By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Though Copeland, bassist Sting and guitarist Andy Summers smiled and acted friendly on stage, backstage found the trio faced with an undercurrent of intense animosity.
"I'm not used to the bass player turning around and giving me his opinion about my playing," says Copeland. "And the bass player was certainly not used to telling the drummer to play something and having the drummer say 'Fuck you.'"
So, OK: It's safe to say that there won't be another Police reunion anytime soon. But their money was made—and that money has afforded Copeland the chance to dabble in less commercially viable ventures, such as concertos and operas.
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"I just do what I like," Copeland says of his work of late. "Perhaps, as a composer, I am a bit more intellectual in my pursuit of novelty. It is fun to push the parameters."
Still, there are moments when Copeland says he misses making the simple rock music of The Police, the music that made him a star.
"I'm sort of aggressive," he says. "For me, playing drums is all about hairy-ass, silverback ape, male dominance. It's a noise-making experience—very primal. When I sit behind a set, it's all libido."
But this week, it will be about five other guys performing Copeland's concerto—these "five wild Texans" performing on those exotic drums from Bali, and playing with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. And Copeland will be stuck front row, taking it all in, fighting the desire to get on stage and show that he's still got it.
And that's just fine by him.
"I enjoy playing rock music—music that is very limited in scope," Copeland says. "I still enjoy power chords. On the other hand, there's more interesting stuff out there to explore."