New Interview

Bruce1994I’ve just done a new interview for Mr Harry Pye in his excellent  Rebel  magazine.

Posted in Music, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged | 36 Comments

36 Responses to New Interview

  1. Neil Jones says:

    Hey Bruce,
    Great interview. It has been a really strange life being a fan boy. I’m sure there are many others that care what happens to their favourite band and it’s members. I am a complete outsider who knows nothing the real life machinations of life inside Elvis Costello & The Attractions other than the written word from reliable sources but having heard about and read about the acrimonious split for nigh on eighteen years all I can say is to quote me old granny; ‘those two need their heads knocking together’. Okay, I’ll say it I live in hope of a reconciliation and dare I say it a reunion! How’s that for meat on the bones?!

    • Bruce says:

      But the split wasn’t acrimonious at all. That was partly the point of my writing the new book — to explain the actual circumstances. The first time I left the band was because of something done by Elvis to Steve, not to me. The second time was because of something done to me by one of his employees, not by EC. I know it’s partly my fault for playing along with it for years, but I really think we need to forget the myth of the feud once and for all. Maybe there’s a few ‘fanboys’ who need their heads knocked together.

      • Neil Jones says:

        Yes, your probably right :). Those fan boys are a bloody nuisance….still like to see a reunion though. Listened to a soundboard from Lancaster Uni circa 1982 and it is tremendous. Full throttle. Desk is being sorted out in Pigeon English and the instruments are being isolated, the bass line is magic.

      • Bruce says:

        I’m not calling everyone who liked / likes the band a ‘fan boy’. That particualr epithet is reserved for those few numpties that keep trotting out the decades-old party line by having a pop at me, simply because they think it’s what ‘he’d’ want then to do. There’s no need to take sides. But there is a need to know what happened and make up your own mind.

  2. Derek says:

    Ear, ear..

    “I’m also working on a book about music from the point of view of the physics of sound…”

    whats goin’ on ear then?

    There are some good discussions on dig it all bits and bobs and the really real ear performance, will you be tackling this wee beasty?

    • Bruce says:

      AS soon as I’ve put your message through Google translate, I’ll let you know.

      • Geert De Wilde says:

        Yep, makes as much sense in French: “Il ya quelques bonnes discussions sur le creuser tous les bits et des bobs et la performance de l’oreille vraiment réel, allez-vous aborder ce beasty wee?” (courtesy of Google translate)

      • Bruce says:

        Brilliant — well done.

      • Geert De Wilde says:

        who’d have thought that the expression ‘beasty wee’ was French … 🙂

      • Bruce says:

        There are close links between the Scots and the French.

      • Derek says:

        Ogdens yed n a few brews it’ll come to yow

      • Bruce says:

        Does Google translate do Brummie?

      • Geert De Wilde says:

        No. but it does Welsh!

      • Derek says:

        Very close with the Brummie, black country actually. Yes there is a difference.
        With a wee bit of Scotts from my parents

        I was reading an article on 24 bit “digital”, (dig it all), audio where one guy was describing the dynamic range of the ear and the effective resolution. Apparently we can only differentiate 0.2 dB. So the argument was why do we need more than 16 bits? We also have a dynamic range of 96dB. so 96/2 to the 16

        I still feel there is an argument for a much higher sample rate though, and why someone came up with 44.1kHz I’ll never know.

        Which is in the line of your comment on the physics of sound.

      • Bruce says:

        Here’s a wee preview:

        when Alfred Tomatis was making his study of people who were exposed to continual noise, he discovered that when our ears lose the ability to hear certain frequencies, then our voice also loses them. In one experiment, Tomatis blocked a singer’s ears, allowing through only certain frequencies. Almost immediately the blocked frequencies disappeared from her voice. He realized that the human voice can only produce sounds that the ears can hear — because the organs of speech and hearing are part of the same neurological loop — and any change in one is immediately mirrored in the other. These observations were verified by the French Academy of Science and Medicine and named ‘the Tomatis effect’.

      • Derek says:

        “He realized that the human voice can only produce sounds that the ears can hear ”

        We know thats not true , people who are deaf from birth can make a whole range of sounds, uncontrolled I grant you.
        Not hearing a sound does not stop you from producing it if the sound generation tackle is not damaged, it will stop you from controlling it as the feedback loop is broken.

      • Bruce says:

        What you say is true, but I think the two situations may not be directly comparable — Tomatis was talking about certain isolated frequencies disappearing from the voices of trained singers. As an analogy, you don’t need to have arms to be able to reach out to someone, but useful if you want to be a boxer.

      • Derek says:

        So now my test engineer brain is thinking “Whats the frequency resolution of the voice?”

        Boxing was done with the head where I cam from, no brains required.

      • Bruce says:

        Paragraph now deleted from draft — all conjecture now over. Take it up with Monsieur Tomatis.

  3. Mike Miller says:

    I thought it a bit odd he brought up Burt B.

    • Bruce says:

      I think that stems from a previous conversation I had with Harry about Burt doing to EC what he uausally did to us! Also it was topical in the UK since Cilla Balck had recently passed on and they were reviewing her career — and how Burt made her do 30 takes of alfie.

      • Mike Miller says:

        My wife purchased the EL/Burt CD at the time based on the “God Give Me Strength” single. I think I listened to the CD one time and recall how I thought that his voice, in the upper registers, was so grating over the lush sound tracks. Seemed inappropriate to me. But, with the band on songs like “Next Time Round”and “Riot Act”, to name a few, he’s so great when he’s really standing on it.

        I suppose I should give it another listen.

      • Bruce says:

        I’ll leave that decision to you.

  4. Rachel Jones says:

    “Time wounds all heels”… Good to see a Groucho Marx quote popping in the article!

  5. Geert De Wilde says:

    Wise up Ghost writer?! Ooh, you’re going in deep! 😉

    I read your book, and I must say I really appreciated your honest style. Same for your interview. I wish we could hear more of you – both in words and bass-notes!

  6. David Witherington says:

    Wow…interesting and even bold questions, answered with interesting and even bolder replies. This interview has meat on its bones! Congrats and thanks for sharing, Bruce. YOU ARE DA MAN.

  7. Mike Miller says:

    Excellent interview. I was just thinking of writing on the various “comments” I’ve read about the book. In that circle, there are sides. Those who are into the Cult of Personality and those who actually listen to the records. Quite fascinating.

    • Ed Morgan says:

      Wonderful interview. It looks like you touch on many things in the new book that I’ve been curious about. Looking forward to it arriving in the mail. Regarding the question on contemporaries writing books…Did you ever read anything that Graham Parker has written?

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