Elvis Costello Thinks Rock Has Lost Its ‘Roll’
Modern rock has plenty of fans, but don't count Elvis Costello among them.
Rolling Stone asked Costello for his thoughts on today's music climate and what attracts him – or doesn't. "I don’t like much rock music," he said. "I like rock 'n' roll. I think if you lose the roll part, a lot of the fun goes out of it.”
Costello just released one of 2022's most highly anticipated rock albums, A Boy Named If. But he was hard pressed to name another one that he's eager to hear.
"When people ask me, ‘What’s your favorite record?,’ I usually don’t name any electric-guitar records made in the last 30 years because the beat is so square," Costello argued. "I like things that float a bit or swing a bit, whether it’s rock & roll or actual jazz that swings, or even the way Hank Williams records lope.”
The 67-year-old noted that his grandfather was a trumpet player, and was always careful not to criticize other musicians. "I’m trying to live by his example a little better these times and not be so critical of everybody else – but you can't like everything."
Costello plans to kick off a 13-show European tour later this summer. Beyond A Boy Named If, he's also completed a couple of new songs with Burt Bacharach, with whom Costello recorded 1998's U.K. Top 40 hit Painted From Memory.
Even at 93, Bacharach's "focus is undimmed," Costello recently told the Guardian. "He’ll go: ‘Elvis, in bar six, you’re not singing the right melody."
So, everybody has their critics.