World renowned musician Sting has embarked on his latest career with the South Yorkshire Police Force. His real name is Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, no surprise then that he goes by Sting in his public career. Though his name tag on his police uniform says Sumner, Officer Thomas is what he likes to be called now.
Officer Thomas sat down with this reporter to talk about the latest phase in his life.
XS: This is a radical change for you isn't it?
Off. Thomas (Sting): Not as much as it might appear, I think I have always been a policeman at heart, I mean I founded a band called The Police after all. I don't think of police as enforcers but as a protector or steward for the community. I've been saying with my music to the world community, "Hey look at this," or "what do you think of this idea," so the way I approach my job as a policeman is not really that far off from my musical career.
XS: What other parallels do you see?
Off. Thomas: Oh there are many, but being on a police force and being in a band can have the same dynamic, you get along with your band mates or you don't, but ultimately many of your goals are only achieved through group effort.
XS: Are you still making music?
Off. Thomas: Yes I write and play most everyday, I'm playing an acoustic set one night a week at Jim's Folk Lounge. I'm just simplifying my life for now. By not doing all the big tours I have more time to make music. I don't know if I'll ever go back to that life of big stadium tours. You can go and make more and more money, but you only have a finite time on this planet to do what you really need to do. Now I can walk to work at the station house in five minutes and I have a small recording studio in the back of my house. I've had time to play with some of the fellows from the station and we've jokingly called ourselves The Police Police. It's a relaxed way of life and I'm happier now than I ever have been.
XS: Why the need to simplify and if so why work the policeman job?
Off. Thomas: I was "working to work" too much and not creating--OK look, if you drive two hours to work and two hours back in the evening that's four hours of working to work. Of course you can listen to the radio or books on tape, read if you take the train, try to make the best of the situation. Anyway, all the trappings of being a touring artist: the flights, the waiting, the soundchecks, and on and on, that's what I'm cutting out.
Why this job? I already mentioned being a policeman or steward at heart, but there's another attraction to the job, just being around ordinary people doing everyday things. When you are in the music industry you are always surrounded by other industry people and it's a very insular experience. When I write in that kind of atmosphere I wonder if the average Joe can relate to my songs. There are always the things other musicians relate to, but what grabs the ear of someone who just likes music? That person is the vast majority of any audience and who I'm writing for as well.
Back To Work
Officer Thomas' radio crackles and he is off on a call.
"I hope you've got enough for your story," the artist formerly known as Sting says, "I've got to go see about someone parked in a fire lane."
Madonna To Join FBI
Following in Sting's footsteps, sources close to Madonna say she will soon be attending the FBI Academy. Madonna who is in fantastic physical condition was still given a special exemption for her advanced age, as the cut off age for new recruits is 27 years old.