Music

Meat Loaf interview: "Most artists today won't be around in 40 years"

Meet Meat

People know you best as a singer but you have always considered yourself an actor first and foremost.

That’s what I’ve studied. I started in my sophomore year in high school. I only did it to get out of study hall.

Are you playing a character when you are singing your songs?

Yeah, each song actually is a character. It goes back to Brando. He would always get the physicality of the character before he ever touched a script. People don’t notice it but each song, each person, has their own movements.

Are you able to describe what the characters are like? Who is the guy in Bat Out Of Hell?

They are different every night. I see images in my head and they’re always different. People say, “Do you get tired of singing the old songs?” I don’t have any old songs. Every night it’s brand new. As I’m singing Bat Out Of Hell I don’t know what’s going to happen.

I don’t have any old songs. Every night it’s brand new

You don’t know you’re about to end up torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike?

The thing he crashes into is different every night. Listen, when I’m singing I don’t know what I’m doing. The crowd disappears. It’s called focus. Most people don’t understand. If you talk to a football player or an athlete, they understand the term ‘in the zone’. It’s a place where nothing exists except the moment. And that’s called the truth. In my experience musicians don’t understand that principal because they’re always playing with the audience.

Is focus the reason why some artists have been around for decades and others who become famous overnight fade away?

Nobody lasts long these days. This is a very strange time in the music business. When I was growing up music was very important in a person’s life. You used to judge moments in time by music, now you don’t. Most of the artists today won’t be around in 40 years.

Here’s hoping! There are so few you’d want to still be around in 40 years from now.

Well, they won’t be. The song quality is not there. You don’t have the song quality of a Springsteen or a U2 or a Sting or a Bon Jovi or a Jim Steinman.

Do you prefer the acting world to the music world?

Actors are the people I’m most comfortable around and believe it or not, those are the people I find more real. The ones that I’ve worked with anyway. We’re doing Fight Club, Brad Pitt’s making $20 million, I’m making what, $300,000, but it doesn’t it doesn’t make any difference because when we’re working together it’s not about the money it’s about the scene. We’re equal.

Your latest film Stage Fright is a cross between Glee and a slasher movie.

It’s not Death of a Salesman. I took it as a Gilbert and Sullivan horror movie.

There haven’t been many comedy horror films. In fact I can only think of one other…

Rocky Horror!

Is there a gap in the market or are two comedy horrors over 35 years enough?

Oh that’s plenty. I know they said Les Mis was sung live but I don’t believe a word of it. Every note that I sang in Stage Fright was live on the set.

Your character turns out to be a bit of a villain. Did you have fun playing the bad guy?

I always play the bad guy.

Stage Fright is out now on DVD

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