Some people think big. Some people think huge. And then there’s Meat Loaf. For the past 40 years, he has been a towering monument on the musical landscape. His legendary 1977 album Bat Out Of Hell transformed this former stage actor into one of the great American rock ‘n’ roll icons. That record, with its staggering operatic sound and impassioned vocals, has sold more than 44 million albums worldwide and remains one of the best selling albums in the world to date.
In 2013, Meat took his ‘Last At Bat’ tour to Europe for a 2 month run, playing to sold out arena’s when for the first time, fans got to see him perform ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ in it’s entirety.
There is of course, a lot more to Meat Loaf than ‘Bat Out of Hell’. Three multiplatinum albums followed the sophomore album, including 1993’s Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell (which sold 5 million in the U.S., 15 million worldwide), producing the hit, Grammy-winning single, “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” a #1 single in 28 countries, earning the honor for Best Rock Vocal Performance Solo. Welcome to the Neighborhood went double-platinum in 1995, while 2003’s Couldn’t Have Said It Better earned platinum in 2003 and 2006’s Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose, the third in the best-selling trilogy, nabbed platinum in 2006.
To date, Meats’ also appeared in over 60 films and television shows ranging from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Crazy in Alabama, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, Focus written by Arthur Miller with William Macy, Formula 1 with Sam Jackson , Fight Club with Brad Pitt to House, M.D., Masters of Horror, Hallmark’s Citizen Jane, Monk, and Glee.
Acting became part of his oeuvre while he was attending high school in his native Dallas, Texas. “I really just wanted to get out of study hall,” chuckles Meat with a smile. “I couldn’t sit quiet for 45 minutes so I enrolled in drama class as an elective when I was a sophomore. By my senior year, I was actually taking it very seriously.”
After moving to Los Angeles, Meat began making a name for himself as a local musician. In 1968, he gained immense notoriety as part of the Los Angeles production of the counter culture musical, Hair. It revved up both his stage and music careers all at once.
In 1974, he made his big screen debut in the cult phenomenon, The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Eddie. The movie played a part in further establishing Meat as a versatile force in both film and music as he continued to evolve as a performer.
Meat humanizes every role he accepts, adding both dimension and depth to their DNA. “Whether it comes to music or acting, I want people to be able to pull me out and step in,” he reveals. “When I’m doing a role, I want the viewer to step into my shoes and have the same feeling that I’m having. I want to disappear, and I want people to understand the emotion that I’m going through. It’s about preserving the tension and feeling between the audience and myself. I want them to connect to the emotional level as opposed to just watching me.”
His acting even often informs what he does musically. Ever since the timeless Bat Out Of Hell, Meat has approached his musical output like he would a movie. Legendary producer of Hang Cool Teddy Bear Rob Cavallo appropriately dubbed Meat, “an actor who acts like he can sing.”
“I interpret a song the same way I would interpret a script,” Meat goes on. “There are beats in a script. I try to capture the emotion of the song. The band usually has to learn to do that with me. I don’t speak in musical terms; I speak in acting terms.”
Meat got to finally combine all elements of his music and acting career once more with the start of his successful, year long Las Vegas residency in August 2013. Meat – along with a little help from some Dancers, Clowns & his long time band, The Neverland Express – thrilled audiences with a fun, bombastic show that took a journey throughout his 44 year career.
Not one to slow down, Meat went straight from Vegas into the studio where he has been working on his highly anticipated next album ‘Braver Than We Are’. After 20 years, the juggernaut partnership of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf are back working together and the anticipation is thrilling fans throughout the world. Slated for a late 2015 release, the album will be produced and engineered once more by Neverland Express member Paul Crook, who helmed the same duties on 2012’s ‘Hell in a Handbasket’.
Meat Loaf is still the same larger-than-life rock icon, whose over-the-top shows are one-of-a-kind.
Ultimately, whether in acting or in song, the characters will always come first for Meat Loaf. “I interpret a song the same way I would interpret a script,” Meat goes on. “There are beats in a script. I try to capture the emotion of the song. The band usually has to learn to do that with me. I don’t speak in musical terms; I speak in acting terms. It’s the best compliment when people don’t know I played the character. Meat Loaf as they know it is completely gone, and the character takes over.”
That’s why you’ll feel it anytime Meat Loaf is in front of an audience.