Elvis Costello Made ‘A Boy Named If’ Like His Life Depended On It - Noise11.com
Elvis Costello, ADOTG, Photo By Ros OGorman, Noise11, Photo

Elvis Costello, ADOTG, Photo By Ros OGorman, Noise11, Photo

Elvis Costello Made ‘A Boy Named If’ Like His Life Depended On It

by Paul Cashmere on January 12, 2022

in News

Elvis Costello says his new album ‘A Boy Named If’ was made “like my life depended on it”.

‘A Boy Named If’ is the 32nd album from Elvis Costello and was made with his longtime band The Imposters featuring Steve Nieve in keyboards, Davey Faragher on bass and Pete Thomas on drums.

Elvis Costello tells the ‘A Boy Named If’ story to Noise11.com.

‘A Boy Named If’ comes at a prolific time for Elvis. In 2019 he released ‘Look Now’ and the ‘Purse’ EP, 2020 was ‘Hey Clockface’. There was the 2021 ‘Spanish Model’. The French language release ‘La Face de Pendule a Coucou’, also in 2021.

There is no common thread to all of those releases. They all come from an original beginning and, as is ‘The Boy Named If’, totally independent of each other.

“I think people have got the clue that I don’t subscribe to a winning formula or even a losing formula,” Elvis Costello tells Noise11.com. “A formula in general doesn’t interest me. Repetition of exactly the same mood or protection of a brand identity, or different notions like that, are alien to me. I have always been fortunate to find friendships out of which my musical adventures have come. That includes when I end up playing with a completely new group of people who end up teaching you something. That includes the Juliet Letters or The Roots. They are not things (I would normally work on), if you listen to the first four or five records.

The constants in his long career are the band members in The Imposters. “I’ve also worked for 45 years on and off with Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve and 20 with Dave Faragher in The Imposters,” he says.

A Global pandemic took Elvis Costello off the road and gave him time to create. “In these unusual circumstances of the last 18 months, the decision to make ‘Look Now’ and my decision to go very fanciful and go to Helsinki to make some recordings on my own and then to France and then hurry back to our home in Vancouver because everything was becoming unstable and chaotic, those circumstances allowed me to gather those recordings together which became ‘Hey Clockface’.

Not only was that new album ready but some side-projects were in the finishing stages as well. “As we finished that record and delivered it we also had ‘Spanish Model’ which was another thing I was working on for a couple of years. By this point, the band, particularly Pete was saying ‘I don’t see when we are going to go back to work. I’m playing along to every record I’ve ever loved down in my basement.

Distance did not matter for ‘The Boy Named If’. Band members weren’t even in the same country. “The next thing we were throwing ideas together. I would go to Davey and it would go to Steve. We’d finish it, it would come back and mix it. I’d go as far to say we probably had less inhibition in playing this forthright music. Pete was in his basement playing the Gretsch he played on ‘This Years Model’. Davey is in his guest room, Steve is in a cottage in France, I was in my backyard. We were just singing and playing like our life depended on it which maybe it did in that moment”.

Elvis Costello ‘The Boy Named If’ is out Friday 14 January 2022.

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