LONDON (AP) — Sting and Peter Gabriel had so much fun the last time they toured together they thought they’d do it again.
Some three decades after they first met, they’re joining forces, bands and songs for a series of shows across the United States and Canada. Now, as then, the vibe will be playful.
“We found when we toured together in the past there was a lot of pillow fights on airplanes,” Gabriel told The Associated Press. “It was fun, it really was, and there was a lot of great music happening.”
Sitting down for a chat at Gabriel’s Real World Studios, a converted mill surrounded by running water and green gardens in Box, in southwestern England, the two English stars plotted out the future.
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Both are fiercely independent and brimming with the confidence that comes from walking away from one accomplishment and building another.
Both departed very successful bands at a high point — Sting from The Police and Gabriel from Genesis — and went on to establish solo careers.
They are so laid-back that they are promising each other free rein over their joint back catalogues of tracks, so there will be song-swapping on stage.
“We want to sing a lot of hits basically, people want to hear the songs we’re famous for,” Sting said. “But it’s always interesting to trade a song. … I’m not precious about giving him whatever he wants.”
The idea came from Sting and a tour he did in Europe and North America with Paul Simon.
“We traded musicians, we sang together. And the take home that people got from that was they loved it when we did things together,” Sting said.
The musicians met when they were featured at an Amnesty International concert in 1986. They embarked on a six-week, five continent tour for the charity two years later that was intended to raise awareness for human rights causes. Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour also took part.
“We never knew where we were going, we traveled to all sorts of amazing countries, great people, but we had all these fantastic musicians travelling together,” he said.
The pair have named their upcoming tour “Rock Paper Scissors” and joke that they will play the game at any opportunity.
“It’s the perfect game, actually, because no one can have dominance,” Sting said.
The tour kicks off on June 21 in Columbus, Ohio, and finishes up in Edmonton, Alberta, on July 24.