New Times: After having made other records that stand alone and are not part of the Bat Out of Hell series, did you have reservations about revisiting that concept?
Meat Loaf: We started talking about doing Bat 2 and Bat 3 in 1984. I didn't mind going back to it. The record company I was with at the time didn't want a sequel, so I went 'That's fine — I don't like you anyway.' For Bat 2, 18 million sales later, there you go.
Do you wish your other material got as much attention?
The record that followed Bat, Dead Ringer, came out on Black Friday 1981. They used to release albums on Fridays so they'd have the weekends. Now they release on Tuesdays. But it came out the day CBS fired 500 employees, so it got lost, although it did very well outside the U.S. The only album that's ever been bad was Midnight at the Lost and Found, but that was just a bunch of demos. I don't consider that an album.
In an interview from last year, you compared what you do to the job of a plumber.
If you hire a plumber and he comes and fixes your pipe, you're going to write his number down in your book, and you're going to keep hiring him. That's how it is with a live show.
After so many ups and downs, do you worry that it might all come crashing down again?
I've been doing it for 42 years. [Plus] I get offers constantly for acting jobs.
And you have to turn them down a lot because of your touring schedule?
Well, mostly I turn them down because the scripts aren't good. And the ones I generally do pick because the scripts are good [laughs] don't pay anything! I've got three films I'm doing between now [early October] and the end of February.
What would you have done with your life if it weren't for singing and acting?
A history teacher and a football coach.
How much of a plan did you have to do that?
I didn't have any plans. I was in show business before I even knew what happened. I don't even know how I got into it.