Meat Loaf: “I'm not afraid of anybody!”
With a new album out soon, the larger-than-life Meat Loaf talks about Bat Out Of Hell, bad health, “dumb people” and getting back with songwriter/producer Jim Steinman
Meat Loaf doesn’t sound quite as full-on as usual. Then again, he has good reason to feel a little debilitated: there’s his irregular heartbeat, asthma, back, knee and throat issues, not to mention the numerous incidences of concussion he’s suffered. Oh, and the bout of “severe dehydration” that led to him collapsing on stage in Edmonton, Canada back in June. But at 68 the Fight Club and Rocky Horror Picture Show actor and force of nature behind Bat Out Of Hell – the fifth-biggest-selling album of all time – is still in belligerent form. So now might not be the ideal moment to enquire about his fraught relationship with songwriter Jim Steinman, or his views on Donald Trump…
How are you feeling now?
I’m okay. Weak. I’ve got to go to physical therapy. I had back surgery and knee surgery within the last two years, and the knee surgery failed so I haven’t been able to work out on tour. I’m going to acupuncture, physical therapy and a trainer for four days a week, an hour and a half each session.
Has your doctor told you to take things more easily from now on?
No! Nobody can tell me that. The only thing that can tell me that is my body.
Can you remember falling to the stage in Edmonton earlier this year?
I knew I was about to go. I was getting really dizzy, and I’m going: “Oh my God, I think I’m gonna faint.” But I didn’t want to stand there until I just fainted and cracked my skull open. So I just said: “Okay, I’m going to kinda go down.” But about halfway down I went completely out and I didn’t wake up till I got to the hospital.
Your new album, Braver Than We Are, is great.
Yeah. I wanna apologise to ya. We only found this out about eight days ago that there was a flaw in the mastering. I started listening to it and I’m going: “What happened?” Somehow they lost all the high end.
It sounds alright to my ears.
Well it doesn’t to my ears! My vocal sounds really dull. But now it’s been redone. You just didn’t get your copy.
Your voice sounds a little deeper this time.
Because they squeezed so much music on to Bat Out Of Hell they had to speed it up. That version of me that you hear on that album has been sped up over a minute and a half. I could never listen to the album when it came on the radio, especially Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, cos I thought I sounded like Alvin from Alvin And The Chipmunks.