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Meat Loaf: I think of myself as an actor… not a singer

‘I think of myself as an actor…not a singer’ – Meat Loaf (Haydn West/ PA)
‘I think of myself as an actor…not a singer’ – Meat Loaf (Haydn West/ PA)

Meat Loaf preferred to think of himself as an actor rather than a singer, according to a newly published interview.

The late US rocker said he needed to “find the character” before singing a song, otherwise there was “no meaning or reason to sing it”.

The Bat Out Of Hell singer, born Marvin Lee Aday, died on January 20, aged 74, with his wife and daughters by his side.

Q Awards 2016 – London
The US rocker said he needed to ‘find the character’ before singing a song, otherwise there was ‘no meaning or reason to sing it’ (Ian West/ PA)

Before his death he told US media publication Variety that his onstage performances were similar to musicals due to having “different characters” singing the songs.

“Before I can sing the song, I’ve got to find the character. I don’t just walk in and sing a song,” he said in the previously unpublished interview.

“As far as I’m concerned there’s no meaning or reason to sing it. You’re just another singer singing some song.

“I’ve never thought of myself as a singer. I think of myself as an actor.

“So it’s the same as doing a movie or a play. … So I guess in a sense, everything I’ve ever done, even though I don’t consider what I do on stage as a musical, the way I think through it is like a musical.

“But I guess in the way of my arc through the show, it is like a musical in the fact that there’s different characters singing these songs.

“But if you just go (to the concert), most people never notice that they’re different mannerisms and they’re different people singing. It doesn’t cross their mind”.

Asked if he was concerned the intricacies of his character work would be lost on fans he said:  “No, because it’s not about them.

“It’s about what I’m doing, and it’s about me being able to present them with the truth.”

Horse Racing – Ladies Day with Meat Loaf Live After Racing Day – Newbury Racecourse
Meat Loaf also starred in some 65 movies including Roadie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club, alongside Brad Pitt and Edward Norton (Steve Parsons/ PA)

The musician had a career spanning more than six decades and during that time sold over 100 million albums worldwide including the world-famous Bat Out Of Hell in 1977.

The album was later adapted as a stage musical, which was written by long-time collaborator Jim Steinman and featured some of the musician’s best-loved hits.

Meat Loaf also starred in some 65 movies including Roadie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club, alongside Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.

Following the news of his death Norton posted an image of himself hugging the rocker on set, writing “those were some wonderful months of laughter & irreverence”.

The actor, 52, added that the hardest part about working with Meat Loaf was “getting through any of these ridiculous moments without cracking up”.

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