Sting: My father and grandfather had to point rifles at Germans – thanks to the EU I’ve never had to

Sting, photo: Yancho Sabev, CC BY-SA 3.0

The biggest star at this weekend’s Metronome music festival in Prague will without question be the UK musician Sting, who led The Police before embarking on an enormously successful solo career. Ahead of his appearance in the Czech capital, the UK musician shared his thoughts with Czech Radio on Brexit, the refugee crisis and more.

Sting,  photo: Yancho Sabev,  CC BY-SA 3.0
The Metronome festival takes place on Friday and Saturday at Prague’s Výstaviště. And headlining the opening night is the best-known name on the entire bill, Sting.

Before his arrival in Prague, the multi-million-selling UK rock star sat down with Vladimír Kroc from Czech Radio for an interview covering a range of subjects – including Brexit.

“I voted to remain. The main reason I want to remain in the EU is because its biggest success is that we weren’t killing each other for 70 years.

“I’ve never had to point a rifle at a German. My father did. My grandfather did.

“I never had to do it. Largely because we trade together. And this was the biggest success.

“It’s not a perfect organisation but I’m sad that we’re leaving.

“I don’t know how to… I’m not a politician. I’m a singer.”

Illustrative photo: Fotomovimiento,  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
On the issue of the migrant crisis, the man born Gordon Sumner said he understood those coming to Europe in search of a better life.

“We’re all refugees. You know, after WWII there were millions of people displaced all over Europe.

“People were taken in and moved around. It’s the same now in the Middle East – people are running away from bombs and guns.

“If I was living there and had a family, I’d want to escape too.

“I don’t have a political solution, at all, but I think if there is a solution it has to be rooted in empathy, compassion and kindness.

“That’s what we have to do. Because building a wall will not solve anything.”

Sting was the first artist to perform at the Bataclan when the Paris club reopened its doors last November, a year after the terrible massacre there. He explained why.

“They asked me to reopen the Bataclan, a year after it had been closed after the massacre.

“Because I’d played there in 1979 I had some history there.

Sting,  photo: Vojtěch Koval
“I felt I should say yes, because I think it’s important that first of all you honour the dead. You honour the survivors. You honour the relatives of the dead.

“But also you celebrate music, you celebrate life, you celebrate a wonderful, historic theatre.

“So I tried to balance those two things: respect for the dead and also a celebration of music.

“Because that’s what terrorism tries to kill. They want to kill music. They want to kill joy. We can’t allow that to happen.”