Q – I noticed in the album sleeve notes for Mainstream that Stewart Copeland drummer from the Police has producer credits for Hey Rusty. He is high up there on my list of favourite and innovative drummers. How did this collaboration come about? Did he have a big influence on the sound of the final song? In what way did he ‘produce’ this track?

A – We had several false starts making Mainstream – truth be told we didn’t really know which direction we wanted to go in so it was a tough job for any producer. We spent a week or so in the studio with Copeland producing and Julian Mendlesohn engineering and mixing. They bonded, against all odds, thanks to their love of pot. Copeland is a great guy and it was a fun experience working with him, but we were still not committed to a particular course, and maybe we never were. Ian Stanley, at least, was, in the end. Copeland’s credit is due to the fact that he had significant input on the drum track – the half time section was his idea.

If this ‘everything after’ box ever gets made I expect we’ll include the Copeland sessions, and the Chris Thomas sessions, and the extensive demoing. The other ‘producer’ I met with was Chris Stein of Blondie – that never panned out but I did get to meet him in suite at the Savoy shortly after he and Debbie had clearly had a row… I had carefully laid out my Blondie 78 calender, bought in Blackburn on the Plastic Letters tour, to take to have them sign it. I forgot to take it.