14 November 2004
Your real name isn't actually Elvis Costello. What was the reason behind changing it from Declan McManus to Elvis?
Do you know what I thought? I thought people are going to ask me stupid questions about it for 25 years, end of story.
OK Elvis . . . your new album, The Delivery Man, is dedicated to your wife, Diana Krall, and her latest is dedicated to "my husband". How was the experience of working on her music so early in your relationship?
It was wonderful. There are some very heartfelt, personal songs and that's a different thing for her because she's previously been known for interpreting other people's songs. She started to write down her feelings in a literal meaning and all I did was help to put them into lyrical order and she'd already written the music. You've got these very personal songs and to do that in the very first few months of your life together is tremendous.
Diana is your third wife. Do you feel you've now found happiness?
I'm very fortunate, I feel very good. That's not to say I have any disdain or disrespect for the past. You live through what you live through. But if you're asking me where I am now, I feel great.
Is that musically as well as personally?
Musically I've never had a better run. I've made a record we really enjoyed making. Even though it's got some really dark moments in the actual context, the actual pleasure of making it was tremendous.
You have been known for writing strong political songs throughout your career. In the world climate it's perhaps surprising that the focus of your music is love. Do you think your focus has shifted?
People sometimes call [my] songs political simply because they come from the world of events rather than the world of the heart. They all come from the heart, even the ones that are political. I do get asked, "Where's the 9/11 song?" It's about love, that's probably as beautiful a thing you can sing about in [these] circumstances. I'm not going to write about these events just because everybody else is. The songs that I've arrived at are perhaps more subtle than songs I might have written at another time in my life, but that's the way I'm thinking.