Sumner follows in footsteps of famous father



Pete Wilhoit, Joe Sumner (son of Sting) and Seton Daunt of Fiction Plane open for The Police at the Air Canada Centre on July 22 and 23.


Standing on stage, with microphone in hand, bright lights shining down and a stadium full of thousands of screaming fans — it’s now Joe Sumner who is living the life of a rock star.


Whether it was tagging along while father Sting (The Police) was on tour that sparked Sumner’s interest in kick-starting a music career or being in a mosh pit listening to Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain sing Smells Like Teen Spirit in the early ’90s, Sumner says there’s nothing he would rather do.“It kind of feels like destiny, it’s kind of what we always wanted to do,” Sumner, a bass player, tells Metro about travelling across Canada, the U.S. and Europe with band Fiction Plane, which also includes Seton Daunt on guitar and Pete Wilhoit on drums.

“You know it’s a little bit of a cheating fast track to get there … it feels great and it feels kind (of) like where our band wants to end up, so we might as well start where we, you know, have the means to continue,” he says.

One would think the son of Sting would feel a lot of pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps, but Sumner says it’s nothing like that.

Sumner says when he told his dad he was starting his own band, Sting offered some valuable words of wisdom: “He just said do it, work hard, work as hard as possible, work harder than you think you should, and that’s it really, don’t mess around.”

When Sumner was 13, he went on the road with his dad, and started working with the crew helping carry equipment in and out of the tour bus.

“I always really enjoyed the travelling and the lifestyle where you get up and you’re in a different city, and then you do some work and you go to another city,” says Sumner.

His alternative rock trio has been the exclusive opener for The Police reunion world tour, featuring hits from their latest album Left Side Of The Brain.

Produced and mixed by Paul Corkett (The Cure, Nick Cave, Placebo), Fiction Plane’s album is described as a mixture of U2 and early Red Hot Chili Peppers with a bit of reggae, pop and some Pink Floyd influences.

“I think I wrote most of the songs,” Sumner said laughing. “I tend to write all the lyrics for our songs, and then the music we just sort of play it and see what happens … there really are no rules and oftentimes we might get it on the spot and there you have a song.”

see it live

  • Fiction Plane opens for The Police at the Air Canada Centre July 22 and 23.