Guitarist Andy Summers of The Police called in to The K-EARTH 101 Morning Show to talk about his new documentary Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police that chronicles the band’s formation, disbandment and ultimate reunion.
While the band gained worldwide fame for huge hits like “Roxanne,” “Message In A Bottle,” and the No. 1 single “Every Breath You Take,” Andy explains that after forming in 1978 in London, the band’s rise to the top was slow. They began as sort of a fake punk band since the genre was taking off at the time, but the gigs we few and far between.
“It was right in the middle of the incredibly fervid punk scene, and basically at that point in time, if you weren’t punk you were out of the business,” explains Andy. “It was strange for me because, you know, I was pretty accomplished, I had a lot of training…neither Stewart [Copeland] or Sting were punks either, so the reality was no one suspected that we weren’t the real deal…we couldn’t get any gigs. It was really tough.”
As one third of the talented trio, the film captures the sometimes fiery dynamic that comes when three unique personalities and musical styles are in a room together. Andy talked about his relationship with drummer Stewart Copeland and bassist/vocalist Sting when it came to recording and songwriting, saying it was Sting who shined as a songwriter.
“Sting was a gifted songwriter and this became, not at the beginning, but it became sort of more apparent as we started to really lock in as a band. He’s been writing songs for years,” he said. “A lot of songs started with ideas Sting had for a song, but I think it’s really important to point out that what the public thought, what really sold the records, was the way we played as The Police.”
The documentary, which is derived from Andy’s memoir One Train Later, doesn’t sugarcoat the band’s rough patches and often times paints an unglamorous picture of fame. For Andy, sharing both the band’s highs and lows were key in telling the full story.
“It was very important for me to be honest, to reveal that there’s a dark side to all this, it’s not all just great,” said Andy. “A lot of these things are fought over and fought for and people fall out, then you come back together. But we were all in that crucible of being in The Police and no one left. We worked it out in the end.”
Andy said that even through the band’s ups and downs, the three of them share a unique “brotherhood” from their time in the band and still even keep in touch today.
“The three of us have a bond from going through an incredible life experience together….we weren’t a band with a little hit, we were a worldwide phenomenon,” said Andy. “None of us can get away from it, none of us will ever surpass it. We will always be the three guys that made The Police.”
Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police is out now in limited release. To find where Surviving The Police is playing in a theater near you, visit cinemalibrestudio.com/cant-stand-losing-you for a list of showtimes and locations.
Listen to our entire conversation with Andy Summers in the clip below.