Sting Says There’s No ‘Growth’ in AC/DC and The Rolling Stones, Claims That Being in a Band Is for Teenagers

Gordon Sumner, who we all know as Sting, is one of the most successful solo artists in music history. But, of course, the legendary musician has built his name working in The Police. The group had a very successful run from 1977 to 1983. After their major success, all three members took their own path, although Sting was, obviously, the most commercially successful one. They officially disbanded in 1986 but eventually reunited for one final tour in 2007, finally calling it quits in 2008.

But according to Sting’s recent words, bands aren’t for grown men. In an interview for the recent edition of the Mojo magazine, he touched upon the subject while discussing the start of his solo career and going into the studio in 1984 for his debut solo album. As he explained (via KWFR 101.9 The Fire):

“My frustration was I would have written an album’s worth of material but also had to entertain these other songs that were not as good. Explaining to someone why their song isn’t working is a bit like saying their girlfriend’s ugly. It’s a very personal thing. That pain was something I didn’t want to go through anymore.”

And then he got to the juicy part, explaining that a musician’s path should always lead to a solo career. Sting offered:

“I don’t think any grown man can be in a band, actually. A band is a teenage gang. Who wants to be in a teenage gang when you’re knocking 70? It doesn’t allow you to evolve. You have to obey the rules and the gestalt of the band. As much as I love The (Rolling) Stones and AC/DC, it’s hard to see growth in their music. For me, the band was merely a vehicle for the songs and not the other way around.”

When asked whether he’d come back to The Police if his 1985 solo debut “The Dream of the Blue Turtles” ended up a commercial failure, he said:

“Well, both Andy [Summers] and Stewart [Copeland] had made albums without me so it was my right, too. I recruited a band from the jazz world and I was lucky it 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.”

Stewart Copeland argues with Sting (Police rehearsals 2008)

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons (Sting in April 2018 (cropped), Author: Ralph_PH)

  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor and brands like Sam Ash.