Velvet Underground’s John Cale Shares His Common Feature With Lou Reed

Former member of the Velvet Underground, John Cale, continues his solo career with his newest album. In a recent interview with Grammy Awards, the musician talked about the album ‘Mercy’ and what influenced him in its production.

The Velvet Underground is recognized for its integration of rock and avant-garde music which was initially scorned but is now praised for its contribution to underground and experimental rock. Despite their on-and-off tenure, the band’s career significantly impacted the lives of the band members, which becomes apparent in John Cale’s music and statements.

Cale released his latest album ‘Mercy’ in January 2023. According to the musician, all the songs in the album, including those released in 2022, have different stories and influences. In his latest interview, during which he introduced the album, John Cale talked about these in detail.

While explaining the creation process of the songs, he mentioned ‘Not the End of the World,’ which was influenced by his way of living. John Cale stated that working is how he manages to get on with life, which is something he started doing since Velvet Underground. The musician also added that his former bandmate Lou Reed shared this value of his along with Andy Warhol. Apparently, the three’s ambition to work was so high that their good work gave them a ‘poke in the eye.’

Cale’s approach to the song and his common trait with Warhol and Reed follows:

“‘Not the End of the World’ was my way of dealing with the serendipity of life. You got a problem? Yeah, well, get over it and get some work done. That’s always the way I’ve found life since the Velvet Underground — to be a continuum. Because really, I was always into work. Andy [Warhol], Lou [Reed], and myself, we all had that poke in the eye that comes from doing good work.”

The recent interview shows that John Cale has used working to cope with life’s difficulties, which also became the key to success. Additionally, the musician’s work ethic was also adopted by the Velvet Underground’s singer, Lou Reeds. This, speculatively, is one of the reasons behind the band’s influential music.