Being the musical son of a rock star can be a mixed blessing: It opens doors, sure, but it also raises expectations. This is familiar territory for Joe Sumner, son of Gordon Sumner – Sting. On Feb. 1, Sting kicks off his 57th & 9th album tour at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom – an intimate venue compared with his usual concert stomping grounds. Joe Sumner is one of the openers. Sumner, 40, is the front man for the band Fiction Plane, but this time he’s out solo and has a new single, Jellybean. The Globe and Mail spoke with Sumner from Los Angeles, where he lives.
(Photo: Michael Loccisano)
Some artists who have followed in parental footsteps don’t want to make much of it, but you seem to have a different approach.
I had that exact approach for a long time, where I didn’t want to have anything to do with it at all. You kind of get into this weird world of people adulating you before you’ve done the work, before you deserve it and you feel grounded in what you do. So it can make you feel strange. People can applaud a very poor performance or they’ll rip you to pieces no matter what you do. My intent with music was to create something genuine and heartfelt and with credibility and not be using celebrity connections to further it. And as I got older, I realized that by denying it, hiding it and staying away from it, I was missing a huge part of who I am and therefore I wasn’t creating something with integrity and genuine. I was creating something that was sort of off to the side, hidden, an incomplete shell of a thing. And I had to kind of let my life into my art a little bit to let it shine properly. So now I’m taking the approach of rather than shunning it, I have to ride it and then hopefully soar above it.
It makes sense when you’re starting out: you want to establish your own identity, you don’t want to have an easy ride on your dad’s coattails – not that it’s easy, I’m sure. But I understand those concerns.
For me to be on this tour is easy because I have the connections. But the emotional work I had to do to get to the place where I was okay with it was not easy. So that’s kind of the lying-on-the-shrink’s-couch version of it.
I imagine there was a lot of music in your home as you were growing up. At what point did you realize that you were musical?
There was a piano downstairs in the hallway and I always played it. But I actually shunned music as a thing to do until I was about 15. And then I got into Nirvana. Nirvana was the band that changed my life. That’s what made me want to do music. It connected with me on a very visceral level. I think I pretty much formed a band the next day after I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit. It was so aggressive and abrasive but completely accessible to my ears. It was a very cool combination. Subsequently I ended up liking the first Nirvana album Bleach much more; that one connects with me. But the song that hooked me in was Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Did your parents encourage this career path? Discourage it?
A mixture, really; it’s a tough career, but what are they going to say? Are we going to tell you not to do it? So I did it. After a while I kind of established that I had something to say and some level of talent, so they were cool with it. They’ve always been very nice and supportive.
Did you take music lessons? Did you learn to read music as a child?
I did take music lessons, didn’t really enjoy them, and rejected a lot of that stuff. I wasted a lot of time. Because right now I’m studying piano and sight reading. And I look back and I think if I’d just have sucked it up and done it then, I’d be a maestro right now. But it’s very satisfying to now go backward. When I was a kid I didn’t know why you needed to know the music you don’t care about. But now, I get it.
I’m going to quote that to my son who protests when he has his piano lesson.
For little kids, it’s tough – the balance of inspiring and just getting a bit of basic work done and then putting them off and making them feel it’s all about work and drudgery. It’s a very difficult balance.
Other than Nirvana, who are your big musical influences?
I loved Madness and the Specials back in the day. The Stranglers. Rage Against the Machine was huge for me. Parliament as well and even Kool & the Gang; Jungle Boogie is the ultimate riff for me; it’s just the best.
In what ways has your background helped your music career?
I get to be around people who are the best or the greatest at what they do, which, if you read any kind of self-help manuals, they tell you, whatever you want to do, go hang out with people who want to do the same thing or are doing it, or know more than you about it. The downside is it puts a lot of pressure on it. Because if somebody just picks up a guitar and starts learning it, then that’s one thing. But for me to do it, it’s kind of like: is he going to continue his family legacy and all that kind of stuff. Right now I’m older and wiser; I’m kind of ready to handle it. But definitely as a teenager that was very annoying. But over all, I wouldn’t complain about my situation at all. The problems I have are kind of very trivial compared to many people’s, but they’re real to me. So I have to acknowledge them.
Have you played the Commodore before? It’s a great venue.
Canada’s full of those. A lot of those venues are closing down. [Live music] is being disrupted by TV, mobile phones. It’s funny that there’s now 25 trillion people and you can’t fill a room with them. It’s like a weird irony of the modern world.
Sting plays the Commodore Ballroom Feb. 1 with special guests Joe Sumner and the Last Bandoleros. They play Toronto March 5 and Montreal March 6.
Source : The Globe and Mail by Marsha Lederman
To honour David Bowie’s 70th birthday, Bowie band members, friends, and a massive ensemble of top recording & touring musicians from around the world are getting together for a one-time only series of global goodwill concerts, in aid of local charities, called Celebrating David Bowie. Each performance features different guest artists. We are very proud and excited to announce 16-time Grammy Award winning musician Sting will be joining the Los Angeles show on January 24th.
The concerts all take place in cities that have a strong connection with David Bowie and his work – London, New York City, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Tokyo. All feature a core two dozen musicians traveling plus many local, regional, and national musicians to create a sound like no other.
The concept grew out of two informal large ensemble shows with 70+ musicians in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the spring of 2016 including Gary Oldman, Seal, Ewan McGregor, Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, and Bowie band alumni from Space Oddity to the latest Blackstar album. Both generated a great deal of press and fan praise from around the world.
Bowie’s close friend Gary Oldman, who delivered an emotional speech about David at The BRIT Awards, and this giant ensemble from Los Angeles and New York City are opening the tour in London with former Bowie band members Mike Garson, Earl Slick, Adrian Belew, Mark Plati, Gerry Leonard, Gail Ann Dorsey, Sterling Campbell, Zachary Alford, Holly Palmer and Catherine Russell, along with many other special guests to be announced. This show at 02 Academy Brix-ton (capacity 5000) sold out in just two hours. Sydney Opera House similarly sold out in a flash so added a second night that also sold out in the round.
The core ensemble includes former star Bowie band members Mike Garson, Adrian Belew, Earl Slick, members of David’s last two touring bands, Angelo Moore from Fishbone, Latin Grammy Award Winner Gaby Moreno, Bernard Fowler from The Rolling Stones, Joe Sumner, Scrote, and a vast extended musical family who play with or have played with Tom Waits, Sting, Seal, Herbie Hancock, De La Soul, Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, Smashing Pumpkins, B52s, Dr. Dre, Burt Bacharach, David Byrne, Todd Rundgren, Prince, Neil Young, and Lenny Kravitz make up the core ensemble.
Individually these former Bowie band members performed, wrote and recorded together with David through several decades including the 1973’s Ziggy Stardust tour, the Diamond Dogs tour, Isolar II (Heroes) tour, to the hugely successful Serious Moonlight tour, the Sound And Vision greatest hits tour to Glastonbury 2000, Heathen, his final A Reality Tour and many of them appeared on Bowie’s triumphant comeback album, The Next Day.
After their BRIT Awards performance, Bowie’s last touring band refrained from further opportuni- ties to honor him as it was still too emotional. But as word reached them about the sincerity of this particular group they slowly decided to come onboard to say goodbye to David properly in a grand show keeping in line with his tremendous legacy. Far from a tribute and never referred to as one this ensemble includes David Bowie people playing David Bowie music David Bowie style. This is the first and last time this inner circle will do anything like this and these shows are likely to be the last time that they perform his music together; sadly, this may be the closest anyone will come to a David Bowie live experience ever again.
Buy tickets : livenation.com
$75.00 to $175.00
Source : www.ellenwood-ep.com
A new year with you all is always a good year !
2016 was full of joy with this new album.
2017 will bring us a world tour, and surely tons of surprises from Sting, Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland, Joe Sumner, Henry Padovani, Eliot Sumner, Dominic Miller, Jo Lawry,...
2017 will see LiSting growing as a team. We'll soon introduce the new editors, who'll keep you informed each day !
Many exclusive contests and interviews are sheduled within the next few months
HAVE A GOOD GOOD GOOD YEAR
May the music bring peace on Earth...
It went largely unnoticed but something unusual occurred this week: two Englishmen became owners of a foreign football club. It is their creation too. The licence has been granted, a long-term business plan and proof of funding vetted and now City of Angels FC – the latest addition to the growing football scene in Los Angeles – has until the start of the National Premier Soccer League season in March to finalise terms on a stadium, appoint a director of football and construct its first team. No one ever said it was going to be easy.
City of Angels FC is the brainchild of PJ Harrison, an Evertonian from St Helens, and Joe Sumner, a Newcastle United fan from London, two LA-based friends who met through the entertainment industry. Harrison is a creative director who has worked with Lauryn Hill while Sumner is a musician and app developer. His father is Sting, hence the Newcastle allegiance and a refusal “to succumb to Spurs or Arsenal” while growing up in north London.
Following a two-year process, a payment of around $20,000 for the licence, plus league fees, countless meetings with potential investors, sponsors, stadium owners and coaches, they are the proud and bold owners of the newest team in the fourth division of the US football pyramid.
Read the full article on www.theguardian.com.
Fans and supporters can follow the club on Twitter (@cityofangelsfc) and Instagram (@cityofangelsfc)
Sting's son Joe Sumner is warming up for daddy when he visits Denmark Thursday. And tomorrow he'll play on Sigurdsgade, Nørrebro. Here he tells BT what it's like to be the son of a legend
"Yes, my dad can be a little tough. But he is always nice to me. So it is fortunate. "
So says the British singer, composer, bassist and guitarist Joe Sumner on Thursday warms up the audience before daddy Sting gives his long sold-out concert at the Culture Yard in Elsinore.
The day before, says Joe alone with his guitar on stage at the newly opened club Sigurdsgade in Nørrebro in Copenhagen. And autumn is facing the 39-year-old father of four left on a small Denmark tour with his band Fiction Plane.
Not always easy
It sounds really lovely to be the son of a famous pop star Sting when even dream of being something about music. But along with other star sons like James McCartney and Adam Cohen Joe Sumner sign that it is not always fat.
"I can barely remember how many times I've been about to give up. You are constantly being compared to your father. I remember that I once argued a new song that I was really proud of. And the only one of the major reviewers could find to write the following day, was that the song sounded like 'early Police'. It's really sobering when you pour his heart into the project, "says Joe Sumner, who called BT from Rome, where weather, in his own words, is 'fucking hot' - and not in a good way.
It helped to father
Now Joe is not new to the music. In fact, he and the band released six acclaimed and nicely successful CDs (including one live album and one ep) and he has played professionally for over two decades.
Yet criticism by taking life by the desire to music. But then something happened - Joe Sumner became a man, and Joe Sumner fathered no fewer than four children.
"It's really something that puts things in perspective. One of the most important things my father taught me not to take things too damn seriously. When I had children, worked criticism from reviewers and others suddenly not so serious. And today I am just deeply grateful that I can travel the world and play my music, "he says.
In this connection, Joe Sumner and Fiction Plane, which has existed since 2001, just released the new single 'Walk Through Fire' - a song that Joe is especially proud of.
"Good songs like 'Walk Through Fire' always comes at once. And they always come when it is most inconvenient - middle of the night, for example, "says Joe Sumner, who is never afraid to play the new songs for his father.
"He has from the beginning given me an incredible support, and he is always totally encouraging when it comes to creativity," says the musician, who is not particularly nervous to come face to face with his father's large audience.
Plunges into the
"Have I done it before - both alone and with my band, and before my dad went solo and before The Police. And if I feel the slightest nervousness, so I submit myself to the just out of it. In many ways it's even more amazing to act alone. It comes much closer to his audience. I can also choose some completely different songs - songs that are closer to me as a person, "says Joe Sumner, who must admit that father and son do not play that much together under private frames.
"I like to play something new and homemade. My dad prefer to play classical. That makes him seem smart, "he says.
Discover Joe Sumner:
Sigurd Gade, Copenhagen
Culture Yard, Elsinore
Smukfest (perhaps as guest of Sting), Skanderborg
With the band Fiction Plane:
Kansas City, Odense
The Custom House, Elsinore
The portal, Greve
Source: www.bt.dk - with Google Traductor
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