New Austinite Meat Loaf gets personal
Singer says latest album is from his own perspectives on world
Meat Loaf's earthy ("All of Me") and ethereal ("Fall from Grace") "Hell in a Handbasket" views our sociopolitical climate with a sharp scope. The Austin transplant looks forward to supporting the recently released collection here.
"I think we've put together another really killer show," he says. "Bottom line: I have the best band in the world. People go, ‘Oh, what an ego.' No, it's not an ego. It's the truth." Meat Loaf launches his new tour Friday at ACL Live.
American-Statesman: Explain the album title.
Meat Loaf: I've heard the saying, "The world's gone to hell in a hand basket," and that's the way I feel. I just didn't like some of the things that were going on in the country. Unlike Midnight Oil, I didn't want to hit you over the head with a hammer, but I wanted to give you my opinion of the state of the world. As you get older, you pay more attention to the news. Drives me crazy. If I was Elvis, I'd be shooting the TV.
Which songs were taken directly from the news?
On "Live or Die," some of those lines were taken from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. It's more metaphorical. Take "Another Day." Those are stories about people who do try to help people, but there's just no way to help them. In "Our Love & Our Souls," the guy is complaining but then his wife or his girlfriend or whoever says, "Look, all this has nothing to do with anything. This is what really matters."
You've said this is your most personal record.
As opposed to every other record I've done, I didn't take characters. These (songs) are all sung through my eyes. This is how I feel. In "All of Me," I'm telling you something about myself, but I'm also telling you something about yourself.
How does the album represent your own evolution as an artist?
Well, I never want to be an old dog who won't learn new tricks. This is a very modern sounding record. It has that Meat Loaf tradition, but there (are) a lot of loops, a lot of things going on in there. I always want to move forward without losing who I am as an artist. I want to jump through the hoop of fire.
Describe working with Chuck D (on the ‘Blue Sky/Mad Mad World/The Good God Is a Woman and She Don't Like Ugly' medley).
Oh, he's a piece of cake. We were going to mash Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down" with "Mad Mad World" (and) I sent it to him. I got back "The Good God Is a Woman and She Don't Like Ugly." I certainly wasn't going to argue.
‘Bat Out of Hell' came out 35 years ago. Does it hold up today?
Oh, no doubt. There are albums that hold up: "Hotel California," "Born to Run," "Dark Side of the Moon," "Bat," probably "Boston" for some people. Go back and look at Sinatra records, Rosemary Clooney records. If you really go back, go to Beethoven, Mahler, Wagner. That music will always hold up.
Those albums are constantly finding a new audience. High school kids either discover it through their parents or they've gone to some party and someone's put on "Paradise (By the Dashboard Light)." I mean, I just moved (to Austin) and I was in H-E-B and I had six teenagers come up to me. They went, "Are you Meat Loaf?" I said, "Yeah." They went, "Oh my god!" I went, "This is cool, kids; I like you!"