The original rock chick Suzi Quatro is back with a new album and tour, after having been in the business for 55 years. The album is great (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) and shows that she has no intentions of slowing down!
By the time this issue goes to press, Suzi will be coming to the end of a string of UK dates. We catch up with her on the Australian leg of her latest tour and talk about touring, keeping current, and working with her son on the new album.
Hi Suzi, welcome, and thanks for taking time out to talk to us here at HRH Mag whilst in the middle of your Australian tour.
How is the tour going? How are the tracks from the new album going down?
It’s going great. All the shows have been sold out at between 7000 – 10000 per night. The single is in the set, and we will add song by song as they are released. People are singing along to it – it’s a great live track.
With this tour you are playing Australia, UK and Germany – How do the audiences differ around the world?
Every country has its own personality. I am on my 36th tour down under, and god knows how many elsewhere. I love performing, even after 55 years, and I treat every show as if it is the first one, no matter where I am in the world.
You have been making music for over 50 years now – you have had many hits through the years and produced great albums – does it get hard to come up with new material. Is it hard to keep current?
No not really – I’m a very creative person. I love to write and always find inspiration from life. Writing this album with my son has kept me very current indeed.
The new album is sounding fantastic. As you mentioned, you collaborated with your son for the first time on the writing / recording of it – how was that?
He pushed my Suzi Quatro button, and I responded. He is a very good riff player with interesting ideas. And very certain of what he wants in the studio. We clashed a few times but with excellent results.
There is a good mix of classic Suzi-sounding songs and some new stylings on the album – did you have lots of songs to whittle down?
Not really – each song was given a chance to shine; the work is organic. I refused to try and write any particular type of song and just let it flow – whatever happened, happened. And this is what all the critics are reacting to – it’s a real album, no gimmicks. Real music – every single song has its own personality. This is a culmination of everything I have gathered on my travels – coming back home full circle and unpacking my bag. It’s a lifetime of lessons learned on this album.
You are also known for other things too – television appearances in Minder, Absolutely Fabulous and most famously in Happy Days, theatre runs in Annie Get Your Gun and Tallulah Who?, and also hosting radio shows for BBC Radio 2. Would you like to do more of that?
I was on Radio 2 since 1999, but aside from maybe some specials I have stopped for the moment to concentrate on this album. I love acting – if something comes in that I like then I will do it. The same with musicals – maybe I will write another one!
You are often cited as being the original Rock Chick, and influencing lots of female artists – The Runaways, Joan Jett and Girlschool to name but a few. That must always make you smile? Who were your influences when you started out?
I had no female influences, as I was really the first. So mine were Elvis, and Otis Redding, and Bob Dylan.
There is currently a new wave of classic rock movement, featuring many great female bands. Do you listen to much new music? Is there a few that stick out to you? And which classic bands do you keep going back to?
I have a 17 year old grand-daughter. She keeps me pretty current, especially in the car switching the radio non-stop! I do listen to everything.
Now for a bit of fun – If someone was to cover one of your songs, which one would you pick, and who would you like to cover it?
Wow! That’s not easy! I would pick an album track – “If There Ever Was A Reason” – and get Adele to sing it.
If you could put on a festival for a day – with you headlining of course – who else would you put on the bill?
Mmmmm! Jackson Browne, Canned Heat, Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys.
Thanks again Suzi for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. And good luck with the album release and the tour!