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Elvis Costello: 'The songs are going to change shape as we take them back out on the road'

Mr. Nimbus | 02/26/2022

Elvis Costello joins Elton John’s Rocket Hour on Apple Music 1 this weekend to discuss his new album ‘The Boy Named If’. He tells Elton about recording the album remotely from his fellow band members, making a conscious effort not to become “complacent”, his tour plans for this year and more.

Elton John Tells Elvis Costello He “Can’t Stop Playing” His New Album ‘A Boy Called If’…

Well, you did me a great favour by sending me the album way before it came out, and there’s so much energy in this record, which you’ve made lots of records with lots of energy, but you haven’t made a record like this for a long, long time. You’re one of the artists that I love because you always try and do something different… And so you’re one of these artists that just does what you want to do, but this record is just so supercharged, it’s like having an electric shock, for me, and I just love it. I can’t stop playing it.

Elvis Costello Tells Apple Music About Band Members Recording The Album Remotely…

I think this kind of music really benefited from not being able to see our ugly faces while we were playing. Nothing put us off. I know that Pete won’t want me to say that, but there he was down in his basement, as he is every day. You know what drummers are like, they want to keep ready for that call to the stage. He has his old Gretsch kit that he played on the very first record that we did together, this year’s model. He installed that in his basement, now his practice kit, and he really couldn’t sound any more comfortable. And there is something to be said for the rhythm section of our songs together, being my voice and his drums. I know the bass player is playing his conventional role, but there’s something about that lock between my singing and his drums. And because we had that as a starting place, everything else just fell into its right place.

Elvis Costello Tells Apple Music That Album Is About Wanting To Be Connected…

Well, I think it’s the sound of people wanting to get back connected with each other. We have had 45 years together and you know, because you’ve had long term working relationships, creative relationships, you could become complacent about it. And also, I think there is something when you go in and you try to keep it to the straight line between you and the listener that you can sometimes get in your own way in an attempt to make it. And there’s something about us being separated while recording this, I think we all did our best thing for the song. The song was right at the centre. They listened to the words.

Elvios Costello Tells Apple Music About The Way Each Band Member Contributes To The Record…

As you know, records are often an accumulation of separate moments and people lose sight of that. There is something that people think if it was all done in the room together, that’s more real. Well, sometimes it’s real and sometimes it’s just messy because you haven’t quite worked out the arrangement. But with two of us, Steve, and Pete, and myself have played together on and off for 45 years, and Davey now I think has earned the right not to be called anybody’s deputy after 20 years. I mean he’s got his own approach to the bass, he’s also a great singer so you hear his voice. Where I blend my voice with myself and then with him on top, that’s a sound which, of course we didn’t have. Nobody in the first group could sing, except me, and that was even a toss of a coin.

Elvis Costello Tells Apple Music About His Tour Plans For 2022…

But I really did enjoy doing it and we’ve planned the songs out on the stage. And you know what it’s like, because you’ve been out there recently, you know what it feels like to be back out in front of people. We did 22 dates, we got in that little window of opportunity in October, did 22 dates with Charlie Sexton joining us, and that way I could really, a lot of the time, just be singing and didn’t always have to fill every place because Charlie was covering it. And then when we did play together, it was a different thing. So the songs are going to change shape as we take them back out on the road in June in England and, here’s an exclusive, the US in August. You’re the first that knows that. So we’re going out in the US in August.

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Written by Mr. Nimbus

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