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Diane
27 Aug 2005, 10:34
Meat Loaf heads to Montage for season closer
By Josh McAuliffe STAFF WRITER 08/26/2005

In the 1ate 1970s, the burly man with the even bigger voice shot to superstardom on the gargantuan sales of his debut album, "Bat Out of Hell," which introduced the world to his uniquely theatrical approach to rock.

When his record sales hit the skids in the early '80s, Meat Loaf spent the better part of that decade as performer non grata. Then, in the '90s, he engineered one of the more startling comebacks in pop music history with the multi-platinum success of "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell," which featured the smash single, "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)."

Over the past few years, Meat Loaf's professional life has leveled off to a comfortable elder statesman-like status. With little left to prove, he's now trying to find the right balance between music and his other great love, acting (his notable film roles include "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Fight Club").

Recently, Meat Loaf, who brings his "Hair of the Dog" tour to Ford Pavilion at Montage Mountain Sept. 2, took some time to talk about his life and work in a conference call with a host of publications from around the country, including The Times-Tribune. Here are some the more interesting tidbits he offered during the session.

Yes, there will be a "Bat Out of Hell III," and it could be arriving in record stores sometime in 2006.

"Michael Beinhorn is producing and Jimmy (Jim Steinman, the songwriter for both 'Bat Out of Hell' albums) is writing," Meat Loaf said. "Jimmy had some health issues and really physically is not up to par to sit in the studio for a long time and do it. So Michael Beinhorn is going to produce and Jimmy is writing."

So, what will it sound like?

"God, I don't know what it sounds like," he said. "I mean, it's been how many years, so, it has to evolve, it has to get - I think it's going to be a little more edgy myself, but, that's just how I'm looking at it.

"It's going to be really - it's going to be good, I mean, I can feel that. I think it's going to be very good and I think it's going to be a little different, it's going to be interesting."

Is he an actor who sings, or a singer who acts?

"I don't know. I consider myself a dog trainer," he cracked. "I don't know. I'm an actor who sings. Because I started as an actor. I did start as an actor and then I kind of did music, and then I did acting, and then I've been to music, and I've done, you know, acting and kind of back and forth."

Who's he listening to nowadays?

"I listen to everything just to see what they're all doing," Meat Loaf said. "I really do. I listen to 50 Cent to Faith Hill. Because I want to know what everybody's doing, I just want to hear it."

Any favorites?

"No, I guess," he said. "Pink isn't a new artist anymore, but I really do like her.

"I'm much more of a fan of the late '60s and the early '70s as far as the rock bands go, because everybody strived to be completely different. I mean you couldn't wear the same clothes, you couldn't have the same amp. You could have a Fender, but you had to make your Fender look different than the Fender from before."

Yes, he has a theatrical delivery. What's it to you?

"I have a bravado in my voice," Meat Loaf said, before going into an anecdote about watching the recent CBS reality show, "Rock Star: INXS."

"(One of the contestants on 'Rock Star') said, 'I have bravado.' And the guy - one of the INXS old guys - said, 'Well, yeah, you should take that bravado out of there, you sound like you're doing theater.'

"And I just stood straight up and I was laying in bed and I just sat straight up and went, 'What the hell is this guy talking about?'"

By now it's cliche, but life on the road is a drag.

"You know, getting on a bus or getting on a plane and doing whatever, that will just - it just kills me," Meat Loaf said. "I know it sounds stupid, but it's exhausting. You know, and then you've got to go back through customs and that's too much."

That said, even after all these years, he still gets a jolt from performing.

"We've done 20 shows so far (this tour) and they felt really good and it's been really good and the band's unbelievable.

"They're fantastic. They blow me away every night."

How does he get motivated to perform night after night for a live audience?

"I motivate myself because I want to be the best that I can be, you know, no matter what. You're not always the best you can be, but you can certainly try," he said. "It's all about focus.

"It's about what ball players explain if you're, you know, you hear going to the zone and stuff like that from professional ball players, that's what it is.

"You have to care more about them (the audience) than yourself."

Ultimately, what does he want fans to take away from his show?

"When our audience is leaving and they're singing the song and they're going, 'Hoo Hoo Yeah!' you know, and they're excited that says to me, 'OK, I delivered and I brought them to where they want to go,'" he said. "You paid your money, all you want to do is sit and enjoy something. You don't want to have to control the evening. You don't want to have to force an issue.

"I hope they leave happy. I hope that they're exhausted because I am. I hope that they feel that what they paid for, they got."

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