Sting's Quotes

1 [on David Bowie ] We will never forget him.
2 [on David Bowie ] We were totally captivated by his energetic charm, his extraordinary music, his art and his unique spirit.
3 [on 'The Last Ship'] I enjoy having hits. I'd rather have a hit against the odds than a hit that obeys the formulaic rules. This is exactly the play I wanted to put on. It may be difficult, it may be ugly, but it's the one I wanted to do
4 [on changing directions and writing 'The Last Ship', a Broadway musical] I had no interest in tailoring songs for Top 40 radio, for fourteen-year-old girls or boys. I'm a sixty-two year old man. Where is the arena to present my work? It's not radio anymore.
5 I've never pandered to the lowest common denominator. I have a good audience and I'm supposed to challenge them. I always expect the audience to make the journey with me.
6 [speaking about the United States] I don't think there is any political discourse in this country. People tend to speak in sound bites, which have nothing to do with any kind of information that's useful. I miss genuine debate. It's not to say there aren't intelligent people in politics. Of course there are. But the system doesn't seem to support that level of discourse even in, you know, the greatest democracy on the planet.
7 Music is something that gives my life value and spiritual solace.
8 I've chosen to live my life without the certainties of religious faith. I think they're dangerous.
9 I'm essentially agnostic. I don't have a problem with God. I have a problem with religion.
10 I don't think there's such a thing as composition in pop music. I think what we do in pop music is collate. It's like folk music. It makes copyright a bit interesting and difficult. I'm a good collator.
11 [on Alan Parker 's film, Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)] I hated Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982). I thought it was beautifully crafted and incredibly well-made, but utterly empty, full of nothing, nihilism. There's more to life than that. There's no humor in it, no hope. It's like he'd read half of Camus or Sartre and decided that's what truth is. I loathe it, it's juvenile. It saddened me that all that skill and craft went into such an empty project.
12 There are no clues in my environment that you leave that environment and fare well and be successful. My parents didn't really understand what my dreams were. They just thought I was crazy because I had just given up a job with a pension and the security, in their eyes. My dad didn't understand until the end of his days what the hell I was doing. He thought I should have had a proper job. Maybe he was right. I wanted to take a risk and be a star.
13 I want to surprise an audience: surprise the listener, surprise myself. To me the essence of music is surprise. Every eight bars you need a surprise, otherwise people fall asleep.
14 We [wife Trudie Styler and himself] keep getting begged for our "secret" - why ours has lasted so much longer than most Hollywood marriages put together. More than anything else, the same ounce-of-prevention that works against sibling rivalry also works against separation and divorce: Trudie and I not only love but actually like each other.
15 There's this whole universe of music that is simply limitless. When you think you know everything about music, you discover you can't get to the end. I'm on this lifelong journey, and orchestral music is where it's now taken me.
16 I am a gambler and I think I've always been rewarded for my risk-taking. My ambition is to be allowed to do anything that I want to do again, and to reach a standard where people will at least say: 'That was OK.' I think the whole idea of being 'successful' in music is to have a unique signature or sonic fingerprint, and - no matter what context you sing in - people recognize it as you. Whether they like it is another matter.
17 [on comparisons made between him and Peter Gabriel ] Peter Gabriel and I are not tapping each other's phones! We've both grown in the same kind of creative arc. We're both led by curiosity.
18 I think what we provide is functional entertainment. It has a use. I just try to write as good a song as possible; it's a craft. [Rolling Stone, February 1981]
19 There's no pussyfooting in our group. We don't skirt around each other; we go straight for the jugular. We know each other very well, and we know where it hurts. [Rolling Stone, February 19, 1981 issue]
20 [on The X Factor (2004)] I am sorry but none of those kids are going to go anywhere, and I say that sadly. How appalling for a young person to feel that rejection. It is a soap opera which has nothing to do with music. In fact, it has put music back decades. Television is very cynical. They are either Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston or Boyzone and are not encouraged to create any real unique signature or fingerprint. That cannot come from TV. The X Factor (2004) is a preposterous show and you have judges who have no recognisable talent apart from self-promotion, advising them what to wear and how to look. It is appalling. The real shop floor for musical talent is pubs and clubs, that is where the original work is. But they are being closed down on a daily basis. It is impossible to put an act on in a pub. The music industry has been hugely important to England, bringing in millions. If anyone thinks The X Factor (2004) is going to do that, they are wrong.
21 [on the Lisbon Treaty in 2009] I've lived in Europe for about 15 years, I live in Italy. So I feel very European. I think it's an inevitable thing that our future in the British Isles will be with Europe. We'll be part of Europe, we'll be better for it.
22 I watched it the other night for the first time, I've never seen it before. I was appalled. I wouldn't get on The X Factor (2004) because I don't sound like anyone they're after, I sound like myself. I think they are basically aping pre-existing stereotypes of what singers should do and they're not being themselves. There's no X Factor there. The music industry is a multi-million dollar business and the shop floor is not The X Factor (2004). It's pubs and clubs up and down the country or you get in your van and you go up and down the M1 and you build an audience that way. That's how you build a backbone.
23 Everybody in the business knows in his heart of hearts what it takes to be successful. Whether you've got the guts to go through with that or not is another matter.
24 [on his being made a CBE] Being a Commander of the British Empire isn't really what it's cracked up to be, since I can't command anybody. Everyone always ignores me.
25 [on performing the music of John Dowland on his album "Songs From The Labyrinth"] For me they are pop songs. Beautiful melodies, fantastic lyrics, great accompaniments. I feel that my job as a pop artist is to develop as a musician, and to bring into my sphere elements that aren't necessarily pop, more complex intervals, complex time signatures.
26 [on Bob Dylan ] He's a great artist and he really inspired me.
27 [on Bruce Springsteen ] The great thing about Bruce is that he's exactly as he seems. A great man.
28 I first met Youssou ( Youssou N'Dour ) with Peter ( Peter Gabriel ) several years ago when we worked together on an Amnesty tour. Both of them have such extraordinary voices and Peter has done a lot to promote world music in general and that should be acknowledged as it's been a one man crusade on his part.
29 I loved the band Traffic for their way of creating a musical universe without these boundaries, because whether it's country, pop, gospel, heavy metal or classical music, it's all a single language, a code.
30 One of my favorite songs that I never wrote was "Tempted" and I did actually cover it. It's a great song, and Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook are great songwriters. Squeeze were always a great band, and it was nice to cover it.
31 You can scratch the surface of my songs pretty lightly and you'll find someone who wanted to be James Taylor at the age of 14. He's also a brilliant and ridiculously underrated guitar player and blessed with a voice that could melt ice caps.
32 You can't get better than Otis Redding .
33 [on the induction of The Police into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame] I am very proud of the legacy of The Police . We are a damn good band and it still holds up.
34 If anyone described me as a genius I would laugh. I have my moments - I just have to join them together.
35 I don't belong to a church or political party or a group of any kind. I feel that Amnesty International is the most civilized organization in history. Its currency is the written word. Its weapon is the letter; that's why I am a member. I believe in its non-violence; I believe in its effectiveness. Its dignity and its sense of commitment. Its focus on individuals and the concentration and tenacity with which they defend those imprisoned for their ideas has earned it the cautious respect of repressive governments throughout the world.
36 I'm so glad I have this way of expressing, in a veiled and artistic way, my most intimate feelings. A lot of people have the same feelings, but in others it must get bottled up. I'm proud of my being able to make it into artifacts that some people find beautiful or engaging.
37 The geniuses of music, like Bach ( Johann Sebastian Bach ) and Miles Davis , used silence beautifully; they were not about using as many notes as possible. They knew that playing almost nothing can be the most elegant and eloquent thing to do.
38 It was quite something. My wife saw it, too. At first I thought it was her with one of the kids until I reached over and I realised that she was still in bed with me" - on seeing the ghosts of a woman and a child in his bedroom
39 I'm bored with music between 1955 and 1980. I'm completely bored. I can't listen to a rock and roll record. I can't do it. I would rather listen to hogs screwing.
40 My job is being a musician [...] I just make films for fun, really.
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