by Sverre Ronny Saetrum

Elvis arrives with a cheerful “Hello” to the 8-10 journos present. The
arranger informs us that we got 30 minutes at our disposal, and then it´s a

First question concerns the array of other artists and composers Elvis has
worked with (Brodskies and Macca is mentioned) and the question is whether
this was an initial ambition of his when he started out. Elvis answered no,
and that it had been a case of one thing leading to another. He said that
when he did start his caréer he wasn´t sure he was going to last for three
weeks, and that he wouldn´t have been musically “equipped” at that time to
work with these artists and musicians.

He goes on to say that he approaches every new collaboration in the exact
same manner; to get the best out of his collaborators and himself. There´s
no difference whethter it´s Paul McCartney, The Brodsky Quartet or Burt


Elvis seems very intent to talk about this collaboration, and on several
occasions during the concference he expresses both gratitude and pride to
be working with Burt. When asked for details about the album he says that
it´s mostly new songs, though they might include a couple of old EC or BB
songs. He won´t say which  songs he has in mind, but as for the Bachrach
songs, it´ll definitely be slightly more “obscure ones”, because the
definite versions of his best known have already been recorded, and Elvis
sees no point in trying to re-make them

Elvis and Burt will have a meeting in NY this Thursday, the day after the
tribute-concert where they´re going to discuss future plans. Among the
things they will discuss is what kind of instrumentation there´s going to
be on the record ( big band ??).He says it´s most likely that they will be
touring the album in the autumm, Elvis certainly wants to, and there will
be a TV special based on the recording of the album.  As for the songs
themselves, Elvis says they´re some of the best he´s ever written, and that
the collaboration with BB changed from song to song. On some songs Elvis
has only written the lyrics, while on others it´s been a 50/50 input.
He said he´s really looking forward to doing the BB-tribute in NYC on
Wednesday, and he was proud and honored to be asked to do two “new EC & BB
songs”, while all the other artists will be doing BB & Hal David songs.
Elvis will sing “GGMS” and a brand new one from the forthcoming album.


There are definite plans to write more with Steve Nieve, they actually
wrote a song in Stockholm the day before arriving in Norway. But Steve is
also very occupied with his own opera, and this is a long-term and
time-consuming project.


Elvis says he´s had to decline a couple of offers to do collaborations;
“´cause I´m not a super-human, you know...”. The projects he does get
involved in usually takes a lot of time to plan, develop, record, tour, et
al, and he rather do them properly than just co-write some “slick,
cross-over song” , like say: “Oh, I think I´ll do some Gershwin songs for
my new album, then all the Gershwin-fans will buy it....”.

He says that a choral-piece is put on the shelf for the time being, but he
plans to return to this in a year or two.

There´s definitely another EC & Brodksy Quartet collaboration on the cards,
and they have started working on it, but it´s still on a planning stage.
Apparently Michael Thomas has put some of the Spanish poet Lorca´s poems to
music, which they´ve been doing at concerts,and this will probably be
included on the album. What´s certain is that it will not be another
“concept album” like “TJL”, it´ll rather be separate songs with no common
thread. They´ve also been discussing the possibility to involve some other
soloists, though when asked directly EC denies that they´re asking Anne
Sophie von Otter to participate. He says that she´s very much an artist in
her own right, and that he can´t very well ask her to be a “guest vocalist”
on one of his projects. He went on to say that he wrote the song-cycle
“Three distracted women” for her, and he would love it if she decides to
record them, but it´s not something he´s going to press her into doing,
it´s gotta be her own decision.


When asked if he´s going to do another rock-album in the future, he says
no, and that he feels  this side of him has been “exhausted”. He really
can´t envision himself going back to the traditional rock-band formula
again. He says that the last Attractions tour was very “Erratic to say the
least”, and that they won´t be reforming ever again . On the other hand, he
does have plans to do another “Loud solo-album”, and instead of doing the
trad.rock thing, he wants to explore the possibilites of making music with
machines. It´s not going to be techno-music, ´cause he feels that techno
doesn´t use the full potential electronic music has to offer. He says he
wants to create the same kind of energy as in rock, but with other

I asked whether “The Bridge I Burned” is an indication of where he´s going,
and if he plans to work with his son Matthew and Danny Goffey again. He
answered that although his son was “Kind enough to help his old dad out”,
there´s no plans for working together, ´cause Matthew has his own musical


Elvis said he think his new record company are “bold and adventurous”. He
said that when he and Burt have made their album, Verve will do some
jazz-arrangements of the songs and release them. When asked which artists
will be playing on those versions he wouldn´t give it away, but that he has
a couple of favorite musicians in mind.

I told him that a local Norwegian paper actually had written that THE Verve
was going to do the jazz-verions of the EC&BB songs ( slightly mistake, to
say the least...) and that really made him laugh and say “Oh, they´re very
welcome to participate if they want to...”


On the subject of the new Rhino compilation he said that he hadn´t actually
chosen the songs on it, he had just made a couple of suggestions, and he´s
also written liner-notes for each song. He think it´s a very representative
collection of EC cover-versions, from the really obscure to the more
well-known. He said he was really glad when McCartney agreed to let them
use “My brave face”, ´cause he doesn´t usually licence his songs to others.
Elvis went on to say that the collaborations with Macca have been great
help to his own caréer.

He said that RHINO recently had sent him a fax with the cover-art for the
compilation, and Elvis thought it was hilarious. There´s a picture of a
stack of sheet-music and on the top there´s this “bust of the composer”.
“They´ve tried to make it look like me, but instead it looks like Henry
Kissinger”. He wanted to show us the fax, and searched his jacket-pocket,
but alas, it wasn´t there.


Elvis said that the set-list is usually very flexible, and changes from
place to place. Since they´ve never played Voss before, and rarely in
Norway at all , he´s somewhat uncertain which songs people know or doesn´t
know, so they´d be doing a variation of old and new ones.

With that the arranger called “Time´s up”, at which point I got Elvis to
pose for a snapshot with me, we shook hands and bid adieu....