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I imagine that you’ve had a lot of people asking you to work with them over the years – ‘Hey, let’s form a band.’ What was it about Rob that appealed to you?
“That’s a good question. Yeah, I do get a lot of offers. Maybe I’m too much of a snob, but I just don’t think it’s going to be me, or I don’t think they’re quite up to it. The real golden chemistries are hard to find. Maybe I had it with Sting – obviously, the world embraced what was going on there. The other part of it, sort of post-Police, of course, is that I’ve been in virtually the greatest rock band of all time. We had incredible success worldwide. What are you gonna do? Go into another rock band right away and take it to the third division? It doesn’t really make a lot of sense.
“So I went away from that and went into another kind of music – it was completely logical to me. Part of that was my own never-ending musical curiosity and, like all of us, wanting to play better and better and getting more complex, just wanting to do other things. I was never a simple pop-playing guy; that was never the deal for me.
“Post-Police, I was actually writing a lot of songs. I was putting together a rock album, sort of musing about, and the culmination of that was meeting Rob. He came over to the studio and sang one of the songs I’d written, and of course, he completely blew me away with his great singing.
“That afternoon, we sat around with a couple of guitars and kind of got into it. We didn’t really know each other, but I knew very quickly that this guy had it all: a great singer, wonderful writing ability, and he also happened to be a very good drummer. After a couple of hours, he said, ‘Hey, man, let’s do it. Let’s make a rock record.’ And then he started coming to the studio, and off we went.”