Sting Thinks Grown Men Shouldn't Be in Bands

"A band is a teenage gang. Who wants to be in a teenage gang when you're knocking 70?"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Apr 25, 2022

It must be Monday morning: the rock elders are up bright and early with their controversial opinions — and this one might indeed sting a little.

Former Police bandleader Sting doesn't think being in bands is a suitable pastime for adults: "I don't think any grown man can be in a band, actually," the mononymous rocker told interviewer Dorian Lynskey for the June 2022 issue of MOJO Magazine, ruminating on the age-appropriateness of being with the band (as well as being mistaken for Billy Idol, apparently.)

"A band is a teenage gang," the self-identified heavy metal singer explained [via ToneDeaf]. "Who wants to be in a teenage gang when you're knocking 70? It doesn't allow you to evolve."

He seems to believe in some sort of unspoken age restrictions for band members, noting some limitations of continuing to make music with the same group of people. 

"You have to obey the rules and the gestalt of the band," Sting said, kind of weakening his own argument by admitting that there is an element of bands being perceived as a greater whole than the sum of their members... unless he's implying that being in a band can be a crutch for musicians and they need to be brave enough to embark on solo endeavours?

"As much as I love the [Rolling] Stones and AC/DC, it's hard to see growth in their music," the singer-songwriter continued, citing the two most obvious examples of career band longevity — but the latter are still steadfast in their youth, with Keith Richards saying the band won't sell their publishing rights because "it's a sign of getting old."

Sting added: "For me, the band was merely a vehicle for the songs and not the other way round." 

For those keeping track at home, while he may still be widely renowned for his work in the Police, the musician was only in the band from 1977 until 1983 — from when he was aged 26 to 32, which might still be considered "grown" (by legal standards, anyway). He made his solo debut in 1985 with The Dream of the Blue Turtles.

"Both Andy [Summers] and Stewart [Copeland] had made albums without me, so it was my right, too," Sting reflected. "I recruited a band from the jazz world and I was lucky [the album] was a hit. I have no idea what would have happened if it hadn't been a hit. Would I have gone back to the band and eaten humble pie? I hope not."

Silly rabbit, bands are for kids!

Sting's most recent — decidedly solo — album was last November's The Bridge.

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