Cale is interviewed in the february issue of Mojo, a UK music magazine. About his "definite" version of Hallelujah:
"I don't consider it my music, I consider it Leonard's. I'd always regarded that song as quintessential Leonard. That version was initially recorded for an Les inrockuptibles compilation [1991's I'm Your Fan]. There were originally 15 verses to the song, some of them intensely religious, and I felt uncomfortable singing those, so I changed them around. If you watch the DVD extras on Shrek, there's one of a long conversation between the directors, an American lady and an Australian guy, I think, discussing how certain scenes came about. When they come to that scene, the guy is obviously a fan and the lady less so. He says, you know, expansively, like, 'Oh, John Cale's voice, whenever I hear his voice I wanna cry.' And the lady responds, drily, 'ell, there were a number of times during the making of this movie when I felt like crying too!' It was very funny."
Cale is interviewed in the February issue of UK fashion magazine Dazed & Confused.
"Q. Does the state of contemporary music worry you?
A. No, not really. I just say fuck 'em. When people really do something new and different, then I'm interested. Like Niggaz With Attitude, a few years ago, daaaaaamn! I'v been listening to a lot of underground hip hop recently. Some of it's years old though. But beats like 'Drop it Like it's Hot', that one Pharell did for Snoop is amazing. There's like four ideas in the whole thing. Who's going to make pop music more minimal than that!"
Cale is interviewed in the March issue of UK music magazine Uncut about the creation of the Nico albums The Marble Index and Desertshore. Both albums are reissued with out-takes and demo tracks as a double cd The Frozen Borderline 1968-1970.
"We tried as best we could to separate the harmonium off from the voice. It didn't work as well as it could on The Marble Index. I just approached it as a piece of compositional exercise, of how to work with independent parts rather than with the core. I would improvise one independent line - usually the viola line - then I would play another line against the first viola line, not against the harmonium or the voice."
Two Nico albums - The Marble Index and Desertshore are reissued as the 2CD The Frozen Borderline 1968-1970. Both albums are remastered and expanded with a couple of demos and alternate tracks. John Cale was the producer for Desertshore in 1970 and arranged The Marble Index in 1969. The hidden track on Disc 2 is an alternate version of Frozen Warnings with John Cale playing a drone viola.
On arranging Desertshore:
"The songs were ready in Nico's head. All we had to do is get her in the studio and try to seperate the vocals from the harmonium. The whole modus operandi for the arrangments was that I would do track after track of instrumentation, and every one would be totally different from the previous one. Then you'd play all of them together and make sense of what was left. What you had really was four separate, independent parts. It was kind of a compositional technique, making sure you didn't write conjunctive string parts. They were always working against each other. Each take, you didn't have any idea of the centre of the song. They had an implied core, and then a real core."
EMI releases a live 2CD/DVD Circus Live. The songs on the CDs were recorded live at various locations during the European 2004 and 2006 tours. The 2006 tracks are from shows in Groningen's Oosterpoort (March 19) and Nijmegen's Doornroosje (March 20) in The Netherlands.
The "Amsterdam Suite" was recorded at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, December 9, 2004. The full concert was webcasted on (the now defunct) Fabchannel. Mercenaries (Ready For War) has updated lyrics to include the war in Irak.
"The record company popped up late in a nine-and-a-half week tour and said 'Let's do a full album.' We scrambled a truck out of Amsterdam when there were two weeks left. You look around and see which of the remaining gigs have the best facilities, which halls are really good, if they're clubs which ones have high ceilings over the stage for instance — because if it's a low ceiling, you're gonna have separation problems and a load of feedback.
"Groningen — which is the majority of the recording — is a beautiful art theatre. It has a proscenium and a high ceiling above the stage, very warm-sounding, so we did it there. Then we had no choice, we had to go to Nijmegen which is a punky little club that really sounded pretty good when it came to reviewing the results. But by Nijmegen we were burnt, we were crispy critters."
The DVD features John Cale doing an acoustic rehearsal set an an electric "work in progress" rehearsal set. Also included: the "Jumbo in tha Modernworld" video will be An audio portion of the dvd features two tracks, one being a remix of "Gravel Drive" the other a re-recording of Big White Cloud.
Covers All My Friends on the LCD Soundsystem 7" single. A version by Franz Ferdinand will be on another 7" single, so you will get three different takes of the same song. Release date: May 21.
Produced by John Cale. Recorded and mixed by Mickey Petralia.
John Cale: vocals, rhythm guitar, violas, keys, samples
David Levitta: guitars
Michael Jerome: drums, percussion
Robin Lynn: programming, samples
James Murphy: bass
Recorded and mixed art Oceanway Recorders, Los Angeles, CA
"If you want to be avant garde, you've got to do it in rock and roll. I see alot of avant garde kids today in America depending on process, on method, rather than the force of it, and that's not right. You've got to keep the energy. Avant garde at it was ... that horse has bolted."
Features in episode 2 and 3 of the BBC Series Seven Ages of Rock. Episode 2 White Light, White Heat about art rock has a few quotes about implementing the drone within the music of the Velvet Underground and the light show during the Exploding Plastic Inevitable mulitmedia extravaganza. In episode 3 Blank Generation about punk he talks about producing Horses for the Patti Smith Group.
A new John Cale song titled "Beetles" co-written with Marcus Congleton will feature on the forthcoming Cale produced Ambulance Ltd CD. Recording of the album started in Los Angeles in September and was due for release in the summer of 2008. Unreleased, because the record label went bust.
Canadian one-man band Miracle Fortress covers Hanky Panky Nohow on the flip side of the 12 inch Have You Seen In Your Dreams.
Cale is one the interviewees in a documentary about Danny Williams, the uncle of director Esther Robinson. Williams was Andy Warhol's lover and disappeared without a trace in 1966.
The usual suspects (Nat Finkelstein, Brigid Berlin, Gerard Malanga et al.) also feature in this film. Contains silent Velvet Underground footage.
Okkervil River covers Antarctica Starts Here on their Golden Opportunities mixtape.