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Costello interview

Posted: January 22, 2010, 12:40:38

Here's a part of an interview with Elvis costello from SEE Magazine


SEE: What is ďThe ShapeĒ?

Elvis: ďThe ShapeĒ is the name of a character that Iím portraying in a piece which is being constructed. Itís an unusual form. Itís a sort of a radio play, as it were, except itíll be on record. Itís a collaboration between John Mellencamp and Stephen King, produced by my friend T-Bone Burnett, and a number of singers, some of whom are friends like Roseanne Cash and people that Iíve recently met through Spectacle like Neko Case, Cheryl Crow, likewise, and Kris Kristofferson. There are actually a number of people that have been on Spectacle but thatís purely, completely coincidental. But we happen to be all characters in this story, and ďThe ShapeĒ is this sort of demonic, satanic I suppose, demonic rather than satanic, the provocateur character that nobody sees but whispers in everybodyís ear. Typecast again. But itís interesting to do. I think some people got hold of the wrong end of the stick and imagined it was going to be a Broadway musical, but I think it would be pretty tough to imagine all those people showing up for Broadway.

SEE: A little, yeah.

Elvis: But this is another way to do it, I think itís an interesting way to do it, get people into the studio and record. Itís kind of like a collage almost of dramatic performances, and a lot of the songs are written in character voices. Iíve written a number of songs where Iím not that person thatís singing, thereís even reprehensible characters in songs where I wouldnít want to be that person. But here Iíve got a little more licence to go a bit further with that, because itís somebody elseís character thatís been created and I have to sort of try and bring it to life in some way that made sense to me and I hoped that they liked it. People are trying different things. The record company relationship with artists is less dominant than it used to be. People are able to sort of try some different forms without being worried about losing radio play in Idaho. Nobody cares about that anymore. If thereís a good station in Idaho, then they can have a direct conversation with you. If there isnít, then youíre not losing anything by doing something thatís interesting to you. Itís probably a good idea to give it a try, see what happens.

Thanks to Bev Vincent

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