Sting has opened up about death and drugs in a wide-ranging new interview with Daily Mail. In the lengthy feature, the music icon talks about the inspiration of his latest solo album, The Last Ship and the last conversation he had with his dying father – while also reflecting on his own mortality and how the ticking clock manifests in his art.
“I have lived more of my life than is to come: That is an interesting place for an artist – more interesting than writing about your first girlfriend,” he says. “It is kind of serious. . . In our sixties, how do we face this imponderable idea that we are not going to exist anymore? We make art. We tell stories. We have to face it, to tell it. I am certainly not ready for death. Do I fear it? Well, I fear sudden death. I want to die consciously. I want to see the process. I suppose I already do.”
The musician also gave his stance on another big-ticket topic: drug use. Sting says he smokes marijuana occasionally as a creative catalyst (“If I’m feeling stuck on a lyric or an idea isn’t quite gelling, sometimes a puff of weed will free it up”) but notes that he “rarely smoke(s) it socially.”
“It’s a tool, just as a pen is,” he says, noting other musical icons who’ve used drugs to fuel their work. “I certainly wouldn’t advocate that you have to take drugs to make art, but then you can’t nullify the work of The Beatles. They took LSD and they made fantastic albums. Miles Davis made the most extraordinary music on heroin.
“Some people can cope with it perfectly well,” added the musician. “I’m not here to make rules, or even state that there should be any rules. Drugs are dangerous, without a doubt. At the same time, they can be useful tools, but they need to be thought about as tools.”