For years, Stewart Copeland says, he’d summered in Italy, hanging out with friend Italian keyboardist Vittorio Cosma, noodling around on rock ‘n’ roll – Copeland’s spent the last 15 years or so writing classical music – and enjoying a lot of great food and wine.
“Completely without agenda,” the former drummer for the Police says. “No career move, no product. Just playing under the Italian sky.
“The agenda was pasta,” Copeland says by phone from his home in Los Angeles.
But as songs came together from one summer to the next he and Cosma realized they had something good in hand. Friend and producer Claudio Dentes found a record label willing to invest in some studio time. And Copeland came up with a plan to sneakily recruit Adrian Belew, the longtime singer-guitarist for King Crimson, and singer-bassist Mark King of Level 42, into the fold.
“They couched it in these terms: ‘Would you just come over and spend some time?’” Belew says by phone from London recently. “You can bring your family. Just hang out and play on a few tracks.
“Little did I know, actually they were tricking me,” he says, laughing. “They were afraid to ask me to join a band, especially since I’d just gotten out of King Crimson after 33 years, and I have my own band, the Power Trio, too.”
But join a band he did, one dubbed Gizmodrome, which released its debut album last month.
Belew, who has toured and recorded with everyone from David Bowie and Frank Zappa to Talking Heads and Nine Inch Nails, was the first choice of Copeland and Cosma because of his unique ability to coax fresh and unusual sounds from his guitars.
“Adrian has always been been a very…