Sting endorses vaccines: “I’m old enough to remember polio”
After spending much of the last decade dealing with his Broadway musical, “The Last Ship,” Sting will embark on a maiden voyage this fall when he opens his first Las Vegas residence at Caesars Palace on October 29. . The show, called “My Songs” and which is slated to last until November 13 before returning in June 2022, will precede the November 19 release of “The Bridge,” a new set of pop-rock songs that he says have been “written during a year of global pandemic, personal loss, separation, disruption, lockdown and extraordinary social and political unrest.” The singer, 69, called from his home in Italy, where he said he “was waiting to start working, he was waiting to take over my life”.
Have you been in Italy for most of the pandemic?
Wherever there was a studio, that’s where I was – New York, the Bahamas, everywhere. That’s how I stayed sane, arriving at 10:30 am every morning and working until dinner time.
Would you have made a record if COVID-19 hadn’t happened?
It was certainly time for me to make a record, but the circumstances were unique. It’s hard to bring people together in one place, so I did a lot of recording remotely through Zoom and through studio technology. But I think the theme of the record is to build bridges between the separations. I didn’t start out that way – I was just writing songs – but at some point in the process I was like, “Oh, it’s what is it about.
“The Bridge” deals with heavy subjects. But the first single, “If It’s Love,” released on September 1, is a bubbly pop song.
It’s the most whimsical song on the album, so I was like, “Why not?” Any song with a whistle is a winner for me.
Is it gratifying to realize that you can always release such a catchy song whenever you want?
Yes. I am often drawn to problematic or complex music; I love puzzles and I love solving puzzles. But sometimes you have to put that aside and do something easy. A major chord followed by a rounded minor – this is the oldest turn in the book.
What did Sting think, the young English punk from Las Vegas?
He would evoke Frank Sinatra, Dino, the Rat Pack. Then Elvis, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck. All great artists, but they seemed to be trapped in this world. Vegas was a closed system, and I never really liked it; the idea of a residence looked like a kind of prison sentence. Now it’s not like that at all, because you play these pods – four gigs for three weeks. It doesn’t seem like such an expensive job. Also, I haven’t been on stage for almost two years, so I can’t wait to go. I want to do 20 laps in Vegas.
You will have your days off while you are at it. Are you a gamer?
No, and I really have no idea what the call is. I go to play texas hold’em with my wife sometimes, but she always wins, because she’s smarter than me.
Are you optimistic about the return of live music? The Delta variant complicated things.
We are in a wait and see mode. Everyone should feel safe – the audience, the artist, the people working on the show. I hope the vaccines really start to kick in when our show starts. I am very supportive of vaccines.
I guess you are vaccinated.
I didn’t doubt it. I’m old enough to remember polio – children on my street who were crippled by a disease that was eradicated very quickly by vaccines. So I don’t have a truck with people who doubt their efficiency.
Some of your peers in the music business have a different perspective, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison among them.
We are all entitled to our opinions. But I think it’s dangerous to tell people, “Don’t trust vaccines.” I mean, where did it come from? I don’t know where the science is to back it up.
You and Trudie Styler have been married for almost 30 years. What is Sting’s secret to a successful marriage?
Every day is a negotiation. You have to work at a wedding; it’s not an easy thing, but i have a great partner. We have spent much of the past two years together – more time than ever. And she still supports me, so go figure.
Will she accompany you to Vegas?
She will be there. She will play, not me.