Of course the playing is important but writing and the establishing of what you are going for is prime too.
There was a period when I’d just come out of college where I’d been playing classical guitar and I suddenly realised that it wasn’t what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
If you’re a guitarist, you should not be intimidated by using your instrument as a synthesizer, but you shouldn’t feel that you have to own one, either.
I’m better for it and I prefer to keep things simple and see what sounds I can get out of my head and hands rather than relying on a sound that someone else created.
I spend a lot of time working as a painter and in my studio I go from upstairs where I paint to downstairs where I play and record, so I get this thing crossing over.
If the guitar synthesizer is really going to stand as a synthesizer on its own, it needs to develop a more characteristic sound; I don’ think it’s gotten there yet.
It accumulates over the years and I’ve led so many bands of my own now and forced myself into new situations… You would hope that you play better and better – until you just get too feeble to do it anymore.
I’ve got four or five records in my head at a time that I try to work on and I would like to do a guitar trio record next – since The Police I’ve mostly made records with keyboards.
I’m just trying to avoid any sort of generic kind of music – I don’t want to do generic jazz or fusion.
I like to play with someone who can cover a lot of ground and someone with whom you can discuss the language at a reasonable level; otherwise it gets a bit frustrating.
In The Police, in a trio situation – which I’ve come back to now – it’s just so wide open that it does actually provide this arena where you can play with a certain freedom.