Elvis Costello: “i thought of being a recording artiste in the past tense. i always reserve the right to change my mind”
It’s been five years since Wise Up
Ghost – the longest you’ve gone between albums. How has your thinking on the format changed during that time?
My relationship with recording changed in 2010, when I decided it wasn’t the best use of time. I put it all on the stage and thought of being a recording artiste in the past tense, until Steven Mandel and Questlove lured me back into a little cupboard at NBC, where we made Wise Up Ghost. It took until now for me to get that feeling again, but I always reserve the right to change my mind.
what can you tell me about your relationship with burt bacharach? You’ve been working together for 20 years now.
Burt is an extremist. He has always asked 110 per cent of any musical situation. We started writing songs together again about 12 years ago, but the circumstances for which they were originally intended did not come to pass. A year ago, I asked Burt if he could let me record some of these titles, and then I invited him to lead the Imposters in the studio for two of those tunes. It was one of the recording sessions that really makes the term worthwhile.
INTERVIEW: STEphEN DEuSNER