AOL: On 'National Ransom,' you used both the Sugarcanes and the Imposters as your backing bands. How did you decided who played on which song?
Costello: It's a tremendous luxury to have so many good players, some of whom I've known and worked with for 33 years and some of whom I've only gotten to know in the past couple of years and to be able to combine them in a room where we can all hear each other, all see each other. We're performing just as we would onstage, but it's going to tape. I just let the songs choose who should play; it was really obvious once I had written the songs who should be playing on each song. T Bone Burnett and I, who produced the record, sort of went through the material and we knew we had the opportunity here. We didn't tell anybody, but it was like we were making a double LP: We had a lot of songs that I had written, a couple I had written with other people, including T Bone, Leon Russell and two I had written with Jim Lauderdale. In a very short order of time we put down all these different moods, some of it's rock 'n' roll; some of its ballads -- it's basically every kind of music I like.