In the somewhat strange setting of an enormous Austin Convention Center ballroom, Elvis Costello sat yesterday (March 16) for a public interview that marked the beginning of Texas' annual South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival. For nearly 90 minutes, the veteran artist discussed his career with MTV Networks executive Bill Flanagan, engrossing and entertaining the crowded room.
...Costello defended his prolificacy and the wide-ranging experimentation he has indulged over time, which has seen him record everything from punk-era new wave classics to opera, simply saying it was a case of "not allowing critics to write your records for you."
...When it was brought up that he has reissued catalog titles in differing deluxe editions on two different labels, Costello said he was not trying to milk money out of die-hard fans. He sees reissues as being "for those who missed it the first time around," not for "those obsessed with having everything."
Saying "radio is my enemy," Costello admitted not expecting widespread support from traditional music business channels when he releases a new work, such as his latest rock album, "The Delivery Man" (Lost Highway). "I just want to get the music visible," he said. And to do that, the tenaciously touring artist said hitting the road is the way to get that done. "It's always been about playing," he said. "It's not about records. Live work is where it's at."
I like him.