Whatever Sting fans are expecting from the former Police frontman's upcoming 57th & 9th LP, they may want to adjust those expectations.

As he made clear while discussing the new album with AOL's Build series (via Huffington Post), Sting didn't know what to expect when he started working on 57th & 9th — which is exactly the way he wanted it.

"The most important aspect of music to me is surprise," said Sting. "When I listen to music, I want to be surprised. When I compose music, I want to lay a surprise in the arrangement and when I decide what music I’m going to present to the public, again, I want to surprise them."

Describing the writing of the album as "musical ping-pong," he admitted he showed up at the studio with his band not knowing where each session would take them. "We just threw a few ideas around," he added. "It went in a circle and gradually something materializes that looks like it might become a song."

But if the creative environment surrounding the record was entirely without boundaries, that doesn't mean Sting made it without any parameters. Most importantly, he set a hard deadline for completion and stuck to it — even if it meant putting himself in some uncomfortable situations.

"I said I was going to make it within three months," he explained. "Normally I have it open-ended, it could take as long as it could takes. It actually took 10 weeks. I also decided that when I was writing lyrics I would put some pressure on myself. I sat on my terrace in the freezing cold overlooking Central Park with a coat and a cup of coffee and I wouldn’t allow myself in the house until I finished the lyric. It worked — I spent a whole weekend, and I wrote four songs in one weekend freezing my butt off outside."

57th & 9th is due in stores Nov. 11, and available to pre-order now.

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