Elvis Costello says he doesn’t like modern rock music
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  • Post published:17/01/2022
  • Post last modified:17/01/2022

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“You can’t like everything”

Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello. CREDIT: Burak Cingi/Redferns

Elvis Costello has admitted he doesn’t “like” much modern rock music because “the beat is so square”.

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Costello was asked by Rolling Stone what still attracted the rock veteran to writing guitar music, with the singer replying “I don’t like much rock music. I like rock & roll. I think if you lose the roll part, a lot of the fun goes out of it.”

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame member then went on to say that “when people ask me, ‘What’s your favourite record?’, I usually don’t name any electric-guitar records made in the last 30 years because the beat is so square. I like things that float a bit or swing a bit, whether it’s rock & roll or actual jazz that swings.”


“You listen to these records out of Nashville, they couldn’t float if you filled them full of water. They just don’t; they’re square and they sound like bad rock records from the nineties. To my ear, they just do. But somebody likes them,” the 67-year-old continued.

“My grandfather – he was a trumpet player – never used to criticise 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,” he added.

On Friday (January 14), Elvis Costello & The Imposters released their new album ‘The Boy Named If’. The group are set to head out on a 13-date UK tour in June.

Costello has also called on radio stations to stop playing his controversial 1979 single ‘Oliver’s Army’. The song is taken from his third studio album ‘Armed Forces’ and has attracted criticism over the years for using the N-word.


“On the last tour, I wrote a new verse about censorship, but what’s the point of that? So I’ve decided I’m not going to play it. [Bleeping the word out] is a mistake,” Costello explained. “They’re making it worse by bleeping it for sure. Because they’re highlighting it then. Just don’t play the record!”

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  • Elvis Costello
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