Legendary singer Stewart Copeland will be hitting Vancouver’s Orpheum theater this month for his show. Disappointed Police90 minutes of Police songs played by him and a full orchestra.
“You can’t deny the power of a well-known song, even if it’s not your favorite song, even if you weren’t a fan of The Police. You’ve heard it. You’ve lived your life in it. They have an emotional charge,” said CBC host Stephen Quinn. Early Edition.
“That’s what we do, make people feel things and move people and make them move and dance.”
He sat down for an interview with Quinn ahead of the games, which are scheduled for September 30th and October 1st.
This interview is edited for length and clarity.
Early Edition14:35Drummer and composer Stewart Copeland before his VSO performances
This show is definitely not what I thought it would be. I didn’t realize it was a bad trip people would get.
My goal is to take your dynamic Vancouver symphony and turn it into a rock band. Their day job is to play the music of the masters, the best music of all time. That’s really what an orchestra is for. But they can read, as they like to say, bat poop on a page. If you give them points, they do what it says on the page.
If it says shake, they will shake. I’ve had a lot of fun with the Atlanta Symphony, Nashville, Cleveland, all these different orchestras around America and Europe too, making them rock. Because they can. A lot of artists on stage, they can set the building on fire and that’s our goal in Vancouver.
Where did you get the idea to push all these artists in their situation?
I received training in orchestral use from my 20s as a hired gun composer. The main instrument of the film’s music is the orchestra. So I learned in those 20 years what they do well and how to make them do this or make them do that or create this feeling or raise that feeling. So I took the orchestra charts.
My approach to rock drums and orchestra is to make my drums quiet and the orchestra loud. They can be aggressive and very cute in the same sentence. That’s the wonderful thing about a symphonic orchestra is that it has such a large vocabulary. It’s very lovely. It is very fluid. It can be flagging and lyrical. It really is a versatile tool with great power and majesty, which is why I enjoy messing around with it.
Of all the filmmaking work you’ve done, does one stand out as a favorite?
Music and storytelling go together very well. I did a documentary series for the BBC about what is music? What is it for? Why do Homo sapiens make music? And of course, we’re all fine with it, even you. Everyone is really good at music compared to our other kids. We can all dance together, we can all sing a song. We’re not all Eric Clapton, but we’re an extreme type of music.
What is it for? And it makes us responsible, especially both sexually and socially. And it goes through our brain. It goes straight through your brain, into your heart. And that’s why film scores and film and TV use music so much because it can tell a completely different story.
For example, you know, a good male lead, say Tom Cruise looks into the eyes of a girl and a moonlit night. He says, I love you and everything your eyes tell you is beautiful. The music kicks in with that dirty song and tells you that you’re a lying sonofabitch. And so you will believe rather than believe your lying eyes. You will believe my dirt because it goes through your brain, straight to your heart.
I see a lot of people playing duets with your drum on TikTok. Why do you choose to share your music that way?
Well, it’s a cure for the loneliness felt by musicians since the beginning of time. Basically, you’re making your record, you’re doing your shows, but you feel like you’re just shouting in the woods and no one can hear you. If it gets played on the radio, great. If you are not, you are a voice lost in the wilderness.
Today, you can communicate directly, and that is what musicians, dancers, singers, musicians, painters, writers … really want to be heard. It is a form of communication and TikTok and Instagram and all the others are direct communication. For musicians, it’s really nice to be able to communicate directly.
Emerging artists no longer need a record company or people in the studio to be discovered and entertained. What does that mean for music?
Well, music has been democratized and good news and bad news. The threshold has decreased. Anyone can make music at home using a laptop. All you need is something to say. In the old days you had to practice on an instrument and be good at something to be able to make music, then you had to go to a man to get a recording budget and so on, etc., etc.
Now, it is fully democratic. Any fool can make music and I love that. It’s like campfire music. The purpose of mankind is not for experts like me to come and sit on my throne at the top and make music and then you have to sit there and take it. The real purpose of music is for all of us to create ourselves.
The problem is making a living from it. Being Elvis Presley or The Beatles. Getting to that stage is really hard now because of all the competition. Being heard, being noticed, in fact, is a big challenge now. I’m happy though because I love all that competition.
It’s good to be democratic, but not so good to be a rockstar.