John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Solo albums

Walking on Locusts

Walking on Locusts

About this album

Released in 1996. Hannibal HNCD 1395.


  1. Dancing Undercover
  2. Set Me Free
  3. So What
  4. Crazy Egypt
  5. So Much For Love
  6. Tell Me Why
  7. Indistinct Notion Of Cool
  8. Secret Corrida
  9. Circus
  10. Gatorville & Points East
  11. Some Friends
  12. Entre Nous

All songs written by John Cale, except Crazy Egypt by John Cale and David Byrne.

"The album evolved from being on the road with New York City's Soldier String Quartet, every room we played needed to be rewired to facilitate a string quartet, so during those boring sound-checks we wrote some new songs. A lot of the other albums i've done were improvised in the studio, so they have this tension-filled aspect. I didn't edit too much of this album from where it started.

My songs are always about something, its almost obsessive. I'd like to write a song that's not about anything but inevitably there's something didactic that happens. I'd probably write better songs if it weren't for that.

Dancing Undercover has that loopy kind of fiddle playing you put on top of a song which gives it a slinky, sexy sound and Crazy Egypt is about a woman in Louisiana who sells antiques and whose prime directive is to rip people off. The song came together easily. I had a bass line for the song so i called up David Byrne. He came along and played guitar on top of it, and then i wrote the words. It was very painless.

Set Me Free is the least arranged song and because of that it's very simple, Entre Nous is autobiographical, it's about me being at the center of many different situations at once.

Some Friends was originally just a chunk of music that was moody and drifted around. I was going to use it for a film soundtrack, then i turned on the tape and started writing the words using onomatopoeia. In the end it was just about Sterling. I was glad that song happened because it resolved a lot of things in my head.

I used musicians judiciously, anyone willing to step out of the box a little is worth their weight in gold, then you don't have to tell them what to play."

Dawn Buckholz: cello
David Byrne: guitar
John Cale: guitar (acoustic), keyboards, vocals
B. J. Cole: pedal steel guitar Napua Davoy: background vocals
Mark Deffenbaugh: guitar, harmonica, piccolo guitar
Susan Didericksen: background vocals
Tiye Giraud: background vocals
Ibrahim Hakhmoun: castanets, drums
Hassan Hakmoun: clay drums, moroccan drum
Daisy Lignelli: vocals (Background)
Martha Mooke: viola
Ben Neill: mutantrumpet
Ben Perowsky: drums
Todd Reynolds: violin
E.J. Rodriguez: conga, percussion
Erik Sanko: guitar (Bass)
David Soldier: violin
David Tronzo: electric guitar
Maureen Tucker: drums

Other credits:
Tracks 3 & 4 engineered by Martin Brass
Assistant engineer: Patrick Derivaz
Choir recorded by Eric Lilljestrand at Sorcerer
Studio Vision & Tascam operations at LPG by Richard Lamb, Blaise Dupuis & Patrick Derivaz
Mixed at RPM, New York, USA
Recorded at Sorcerer Sound, New York, USA
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine, USA
Design: Stephen Wolstenholme
Photography: Richard Burbridge

© 1999- Hans Werksman