THE STEWART COPELAND INTERVIEW

Enter here to win The Police Box Set - Message in a Box - The Complete Recordings.

By: Kayceman


The Police
Back in September 2006 I interviewed legendary Police drummer Stewart Copeland. The conversation was focused on his new DVD, Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out, which was released in mid-September. On the homemade documentary, Copeland used his Super 8 camera to film more than fifty hours of life in the band. With his wry sense of humor, Copeland chronicles everything from the 1977 formation of the band to the final days following 1983's Synchronicity tour when they quit at the top of their game.

The funny thing is, as I was putting together the article on the DVD, rumors began to fly about a Police reunion. The more I poked around, the more sure I became that this was no rumor. Knowing that The Police were going to reunite, we elected to hold off on publishing our interview and drop it on the people when the big news broke. Finally, after a solid rendition of their smash hit "Roxanne" at the Grammy Awards and the subsequent world tour announcement, JamBase is happy to unveil our talk with Stewart Copeland.


Kayceman: When you watch Everybody Stares what do you take away from your time with The Police?

Copeland: Two different things actually; when I look back at life with The Police I take a bunch of things away from that, and when I look back at this film, I take a bunch of different things away.

Kayceman: How do they differ?

Copeland: In terms of looking back on my life as a member of The Police I walk away from that with all kinds of musical validation. I guess I have cause to feel good about what I've given to the world of music and that feels great. When I look at the film, I think wow, what a cool movie and how blessed I was to have such great images to make such a cool movie. And I'm very proud of the movie as a manifestation of film making, and that's my primary emotion regarding the film.

When I was shooting the film these incredible adventures were happening in front of me and I wanted to scrape them off and stuff them into my suitcase so I could play with them later, like any tourist.

Kayceman: What brought you to your involvement with film scoring?

Copeland: I got a phone call from Francis Ford Coppola.

How does your approach differ from scoring music versus being a rock drummer?


Stewart Copeland
They are very different. I chuckle to myself over the conflict between the composer and the drummer. As I'm writing an orchestral piece I know in the back of my mind that the fucking drummer is going to trash this beautiful little flute melody. And I'm pleading in my mind with the drummer guy to show a little mercy. But, as soon as I'm sitting behind the drums and the music that the composer guy wrote is on the stands and I'm blasting away, "Fuck off with your little flute melody! I'm playing now!"

Coming out of your career with The Police a lot of press releases, and people in general, got the impression you shunned your pop past. I'm wondering if you really did shun that past?

I don't think I did, not consciously anyway. It's not a matter of shunning. It's a matter of you go do something else.

Lots of people have discussed the break up of The Police, and from most accounts it didn't seem to be a very clean or easy break. I'm curious if that led you to pursue something outside of rock & roll?

The parting of ways within the band was actually very easy and very amicable. We were all in a really good mood and we decided to make Melbourne the last show.

When you think back on that, what did you feel was the real reason to put The Police on rest?


Sting :: The Police
Two things, both of which I tried to explain in the film. Musically, Sting had become– he always was, but after three or four albums he actually really became a brilliant arranger and producer and songwriter. When Sting was writing his songs, at first he would bring them in as just a few chords and the lyric. But eventually, by the third album [Zenyatta Mondatta], we all had the obligatory rock star country house with recording studio, so he would show up in the studio with platinum demos and he had finished the arrangement. Which is perfectly reasonable. He has a very active brain.

Like Mozart, he completes his composition; every part of it, every aspect, the rhythm, the melody, the harmony, the lyric, everything. Mozart never had to negotiate with the brass section how to play a certain passage. This concept of the composer collaborating with the band is kind of newfangled, and in many ways goes against the grain. It works really well in bands, that collaboration, that's why rock music is so cool. But, it's understandable that the composer, particularly one who is as validated as Sting was – hit after hit after hit – to say, "You know what, I've written a song and I think it should go like this." He was perfectly within his rights to assert the sanctity of the composer. The problem was that for Andy [Summers - guitar] and me, it meant less and less that the band is a vehicle for our artistic expressions. We're just playing parts conceived by somebody else, and that's no fun. In fact, we didn't play those parts. We struggled and that's what the struggle was all about. With hindsight we can see clearly that both points of view had validity and also that the result of that struggle was good. In some cases Sting gave it up and compromised, and in some cases he didn't and we compromised. Sometimes it was Sting and Andy against me, sometimes it was Sting and I against Andy. That was the struggle, the conflict between the band and the composition.

A song like "Every Breath You Take" Sting brought it to the band as a Hammond organ piece, kind of like Billy Preston, these big huge chords with that song over the top of it. We could hear it, this was huge, one of the most important songs he's ever written. But, it didn't sound like us. We don't have a keyboard player. We're a guitar band. So, Andy came up with this guitar figure, which was never part of his original recording, but it was really potent and really changed the whole atmosphere of the song. Sting gave it up, he compromised.

Another song was "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" where Sting had the platinum demo. We heard his demo and it sounded great. He could have just released the demo and it would have been a guaranteed huge smash hit. But, we wanted to Police-ify it so we tried it slower, we tried faster, we tried the reggae version, the punk version, the jazz version, the polka version, but nothing was as good as the demo, so we gave it up and I just over-dubbed my drums to his demo. Some went this way, some went that way. Ultimately all of our records turned out rather well. Also, after eight years of working with us and five albums, Sting was less and less willing to make those compromises, so eventually we parted company.

 
After eight years of working with us and five albums, Sting was less and less willing to make those compromises, so eventually we parted company.

-Copeland on the demise of The Police

 

So you said it was an amicable separation?


The Police
There was another side to it which was band life. We were in this cocoon separated from the real world and we felt a little bit uncomfortable about that. I felt like the Aztec Sun King and that any minute now the priests are gonna come drag me out of my palace, take me up the pyramid and cut my heart out. It just didn't seem like this could last.

By stopping when you did, you cemented yourselves as absolute legends at the top of your game. Did that have anything to do with the thought process at the time?

It turned out that way fortuitously. But no, that wasn't part of our thought process. I certainly felt that there was a lot more gold in them hills. And I continue to be inspired by Sting's songs; he didn't run out of gas as a songwriter. And it may be that he felt that, "god damn it I want to write jazz songs and have it sound like my own thing." Maybe he was burnt out on working with Andy's concept of how guitar chords should work and my concept of how the drums should be. But it didn't feel like that. When we played on stage we always turned each other on.

What's your relationship like now with Sting and Andy?


Stewart Copeland
Very good. I'll probably see Sting in the next couple days, he's in town, just got to L.A. Andy I see all the time because he lives just down the road. One of the surprises of this film, and by the way in all the other fifty hours of footage that I have, is that we liked each other. All the shots I have we are laughing and goofing off.

What songs are you most proud of?

"Don't Stand So Close To Me," "Can't Stand Loosing You" and "Message In a Bottle" are my favorites, and "Beds Too Big Without You." "Roxanne," "Synchronicity." And "One World is Enough," you get the idea, I love them all.

One thing that has always blown me away about The Police was that you guys sort of existed in a vacuum where you were creating something very new and unique, which is a difficult thing to do.

We were very lucky that there was a vacuum at that time.

So how did you develop this sound?

By playing with each other. Andy and Sting inspired a certain kind of drumming in me and I believe my drumming inspired a certain kind of bass playing in Sting and so on. We really developed our style as a result of working with each other. My concept of how drums and bass works evolved by working with one particular bass player.

And how about just fundamentally, what were your influenced that led you to this?


The Police
Well the vacuum you were talking about was such that there were no new wave groups that had chops, which meant we were the only ones.

How about the rock - meets - reggae - meets - punk?

It was a meshing of all three [Sting, Andy, Copeland]. Sting certainly discovered reggae. He had a New Years Eve party in 76-77 and he borrowed my record player because he didn't have one, and also my record collection, and for the first five days of the following year I think Sting was deeply lost in a world entrenched by reggae. There was a real sudden and dramatic conversion.

I read something where a writer said that you have some sort of aversion to jazz?


Stewart Copeland
It's a fun party trick, but I am allergic to jazz. I was raised to be a jazz musician, my father was a jazz musician and I was steeped in jazz from the moment my ears blinked open, which is why I am immune to jazz. And my main reason why I love dissing jazz is jazz musicians. The problem with jazz musicians is that they are all crap. It's sort of like jazz is the refuge of the talent-less. If you really want to be a musician and you are prepared to really work hard at it, but you don't have the gift and you don't have any soul and you don't have any talent, jazz is what you should do; because all you need to do is just spend hours training your fingers to wiggle very quickly and you'll be a hero in the jazz world. Not so in blues. In blues you need talent, you need X factor, you need heart, you need to have lived a life, you have to have something to say, you need to be an actual musician to play the blues. Jazz, any fool can do it; all you gotta do is practice.

And do you think that hold true for the elite, for folks like Jack DeJohneete?

I love Jack DeJohneete. Some of the others – Miles [Davis], mostly crap. Some of his early records where he had Tony Williams, great, I love those. But mostly it was crap. He was out of tune and he was a fucking junky and it sounded like shit. It was utterly preposterous. The king just wasn't wearing any clothes. Coltrane, same thing. [In a condescending voice] "Love supreme, love supreme" it's a joke.

It's commendable to hear people speak up for what they believe.


Stewart Copeland
Well half of all this is just because I enjoy the frisson caused by such comments, and the other thing that colors all this is that it's not about the music, it's about the guys. Jazz musicians as a rule are stuck up snobs. And the reason is because they don't get laid! Rock musicians get laid, jazz musicians don't!

That would piss anyone off.

And it turns them into grouchy people to hang with. There are many exceptions to that rule. One of my best friends is Stanley Clarke; he's great fun to hang out with.

Now thinking back, you mentioned your father and growing up in a jazz household, and I'm curious if there was any rub in the fact that he was a C.I.A. agent and you were a rock star, did that create any issues?

No-no-no. My father's job as a C.I.A. agent... to observe the C.I.A. agent at work was to watch him attend cocktails parties.

So I guess there are more similarities than one may think.

Well he saw himself primarily as a musician. And all his sons and daughters went by without showing any talent for playing. Miles and Ian were both real music heads, they listened to music all the time, but they couldn't play anything. So by the time I came along – the fourth child – the house was full of abandoned musical instruments. So I started to pick them up and play stuff, so my dad jumped up, "Finally one of my kids!" So I was immediately packed-off to every lesson. I think trombone was my first instrument at age six or something. I don't remember ever not being the musician of the family and having lessons of some kind.

 
Miles [Davis], mostly crap... He was out of tune and he was a fucking junky and it sounded like shit. It was utterly preposterous. The king just wasn't wearing any clothes. Coltrane, same thing.
-Stewart Copeland
 

And at what point did you realize that you had something special; that this might not just be a hobby?

I think seven.

Really?

What clues did I have?

Yeah?


Stewart Copeland by Lynn Goldsmith
Just my own over-inflated imagination. Same as every musician. I assume that all musicians – maybe not jazz musicians, but most musicians hit that spot when they're playing where they know they are doing something beautiful and it touches their own heart, it's the real thing. It may not be absolutely proficient, but you hit the spot. And at that moment you feel like you are the greatest musician that ever lived.

And you had that feeling at seven?

I always remember that music gave me that. I don't remember how old I was the first time I had that, but I know music always gave me that. And I was a measly kid, the runt of the litter physically. Around 19 or 20 I started to grow, but up until that point I was a pale skinny kid; and music was the one thing that I had that gave me a reason to get out of bed.

Did spending a good amount of time in the Middle East as a young man have a strong impact on you musically?


Stewart Copeland
The Arabic music totally had a huge influence. Arabic music has that similar thing to reggae where the emphasis is on the third beat of the bar, so when I picked up reggae I already had that deeply engrained.

I'm also curious about the differences between playing live and recording music, what do you value most about both those outlets?

I value recording in the studio not a whit, not a jot, nor tiddle. I hate it. I love playing on stage. My policy now is that I'm never going to record drums in the studio ever again because I hate it. Playing on stage I love. And if I ever need to make a record I'll have to do a concert first.

Can you explain why?

The reason is that when you're playing drums in the studio you're not really playing... your heart and brain are not in the same place. You're trying to remember an arrangement, you're trying to fake it. It's sort of like playing with a rubber doll; it's not the real thing. Actually, for me that only applies to drums by the way. I love over-dubbing on guitar, bass, any other instrument, I love it. It's just the drumming part.

Something else I wanted to touch on was Oysterhead, which turned a whole new generation on to you.


Oysterhead :: Bonnaroo 2006 by Dave Vann

Ahhh, I love Oysterhead.

So first off, this was a trio, as was The Police, where were the similarities and differences?


Oysterhead
I can't think of two more contrasting band environments. Oysterhead turns everything I know about stage craft on its head. In The Police it was all about songs. Oysterhead has no songs, it's all about improvisation, it's all about chops and playing and creating excitement that comes from improvisation. The spontaneity of it, the creating here and now is what the buzz of it is. When I'm on stage with Oysterhead and we're completely way out on a tangent – who knows what song we even stared out with, we're way out there – I'm dying thinking this is a horrendous crime against stage craft and I look at the front row and this is their favorite part. They're watching us think. They're watching something that has never happened before and will never happen again. They're in it with us, they're on the journey and you gotta take the rough with the smooth.

In The Police we organized our material and we went and presented it on stage. And every once in a while we would allow ourselves excursions of improvisation which was very rewarding, but it was all in the context of closely arranged material. The set list was very honed so that the lighting guy, the sound guy, the guitar tech, the wardrobe lady – everybody knew what the next song was. We would work on it with great diligence to make that show really work. The pacing from this song to that song, the transitions, everything. In Oysterhead the philosophy is "set lists are for wimps." We would just walk out there and play.

In The Police's day stage attire and image was very important. It was part of your job to look different from the kid on the street. You had to look more outrageous than was possible for a normal civilian. It was part of your job. It would be unprofessional to leave your hotel room looking like you would be safe with children. Nowadays the band - the rock stars, look just like the fans.

Well, Les Claypool could go against that one.


Copeland with Oysterhead :: Bonnaroo 2006 by Dave Vann
Well that's true, but that's just Les Claypool wearing his street clothes. That's the real Les Claypool, he's a special case. One of the greatest men on the planet. He should be president. One of the craziest yet most sensible people I know. He's the most practical wacko I've ever met.

What about Trey? What do you enjoy about playing with him?

He's a force of nature. You remember Mozart in that movie Amadeus, that's our Trey. He's just a cheerful guy. Point him towards the stage, plug him in and cool shit happens. You never know what's gonna happen at any other time – or even on stage for that matter – you never know what's gonna happen with Trey; is he gonna show up, or not? And that's part of his charm.

I find Trey's guitar playing to be rather unique, especially his tone and his style, is that something you agree with?

Absolutely. He can create a whole world of sound and music without really playing his guitar. He uses his guitar to create these sounds, these wafting clouds of atmosphere which are really affective and don't involve finger wiggling.

Is there anybody else you sort of put in that same category?


The Police at 2007 Grammy Awards
By Kevin Mazur
Not really. I've done a lot of jamming with Jeff Beck and he has incredible chops of a different nature.

You've done so much in so many different areas of creativity, what else do you want to do? What else do you dream of?

I really like writing orchestral music and I have to squeeze it in between earning a living by writing film music. I suppose if there's anything I want to do more of it would be that. All the time when I was getting this jazz upbringing my mom was listening to Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, and those things actually resonated more deeply. It's almost a completely different musical personality. When I play drums I hear guitars. At certain times of the day I hear guitar music, but at other times I just have this river flowing of orchestral music and I want to make my own. And I love it when I get an opportunity to make some; when I get a commission from Seattle Symphony or San Francisco Ballet, or any of these people to write this kind of music. And it's so removed from the other aspects of my musical life.

It often seems that people who are very creative in various mediums thrive off of new experiences and new outlets, so that certainly makes sense.

When I look at who I am and what I've done, the orchestral side seems completely anomalous, it's so gentle. I guess it's sort of like the Japanese war commander who while he's planning his military strategies is doing flower arrangements.


THE POLICE 2007 TOUR DATES
05.28 | GM Place | Vancouver, BC
06.06 | Key Arena | Seattle, WA
06.09 | Pepsi Center | Denver, CO
06.15 | MGM Grand Garden | Las Vegas, NV
06.16 | Bonnaroo Festival | Manchester, TN
06.18 | US Airways Arena | Phoenix, AZ
06.26 | American Airlines Center | Dallas, TX
06.30 | New Orleans Arena | New Orleans, LA
07.02 | Scottrade Center | St. Louis, MO
07.22 | Air Canada Centre | Toronto, ON
07.25 | Bell Centre | Montreal, PQ
07.28 | Fenway Park | Boston, MA
08.01 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
08.03 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY

Enter here to win The Police Box Set - Message in a Box - The Complete Recordings.

Watch The Police at the 2007 Grammy Awards

JamBase | San Francisco
Go See Live Music!


Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!


You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!



 
 

Comments

Damonh420 Tue 2/13/2007 06:42PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Miles [Davis], mostly crap. Some of his early records where he had Tony Williams, great, I love those. But mostly it was crap. He was out of tune and he was a fucking junky and it sounded like shit. It was utterly preposterous. The king just wasn't wearing any clothes. Coltrane, same thing. [In a condescending voice] "Love supreme, love supreme" it's a joke.
He is obviously a tool.

Raphwantstobemickey Tue 2/13/2007 06:54PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Raphwantstobemickey

I Agree with damonh420, Copeland are you kidding me??? im a drummer who attempts to play jazz everyday,i was raised on jazz, and to say most of it is crap, is REAL fucking crap. jazz is the root of most western music today, the improvistaion, the skill, ESPECIALLY the timing and the DISCIPLINE all stems from jazz, and to trash it the way he does in the interview is kind of sad. i love copelands stuff with the police (though fuck sting...he sucks) one world, brilliant stuff, so im shocked to hear how much he tears jazz musicians a new one. yes if you practice everyday you'll make a good jazz player, then again you'll make a good anything, your supposed to practice everyday stewart copeland you should know this, sorry that your head is stuffed to far up your ass...sad dude sad.

Raphwantstobemickey Tue 2/13/2007 06:58PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Raphwantstobemickey

oh and coltrane was sober sally when he wrote love supreme, he was a born again christian and wrote it to praise the lord...i suppose...i guess what im trying to say is TAKE MORE DRUGS!!!!

Kayceman Tue 2/13/2007 07:42PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Kayceman

As the guy who interviewed Copeland for this story I feel the need to speak up about the jazz/Miles/Coltrane comment. Yes, it's very dicey and makes for good reading/talking, but that's sort of the point. I definitely get the impression Copeland feels this way, but if you read the quote in context he kinda tells you he's trying to get a reaction. He also references his love for other jazz musicians. Anyway, it's a fun quote, but the dude says way more than just that in this interview. And he was a really fun interview by the way; very open and talkative.

k23orchestra starstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 07:43PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

k23orchestra

I was reading along and enjoying the interview and then like a brick wall suddenly surprises a drunk driver there it was. "Miles, mostly crap.... A Love supreme, love supreme" it's a joke." I believe that by calling "A Love Supreme" a joke, you eclipse every other word in your interview. I never liked the Police for possessing that cheesy pop late 70s tone, but I understand that the boys have chops and warrant some respect, but they never released anything as soulful as the shits that John Coltrane released out of his ass in the 50s. PS, read the Mile Davis autobiography, hate to break it to you, but Miles Got Laid Like A Fucking RockStar because he was one. Wow! Take a step back, you played drums on Roxanne, you didn't redefine music every 5 years over the course 4 decades.

jprosenb1 Tue 2/13/2007 08:04PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

yeah, this article became trash as soon as he started the jazz thing.. nice words stewie.. id like to hear him play some of those tony williams licks, or better yet, feel it like tony williams.. i saw oysterhead at bonnaroo this past summer he kept throwing those triplets on the 1 of ever y measure like in "psuedo suicide" and it just got so annoying cuz i was so dosed.(listen to it and you'll know exactly what im talking about).

manjotar starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 08:11PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

manjotar

yeah he's a badass,
can't wait to hear him kick it this summer...
but speaking of ridiculous drummers,
what ever happened to terry bozzio?
just wondering...

jprosenb1 Tue 2/13/2007 08:12PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

he aint got shit on elvin jones either

nlmihal1 starstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 08:37PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I thought the Police were pretty good, but nothing amazing and Stewart was a good session drummer. He's obviously trying to get a rise out of the jazz comment. He did just that. Stewart Copeland sucks. As stated before, read some Coltrane or Miles biographies and learn about them. They are the ones that changed music forever, not the freaking police. Rock drummers play in 4/4 every song. Man, that's a tough gig dude. Look at Giant Steps and learn about moving in 5ths. Anything Miles or Coltrane ever did was 100X better than the Police. I would have left that quote out jambase because any music lover will just hate the guy after that quote.

jhacketh1 starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 08:53PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

jhacketh1

I'm sure he knew exactly what he was saying and what effect it would have on this audience. I mean the guy jams with Claypool all the time...Primus sucks! same deal. He does have a point about quick rifts versus soulful notes. I saw the Oysterhead in Seattle and he was the highlight for me. Super-cool

SuperDee starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 09:32PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

SuperDee

sick interview! i can't believe i just read the words "Rock musicians get laid, jazz musicians don't!" on jambase. i'm sorry, but that is really really quite hilarious.

SuperDee Tue 2/13/2007 09:34PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

SuperDee

p.s. everyone just RELAX and have a good read.

JoelsEnergyGuide starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 09:56PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

great article. love this guy. I know exactly what he is talking about when he is trashing jazz like that. being forced to study jazz for years, or even studying it on your own, one can get sick of it real easily. Just as you can with any other music you've studied or listened to for years. copeland is a sick drummer, and he could play right along with some of the best jazz drummers, I am sure. which is why he has a right to say whatever the hell he wants about jazz. besides, he's right...the best part about busting on jazz cats is their reaction anyways ;)

Leistr Tue 2/13/2007 10:13PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

these fuckers better get ready to imrovise at the roo. Alot of jazz fans are stuck up they call em' "jazz nazis" at Berklee but this mother fuckerssounds pretty big headed too. He totaly contradicts himself talking about how jazz is bullshit because its random and then talks about the best part of oysterhead being the improv. what an asshole.
miles davis is the shit and so is coltrane to bad he cant grasp it.

Leistr Tue 2/13/2007 10:18PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Kayceman I see what your saying but cmon you gotta admit thats a dick move

ers7 starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/13/2007 11:29PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

"He was out of tune and he was a fucking junky and it sounded like shit"

- sounds a lot like a certain "force of nature" we know so well

ers7 Tue 2/13/2007 11:42PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

sorry, that was a cheap shot, just thought it was funny to be dissing miles and giving trey props, but anyway...

foadser starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 06:48AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Step 1: Go buy "Message in a Box"

Step 2: Listen.

Step 3: Understand The police are completely badass.

Has anyone ever seen Umphrey's do "Walking on the Moon?" Tight sh!t.

Re: Copeland's jazz comments. He's a rock star. Of course he is going to have a few asinine opinions about what's generally considered "good."

nuke_ticketbastard starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 06:49AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

what a great article! yeah you nailed it kayce , gotta give props to someone who speaks their mind regardless of who will say what etc... .I don't agree 100% but don't disagree either w/ the jazz comments. At least he elaborated on the subject and didn't sound like alot of the people who post here who's big statements are " fuck the police " , " trey sucks " etc.... The telephone is ringing , is that my mother on the phone? the telephone is ringing.....

Damonh420 Wed 2/14/2007 07:30AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

He's a JERK OFF. A J E R K O F F

theivywall Wed 2/14/2007 07:40AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

theivywall

yeah i love jazz, it's definately one of my personal favorite styles of music for jamming\listening to, but copeland actually makes a good point about "rapid wiggling" or however he frazed it, if you can get down the rapidity of note transitions (slides, bends, pulloffs), learn the unorthodox scale and improvise well enough, jazz guitar isn't as difficult as it sounds, it just has a unique sound. I'm sure with the Coltrane comment he was mostly trying to get a rise out of music snobs and have a good time. it seemed a light-hearted comment. i personally love me some coltrane, but I'd probably poke fun at a lot of metal music some friends are into, even though I recognize the chops a lot of metal bands have. same idea.

G$Love starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 07:54AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

G$Love

Killer interview Kayce, really got inside his head, great to hear his perspective on the demise of The Police. People you need to chill out on the jazz comment, take a deep breath.

Nookiebox Wed 2/14/2007 08:49AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Nookiebox

stings a tool

gamecat starstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 09:41AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

gamecat

"Jazz musicians as a rule are stuck up snobs. And the reason is because they don't get laid! Rock musicians get laid, jazz musicians don't!"

Holy crap that's funny!
So true.

Stuck up is an understatement.

Great interview.


rockera starstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 10:27AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Stewart I love your drumming and vision. But who the hell wants to hang with an arrogant bastard, like you. I'd rather hang with Dave King(The Bad Plus) or Joey Baron any day. Where is all this angnst coming from, maybe you need to get laid
"Love Supreme" a joke, come on!!

Zapzapa Wed 2/14/2007 10:46AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Zapzapa

Sting sucks and so do The Police, Talking Heads should have got back together then we wouldn't have to read this nonsense about jazz and they would be headliners of the The B-Roo and then i would be paying almost 200 bucks for a ticket and then i would be a happy head anyone who pays that much for The Police is out of their mind I know Tool and Panic will be there but come on its almost 200 dollar ticket thats bull shit

Zapzapa Wed 2/14/2007 10:50AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Zapzapa

manjotar :: 2/13/2007 8:11 PM ::
yeah he's a badass,
can't wait to hear him kick it this summer...
but speaking of ridiculous drummers,
what ever happened to terry bozzio?
just wondering... he lives in Austin Texas just in case you read this

JohnBrad517 Wed 2/14/2007 10:59AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

what a bitch

guitardave starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 11:23AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

guitardave

Don't let Stew punk ya. That's just stream of consciousness rambling. The main thing he is attacking is the purist snobbery of it all. He also knows there is no better way to piss off jazzers than to go straight to the top and diss Coltrane and Miles. Stew has hung and played with the heaviest of the heavy. I'm sure everyone posting on this thread has rubbed up against some douchebag bop-nazis in their life (along with some stuck up asshole rockers, too). Say what you want about The Police headlining 'Roo, but everyone playing on that bill will not miss a single measure of it. C'mon yall, freedom of speech, Freedom Rock- turn it up man!

EVILFUNK starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 11:51AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

EVILFUNK

"Oysterhead has no songs, it's all about improvisation, it's all about chops and playing and creating excitement that comes from improvisation. The spontaneity of it, the creating here and now is what the buzz of it is. When I'm on stage with Oysterhead and we're completely way out on a tangent – who knows what song we even stared out with, we're way out there – I'm dying thinking this is a horrendous crime against stage craft and I look at the front row and this is their favorite part. They're watching us think. They're watching something that has never happened before and will never happen again. They're in it with us, they're on the journey and you gotta take the rough with the smooth."

Jam extracted this performance concept from jazz and it apparently worked. I also grew up in a jazz household...raised by a jazz musican (not the CIA)...i was sent for jazz lessons. I still practice jazz some but I can identify with Copeland when he talks about wanting to get laid instead of practice enough to hang with serious jazz players...id rather get laid too...ROCK AND ROLL!

I cant agree with all of Copelands opinions but he is a trip! If this is what he thinks of Miles Davis I wonder what he thinks of Garcia?!?!

AWESOME INTERVIEW! THANK YOU!

breadloaf starstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 11:55AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I cannot decide if Copeland's comments are actually some private little nod to a jazz friend. One can play any music, jazz or otherwise, without soul- it's just notes, after all. But what one does with those notes..Jerry Garcia once said, "There are many players with great technique who have nothing to say." To intone that the "finger wiggling" is the sole provinence of jazz players is hilarious- as if jam music does not have a nation of finger wigglers? Granted jazz is an acquired taste, and I certianly would not feel the need to live on a steady diet of it (guitardave said it best), but to so easily diss an entire art form is nothing but unabashed arrogance- or a joke, which Copeland does partially cop to. Kaycemen, I felt that you gave him a pass there. Knowing that you were aware of a whiff of bull, do you nevertheless agree with his assertions to a certain extent? Not sure if you are a jazz fan or not. I would be curious to know if you ever had the opportunity to see Miles Davis. In a lifetime of playing and seeing live music, seeing him play remains deeply imprinted upon me. My personal opinion is that his music was amazing, from all periods, not just the Tony Williams stuff. I would strongly encourage folks to familiarize themselves with Miles and form their own opinion through direct experimentation. Remember also, years ago Copeland totally trashed Jerry Garcia in at least one interview as well. He clearly relishes playing the tool and I hope there is more "wink, wink" in his schtick than the words convey. Thank you for your work, Kayce.

bertolet Wed 2/14/2007 12:09PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

bertolet

Stu demonstrates exactly how to push a jam fan's buttons in 50 words or less. Lighten up, folks, he's f*cking around. More to the point, the guy is a beast behind the kit, and those who know him as a human being (vs. those who make assumptions based on some hot air in an interview) know he's a prince.

Don Henley once said in a RS interview that he only listened to his own music. The difference between Don and Stu is that (a) Don wasn't kidding, and (b) Don is actually a douchebag.

lostpilgrim Wed 2/14/2007 12:32PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The Copeland Brothers(Miles & Ian as well as Stewart)have completely changed the musical landscape over the past three decades. Besides Stewart's involvement in the Police, Miles & Ian started multiple record companies over the years including IRS records. They basically started the Athens, GA music scene in the early 80's. Mike Mills & Bill Berry actually interned for Miles in Macon before starting REM in 1980. Sadly Ian died last year but I would highly recommend reading his book "Wild Thing".

jprosenb1 Wed 2/14/2007 12:39PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

horace silver.. now thats soul.. sorry police, you aint got that feel

Randle starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 01:33PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Randle

I agree w/ you Bertolet....lighten up guys. Go to the bort if you want to get so emotional online. I gotta say as a fan of all of Stew's projects and everyone he pretty much trashed, I couldn't believe the brass balls he had to make those remarks. Definately some shock value in this article, which I enjoyed....although I disagree, he's entitled to his opinion and he's got guts to speak so freely.

Flyingbird73 starstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 02:13PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Flyingbird73

[Manjotar & Zapzapa] - any Comments Section that makes its way to a Terry Bozzio reference is just alright w/ me. Bravo....and SuperDee has it right as per usual.

fiende starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 02:45PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

fiende

I love how some of you people are so easily offended by something you oppose subjectively- I'm sure Stew would be most entertained by it! Bottom line is, The Police are a part of my earliest and most fundamental memories of music. I consider Stew a creative genius, and those types often bear eccentricity. It's part of their beauty. Fantastic article!

Billy D. Lyons Wed 2/14/2007 05:07PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Billy D. Lyons

Bad news folks, I just heard that the police are going to be at Bonnaroo...The first time 6up will be headlining.
Here comes the fuzz, here comes the fuzz!

hippiehater star Wed 2/14/2007 05:34PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

hippiehater

Here's a joke, What do you call a guy who hangs out with musicians ----- a DRUMMER! Sounds to bitter to be getting laid on a regular basis! You want the real reason that STING decided to put the band on rest - He was tired of being around an asshole (you can put up with an asshole if he's got talent) Can't comment on the rest of the article b/c after the comments about jazz I realized that I wasn't gonna learn anything from this tool and I don't have the time to waste on dumb drummers. peace and love

surlybuf starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/14/2007 09:41PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Ahh the English. They reign supreme over our simple tastes. What muscle heads we Americans with our Jazz noodling must be. Why can't we rip off a country with better music like Jamaica? Clapton is God! Freddie Mercury is Jesus! Hermen's Hermits, the 12 diciples of course!

jmr03 Thu 2/15/2007 01:59AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

As much as I like The Police, I must say that Copeland sounds like a moron in this interview. The fact is that there are thousands of people that have practiced enough to become virtuosos, yet only a very small percentage of these people are recognized as visionaries. Miles and Coltrane changed music forever. Copeland will never be remembered for that.

guitardave starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/15/2007 06:32AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

guitardave

Uhh, Stew is American. Charlie Watts (who actually is British) said Jazz is America's highest art form. By the way, Bertolet just may have THE BEST profile picture ever.
Dwight rules!

mhc10 Thu 2/15/2007 06:52AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Tony Williams and Elvin Jones could whip Stewart Copeland's ass. Coltrane, a joke. Miles, Crap. Guess what, Stewart. The Police is a joke. This tour is a joke. It's all about the money. Oysterhead sucked too.

redplate Thu 2/15/2007 08:12AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

redplate

Hey im gonna bitch about the jazz too. I think he was just jazz brain washed or something. As a drummer who learned rock rythms i find jazz really difficult. I'm slowly getting better at it but i personally feel jazz music makes up a great deal of drums. Jazz music can be tweaked in small ways until its other music. Copeland probably doesnt realize it but the reason he is just a good drummer is jazz. He probably just have a personal distaste for it since he was beaten into submission by his father until he played bitches brew note for note

bertolet Thu 2/15/2007 09:30AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

bertolet

Thanks, Guitar Dave. And yeah, that remark about Stewart being British was capital, eh.

guitardave Thu 2/15/2007 12:58PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

guitardave

Bertolet has made me think: Who is the biggest douchebag? a. Don Henley, b. Alex Trebek, c. Bob Vila, d. Kevin Costner. Think this one over carefully and be sure to appreciate the douchey nuances of all of the entrants.

m~l~m starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/15/2007 01:20PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

m~l~m

If you don't see at least some truth to what he is saying (and don't get the overall humor of it) you truly have a stick up your ass. "Lighten up, Francis." Snobbery in the Jazz (and Jamband) world is rampant. Bravo to Copeland for pointing it out. It's all about the x-factor, and he is right in saying a lot of Jazz musicians get away without having that...Chill out, peoples! Stewart is better than you ;-)

johnnygoff starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/15/2007 01:49PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

johnnygoff

kayce,

would like to see more stuff like this...

stories w/ interviews! good read.

as far a copeland's jazz comments: the dude loves to push buttons, but I after reading several times, get the vibe he REALLY does believe "jazz is crap."

so, I love the police's side projects, but in my own personal, humble opinion, I still am not thrilled about seeing The Police. It's like these 'Stones tours that are so watered down with Centrum Silver and Geritol. The Police = a 3-piece, very basic pop band with mediocre stage shows....yawn to the police at Bonnaroo. Props to Kayce for an inside look @ the very polarizing (as proven with these comments) Copeland.


via,


the_goff.

bigz starstarstar Thu 2/15/2007 03:58PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Ol' Stu seems to contradict himself. I was really excited about the Police tour, and now I don't know??? How in the world can they think that raggae music is so much better than Jazz? I like all music as long as its good! Miles, Coletrane, Marley Etc......
Go see live music!!!

Guanoskimer starstar Thu 2/15/2007 04:31PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Before reading this article I didn't really have much of an opinion on stewart copeland- although I did think he was a fairly talented drummer. Now after reading it I am confident that this dude is a fucking moron. To say jazz is crap, jazz musicians such the most, miles davis sucked and was just a fucking junky and same with train- fuck you copeland. Just in case you didn't notice, stewart, you are a drummer! You may compose soundtracks but you only play drums in bands and it's much easier to bang on things to a simple reggae beat than to solo over the changes in giant steps you fucking idiot. If I were to choose between Stewart and Miles while he's completely fucked up on H, I wouldnt even have to think about it, because miles is a real musician. How the fuck can Stanley be friends with this joke of a man!?!? Stanley Clarke is so awesome and such a great jazzer so I don't get why he'd hang out with this clown who clearly has no clue what he is talking about. Stanley was good friends with Miles so I'm sure as soon as stanley gets word of this interview they won't be friends anymore. Stewart- I hope you die of a massive paper cut from a real book to your neck!

JimmyJamesx5 Thu 2/15/2007 05:52PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

JimmyJamesx5

the cope doesn't like jazz big fing deal, i'm sure there are types of music you don't like maybe country or rap, everybody is going to have an opinion, all those guys he names i like them i know there good if stew doesn't like them thats fine with me, i know there good and that good enough for me, the ears don't lie

Lespaulman starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/15/2007 06:16PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Lespaulman

Good lord people chill out! It's his opinion, everyone is entitled to it. While I also disagree I praise him for having the audacity to say it. You probably all failed to notice this...
"It's a fun party trick......And my main reason why I love dissing jazz is jazz musicians."

I personally laughed my ass off and I worship Miles & Trane!

gmoo star Thu 2/15/2007 06:27PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

gmoo

I just lost the 1 oz of respect I had for Stewart Copeland. Great drummer, even bigger jackass. Way to diss your influences fool, really classy.

carpediemtea Thu 2/15/2007 11:13PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

What a freakin' idiot. Miles and Trane blow both The Police and Oysterhead away any day of the week (and I love Trey). What's really funny is that Stewart Copeland's playing style doesn't even vaguely resemble blues drumming. He consistantly overplays what any of his mediocre songs call for. If The Police reunion tour stops in my town, I think I'll save my money and stay home and listen to A Love Supreme on repeat all night long (and still get laid).

apparition06 Thu 2/15/2007 11:35PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

apparition06

Ghost in the Machine, Soon they will have secrets, One day they'll have dreams! Oh Yes baby! Rocka Rocka 937 funkasaurus supreme with extra butter. Dr. Rock knows best. I love listening to my Police vinyls with headphones. I can not wait to view the DVD good job Stu. Super 8 Film is cool. Tell Francis I said HOWDY. I love his version of Dracula. I love Oysterhead, improvision and jazz! The world is your Oysterhead....

Stephen

bobertjohnson starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/16/2007 04:39AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

All of you are so ridiculous, clearly you aren't thourough readers. I think Lespaulman stated the key quote that everyone seems to have overlooked. He's fucking jesting!! People do that from time to time, you all just like to bitch wayyyyy too much.

saba Fri 2/16/2007 06:10AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

saba

:stiritup

you know what they say about any press being good press. people are talking about this all over the place. i'm sure mr. copeland is fully aware of the greatness of these jazz ledgens.

DaveT Fri 2/16/2007 09:04AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

DaveT

Silly rabbit tricks are for kids...BTW Guitardave...I truly "appreciate the douchey nuances of all of the entrants" I couldn't decide... very nice!

hiddentreasure starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/16/2007 11:42AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The Police were my favorite band when I was a kid. Still love their music, especially the Stew songs. That song about his plastic blow-up girlfriend is hilarious! While I don't whole-heartedly agree with his jazz comments, I do think they're funny. But I have a sense of humor. Too bad they're playing Bonnaroo, b/c Bonnaroo SUCKS!

crusoe Fri 2/16/2007 12:29PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

wow. before I read this article I thought stewart copeland was pretty cool and a great drummer. But now I think he's a worthless peice of cow shit. The police suck ass anyway.

gmoo star Fri 2/16/2007 12:33PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

gmoo

"It's a fun party trick, but I am allergic to jazz. I was raised to be a jazz musician, my father was a jazz musician and I was steeped in jazz from the moment my ears blinked open, which is why I am immune to jazz. And my main reason why I love dissing jazz is jazz musicians. The problem with jazz musicians is that they are all crap. It's sort of like jazz is the refuge of the talent-less. If you really want to be a musician and you are prepared to really work hard at it, but you don't have the gift and you don't have any soul and you don't have any talent, jazz is what you should do; because all you need to do is just spend hours training your fingers to wiggle very quickly and you'll be a hero in the jazz world. Not so in blues. In blues you need talent, you need X factor, you need heart, you need to have lived a life, you have to have something to say, you need to be an actual musician to play the blues. Jazz, any fool can do it; all you gotta do is practice."

I play Jazz and wiggle my talented finger. I'm not as rich and I obviously don't get laid as much as Stewart Copeland, as if those are qualifiers for being a good human being. I must be a piece of $hit and terrible to hang out with. This article is not funny. End of story. Go read the dispatch article if you want to read about people who don't have their head up their own ass.

rulosa01 starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/16/2007 12:52PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Is it true that a shogun in japan made Copeland an honorary master ninja? I met this dude outside of a tae-kwon-do place and was wearing my oysterhead shirt and he mentioned something about that to me. I guess he's sick at drums 'cause of his ninja strength and precision?



that's just what i heard

ryan621 Fri 2/16/2007 02:29PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Everyone's entitled to their own opinion: The Police still suck, and now Bonnaroo does too!

ryan621 Fri 2/16/2007 02:33PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Great article and hilarious reactions though!

projectobject starstarstarstar Fri 2/16/2007 02:38PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Yeah!! Clearly Stewart is "punking" the over-sensitive jazz-heads (pun intended) - i LOVE jazz and have tons of each branch of it in my collections..but STILL what he said makes so much sense..beautiful. There are some SERIOUS jazz snobs whho need to come down a notch or three. and YES it's easy to "fake the wiggle". But really - If you just read ANY Stew interview for 30 yrs now.. he is ALWAYS a wise-ass and very very sarcastic..check his site out sometimes... Anyway -- in their own way the Police always did some very neo-jazzz type jamming and improv so never fear. And of course OYSTERHEAD.... Copeland - Great writer, great soundtracks, great drummer --A true Original and one of the best from a great generation -- the late 70s/early 80s explosion out of the UK that included XTC, the Cure, Peter Gabriel, the Jam, the Clash, etc..And don't forget he was in "jazz-fusion-progressive" band CURVED AIR in the early 70s -then the Police guys met as a GONG side band- so he has been all the way thru the machine, seen all the cliches --Hey -- regarding BOZZIO -- he has never stopped kicking ass -- he has several recent CDs out - some solo drums, one dup CD with fellow Zappa-drummer Chad Wackerman -- and he did 3 tours with Dweezil Zappa's dealio-- "Zappa Plays Zappa" where he was special guest every night for 40 mins. This summer he will be touring with metal band KORN, he is doing their new CD also... A couple years ago he did the KNACK cd...then a reunion tour with JEFF BECK and TONY HYMAS..then a crazy fusion/experimental jazz trio.....so he seems to never sit still....check his site, lots of CDs/DVDs to get

petemags5 starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/16/2007 03:39PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

petemags5

I Love everyone taking this crap so seriously! Classic Copeland!
Great read, Great interview.
Thanks Kayceman & the sunshine band... LOL

bigfro Fri 2/16/2007 04:03PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

bigfro

Jazz is Shit and does anyone really enjoy listening to miles, maybe his first album

Oscar12000 starstarstarstar Fri 2/16/2007 05:13PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Hilarious! He accomplished what he set out to do, which is to get people riled up. 1. The Police were a great band, and Copeland is an amazing drummer. 2. "Kind of Blue" and "A Love Supreme" are 2 of the greatest albums ever. 3. Aren't Jazz fans a bit touchy!
Can't wait to see The Police at Bonnaroooo!

cmaxwell Fri 2/16/2007 07:49PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

He even told us it was to get a rise. Good interview, he explains things really well without the usually vague crap you get in a lot of these interviews. Also sounds like a few of yall dusted off those jazz albums and let em play!

crazypeanutman starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/17/2007 02:25PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

to get a rise or not, theres no reason to insult miles davis. the man single handedly created the jam scene, which gave him trey and claypool for oysterhead. i dont much care for the police and i really dont see how having one or two successful bands can put him in a position of insulting a man whos had over 5 successful decades.

good article though, nice work.

funkjester Sat 2/17/2007 05:22PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

"Miles Davis...singlehandedly created the jam scene?"

Huh?

I don't think so...

hippiehater Sat 2/17/2007 07:00PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

hippiehater

Who then?

Craig Judkins starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/18/2007 05:37AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Craig Judkins

None of this takes away from the fact that Stevie Wonder is a musical genius.

fossilcreek starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/18/2007 08:57AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I saw the Police in concert and they were and are a great band. I think the comments about Miles and Coltrane are way off base. You would think he would enjoy Jazz instead of callaing it crap? Go figure!

thegdead star Sun 2/18/2007 12:27PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Haha, the drummer from The Police is calling Miles Davis and John Coltrane crap? That is simply laughable, no matter how much of a junkie Miles might have been he could have given this dipshit a lesson in music for the rest of his life and still never have taught him everything he knows. Stewart Copeland is a hack riding on Sting's coattails (who also sucks). Trey is a junkie too but I still love him.

brokamrc Sun 2/18/2007 12:36PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

This interview made me lose a lot of respect for Copeland. He rips on jazz because anyone can do it by practicing and its all noodling/improv. Yet later in the article he says "Oysterhead has no songs, it's all about improvisation, it's all about chops and playing and creating excitement that comes from improvisation." That is the definition of jazz... Also, he says he hates recording in the studio and would prefer to play live any day...Yet another characterisitc of most jazz musicians. Copeland is an ignorant musician who needs to realize how lucky he was at a young age. People like this make me resent their stardom. He doesn't deserve it...

Littleo starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/18/2007 10:13PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

That's the thing about "written" quotes, you can't tell if people are being sarcastic, or pissed, etc. I saw the Police in "83 and they kicked ass, and what impressed me most was Copeland. I still love Miles and Coltrane though. Take it with a grain of salt. Peace

rhumbatumba starstarstarstar Mon 2/19/2007 08:04AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Hey I liked the article. I got a laugh about the Jazz us crap thing. I know plenty of Bop snobs. People who throw fits on stage if a change isn't spot on. Or criticize a musician if they aren't pulling their sax chops from the grave of some old bop hero. Its funny when people take music SO seriously. I think its pretty stupid that he called Miles and JC crap... I don't agree that they were crap. I think they pushed the envelope so hard that a lot of people don't get it, some of their stuff is too much for me, and I love jazz.

Even better than jazz snobs... back in the days of the dead and Phish I knew lots of jam snobs... and they didnt even know how to play anything but a vegi burrito.

Anyway, Music in general is full of that elitist, snobby crap and it should be laughed at.

Oh and the man can play the drums and he's entitled to his own opinion, though I think it was his sense of humor more than anything.

Atlien Mon 2/19/2007 09:16AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Wow! Dude shits on jazz players for improvising, then says he loves Oysterhead because they have no songs and just improvise??? And shitting on Coltrane and Miles was the most wack shit I've ever heard in my life! Bro needs his head kicked in.

guitardave starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/19/2007 01:50PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

guitardave

I think it was Stew who said: "Widespread Panic is the neo-hippie generation's answer to Foghat". He also said "Trey solo career is doomed to failure because most people despise redheads." Discuss.

Jason Woodside starstarstar Mon 2/19/2007 07:18PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Jason Woodside

I’m pretty sure this needs to be taken lightly. he was merely referring to the fact that he believes music means more in song form than loose improv. he’s valuing structure over improv w/chops(even though that’s Oysterhead) the fact is that chops, improv & strong structure are important and need to be balanced out, that’s how you make a lasting impression in music. you can have a bunch of crappy songs OR a bunch or crappy improv that doesn’t go anywhere(even if you have chops) and still have fans(bisco, pgroove or green day, death cab respectively)

Runde starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/20/2007 03:01PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Runde

Great interview Kayceman. Stewart Copeland knows how to rile up the peanut gallery! I thought the Grammy performance was just okay. Would have liked to hear something different than Roxanne. Curious to hear how a whole Police show will sound...

crazypeanutman Tue 2/20/2007 05:42PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

"Miles Davis...singlehandedly created the jam scene?"

Huh?

I don't think so...
-----------------------------------------------------------

yup, up until bitches brew there werent any improvised fusion records, none of any importance at least. thats what jam is, improvised fusion of styles.

and trey's solo career is doomed beccause he was surrounded by greatness in phish and but seemed to leave them out in the cold afterwards. also the whole addiction and pending conviction may have something to do with his solo career's doom. not so much the readheadedness.

Jason Woodside Tue 2/20/2007 06:29PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Jason Woodside

they played roxanne at the grammys because its the 30th anniversary of the release of it, and it was their first single

marcsolo Wed 2/21/2007 12:43AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

do u think sting would put up with stewar again if stew was out of his mind!Copeland if anything wants to bring more attention to the music of jazz and this is how to do it --stirring the pot --only a real musician would know stewart is in fact a jazz muso--himself.Uh (huh) you better believe it ...Tell u what stewart is not a snob ..I once walked into his animal logic bands dressing room w/o knocking he was super cool and signed my magazine...Lookout for the next police album its gonna kick some f....k..n...jazz btch as s ses god bless the police..

thegdead Wed 2/21/2007 06:17AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Man, Stewart Copeland fucking sucks what a joke this guy is, where does he even get off comparing himself? I know a kid that's 19 years years old and he's a mother fucker on the drums, WAY better than Copeland who's probably 50 by now.

STEG187 starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/21/2007 10:47AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

STEG187

Yo this was a great read, great interview, and informative. Very intimate, and Copeland speaks very eloquently...

Thanx for this Aaron

mattland starstarstarstarstar Thu 2/22/2007 05:23PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

mattland

He said himself that he liked talkin shit just rile people up. tongue in cheek, my friends.

FloydFest starstarstarstar Fri 2/23/2007 05:59AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

ok,ok...freedom to speak what's honestly on one's mind...I love it and it's apparent that Stewart is mature enough to do so. I love Coltrane, Miles did some very amazing stuff but what a negative self-absorbed goon. Every time I listen to Miles his negativity oozes everywhere. I never cared too much for Copelands playing with Oysterhead...didn't seem to quite work BUT as a drummer Stewart Copeland is a good one. I know a lot of jazz musicians and for the most part it is a cheesy world...there aren't and probably will never be the cool cats like Elvin Jones around to bring the true essence of what improv-heart-and-soul-jazz used to be. Everything seems to homogenize and become sterile...it's the human way. Let's just attach a cool image of what I think is cool and put it on like a mask...NOT! Let's just give thanks for honest thoughts, opinions and the ever evolving flow of the experience and the music. peace and keep the the great articles coming.

joshncola starstarstarstar Sun 2/25/2007 08:45PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

The police at bonnaroo... nothing could be better. this year's line-up is rediculous. plus getting to see one of the all time great bands in that type of setting is nuts.

kirby3482 starstarstarstarstar Wed 2/28/2007 02:28PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

kirby3482

Copeland, I have to say, as a Jazz, Miles and Coltrane fan, you kinda surprised me. But like the Hypocrite I am I had to laugh at the same time. Obviously, whenever anyone makes broad, sweeping stokes it's not going to encapsulate anyone. But in my years as a jazz and a rock drummer I have learned a few things that are echoed in your comments.
1. I've met a lot more women from playing great rock music than great jazz music.
2. I've met more opinionated assholes playing jazz music than rock music
3. I still love playing both.

Great article about a great drummer. I've always been impressed at the style and swing that Copeland playing with. I think alot of musicians listen to him and like but the don't know why(non-drummers, that is). He's a master of nuances and individual twists that make his music groove and move so well.

I'm interested to see what kind of show the Police put together at Bonnaroo vs. all their other stadium shows.

Thanks for the article and keep em' coming. Much better than a fluff piece on the newest trance/techno/live-tronica band. I mean, just look at all the conversation it's started, even without someone getting arrested for possession!

delidrum Thu 3/1/2007 11:20PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

delidrum

ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY!!!! ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS BUDDY RICH,GEN CUPPA LOU BELLSON

blower starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/2/2007 11:29AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Kayceman your are the best in the business. Great interview. His jazz comments cracked me up becuase they were so obviously sarcasm with the desired intent being fully realized on this message board. I would rather listen to Miles than the Police anyday. But his point about snobby musicians bieng annoying rings true. Jazz is complex and difficult and hence takes more effort than many other genres, so people who get proficient can certainly be elitist about it. As can heavy metal guitarists,rock drummers, or classical pianists. Yet people on this site act the same way about their musical tastes with nothing to back it up.

Listen to him play. He has obviously been influenced by jazz and he is obviously very talented.I really don't even like the Police. I really enjoyed reading about the band dynamics.

Maestro Fri 3/9/2007 12:39PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Maestro

So, um does anyone know when Stevie Nicks next show is...I am fienin!

juancosby starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/21/2007 01:08PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

juancosby

Never has an idiot been so exploited. Thank you JAMBASE.

volsfn123 Fri 3/30/2007 04:44AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Dear God, Learn how to spell Jack DeJohnette!!!

cliftonhanger420 Thu 6/7/2007 05:17PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

stuart copeland is a fool. miles davis is crap, you got to be kidding. i always liked the police's music, but it's very pop. i used to have respect for the man, especially playin' with oysterhead. now i just think he's just as big of a fucking asshole sellout as sting.

jaik starstarstarstar Sun 7/8/2007 08:17PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

this is funny. Stuart is trying to piss people off with the Miles Davis & Coltrane comments he made, mostly he mentioned those 2 because he knows they are the only 2 most people here have heard of. Its just a publicity thing for him to be controversial. What's ironic is his own description of playing in Oysterhead is pretty much a definition of what jazz is. Except that Coltrane was infinitely better at it, Oysterhead at their best is better than Coltrane at his worst, but Oysterhead at their best is a sad jive compared to Coltrane at the Half Note in 1965 or Miles Davis before he lost it. But who isn't ? Stu is a huge talent and so are the people he gets to sorround himself with, lucky dogg

jesusbreajazz Thu 8/2/2007 06:39PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

theivywall: "jazz guitar isn't as hard as it sounds"??? to which jazz guitarist are you measuring really?.. to Al Di Meola? then it's very easy... to Pat Metheny? Larry Coryell? Bireli Lagrene? Fareed Haque? oh I don't think so... and also try to improvise over the changes of Cannonball Adderley's "This Here" or Joe Farrell's "November 68th" in Coryell's style; not just the I-IV-V progressions or the basic progressions used in jazz standards and funk jazz.

For the record, the idiotic Copeland who thinks jazz musicians are snobs, I've seen worse snobs in rock and pop music, jazz musicians are actually far more humble if you ask me, rock musicians tend to actually have their head up their asses with their fame and living in their "pentatonic box" world.

Blues is emotional, but jazz is pure FEELING.. and feelings are more complex than emotions.

Apri20 starstarstarstarstar Fri 4/20/2012 02:47PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Stewart Copeland has made a living off of outrageous comments. Terry Gilliam once said about religion, "I ended up leaving that church because nobody could take my jokes about God. And I said, 'What kind of church is this, that my feeble little jokes are going to threaten its belief?'" I feel like a lot of these commentors who do not like Copeland's words are very similar to the religious fanatics Gilliam addresses. How great is the altar to Davis, Coltrane, and Monk when you cannot have a laugh about it all?