses, all right, including the thorns.”

The band are currently in Vancouver, gearing up for the tour’s official launch on Monday at BC Place Stadium.

Rehearsals for the tour have been underway since March, with much of the work taking place at Sting’s country estate in Italy. After more than two decades apart, it was not long before the threesome settled into their pleasantly prickly groove.

“We play nicely for two or three days, and then we start to get on each others’ nerves, then have a screaming match, and then we hug and kiss, and then we play even better,” Copeland said.

The fights never get personal. They simply stem from the desire of three people with strong personalities to sell their musical ideas to each other, Copeland says.

Copeland remains one of Sting’s biggest fans, even if he and Summers were not thrilled that Sting broke the band up in order to pursue a solo career.

Copeland went on to compose for movies and television, while Summers explored his jazz roots. Sting became even more rich and famous, solidifying his role as the first among equals.

“In this band we are both blessed and cursed that we have within the three of us an 800-pound gorilla,” Copeland joked. “He takes a lot of feeding, but he earns his keep.”

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The band is a democratic outfit, and the revenues will be split equally three ways, to Copeland’s surprise.

“Sting could have raped us. He chose not to,” Copeland said. “I hear these stories about the way other groups are structured and I shake my head in admiration at my buddy.”

With tickets for the North American leg topping $225 each, there will be plenty of money to go around, even with the huge expenses involved in organizing such an undertaking. But Copeland won’t blow his loot on mansions and fast cars.

“I have one house (in Los Angeles), I drive a Jeep Cherokee,” he said. “I live very simply.”