SQ and this song when I sing it on stage it’s very hard not to cry. That is what I say to the audience: ‘Forgive me if I get a bit misty-eyed’ I do it at the end of the show which is unheard of after rocking and rolling for two hours. After that, I end with an unknown Ballard.
VP Because I felt quite emotional listening to that.
SQ Everybody says that. You are saying what everybody says. When I do it on stage, you can hear a pin drop and people are crying. I take that as a huge compliment. Huge.
VP The particular track we are talking about ‘No Soul No Control’ ‘I have got to hold onto me.’ Is this a song about maintaining your identity no matter how people view you through their own lens?
SQ Correct. That is exactly what it is and the way that you just said that I know that you know exactly what I am talking about.
VP Yes I do.
SQ I gotta hold onto me. Whenever I do a gig I recite those lyrics. Do you know? You can’t take away my soul, you can’t break me coz I am in control, You can’t break my heart, my mind. This time I won’t let go. You can’t take away my soul. No No No. How much clearer can you say it?
VP That’s so good. I can see that you are talking about the fact that everyone has got a different version of you that they have invented because it suits them to.
SQ Yes. Correct. The only thing you have got in this world is YOU! That is what I mean when I sing ‘No Control’ I mean every word. All I have got is me. You can’t have this! See I just got all carried away then!
VP Yes and it’s part of your success as well as you have held onto your identity.
SQ Yes it’s just strong in me I guess. There is nothing I can do about it.
VP The latest single release from the album is called: ‘Heart on the Line’ What does this song mean to you?
SQ Well its a personal story that I don’t want to share, because it’s too personal but, obviously in New York it’s about something, it’s a situation that I found myself in where I was fighting for something and trying to make sense to the person that I was talking to trying to get them to come round to my way of thinking. Then I realised that it wasn’t anything about their heart. It was my heart on the line. We have all been in that situation. This is my heart. I am the one that is in pain here. Not you. Me.
VP Yes I know exactly what you mean. ‘Love isn’t Fair’ has also been previously released as a single. Was this song influenced by Blondie?
SQ Yes. Debbie Harry is a good friend of mine. My favourite Blondie track is ‘The Tide is High’ and I am a huge Mavericks fan. So when I started this bass riff for this song I was going (sings) ‘Love isn’t Fair. ‘It was a cross between the two artists and funny enough when I perform it onstage it is one of the songs that doesn’t work in my live show, and it’s a great track. Sometimes that happens something sounds great on the album and then it doesn’t work live. I don’t know what it is. We put it in and then we took it back out.
VP It’s strange that isn’t it. If it’s a song performed live it changes it. Maybe some songs are just more studio orientated than others.
SQ I think this one is slightly leaning towards too much Pop. I don’t know why it doesn’t fit into the show but we did try it. Other songs fit in beautifully. ‘No Soul No Control’ goes down a storm. ‘Heavy Duty’ a storm. ‘Macho Man’ that’s huge. Then we have ‘Heart on The Line’ at the end. So I have got four tracks so far from the album.
VP ‘Strings’ is a track about all the strings that hold our lives together.
SQ ‘Strings’ is great I wanted to play ‘Strings’ live but that’s a complicated song the funny thing about that I was showing Ray our saxophone player for many years. I was playing him a song that I wanted him to do more arrangements on right? He has taken all the notes down and taken all the titles. I said ‘Oh you gotta hear this you are going to love this one.’ I played him ‘Strings’ and he said ‘Suzi do you mind if I do a horn arrangement on this one?’
‘I said on this one? are you sure?’ He said he wasn’t sure whatsoever, but I am good at horn arrangements let me do a horn arrangement and if you don’t like it you don’t pay for it. So I had no choice but to let him do it even though I wasn’t sure. And when he came in the studio and played it we all said ‘Oh my God’ but that one I didn’t see coming we had so many compliments on that song. I talked about it and I said ‘Wow Ray’ and he said I heard it immediately but I won’t pretend it was easy. I knew what I had in my head but to get it out was not easy. That is just a wonderful track, isn’t it? Such a great track.
VP I love that idea of these strings holding everything together. What are those strings for you personally?
SQ It’s what I kept doing when I was writing the songs. I drove everybody crazy I kept singing Strings! Strings! and my son said ‘Mum what do you keep doing that for?’ I said ‘It just has to sound like that.’
It means it goes completely over race, creed and colour it doesn’t matter. We are all held together by strings. That is a very important statement in these times.
VP interestingly, you said you kept calling out strings! because you have to have a playful side to the creation of the music but the hard work has to go in underneath but you have to play over the top and have fun with it as well.
SQ Yes which I did but it was so funny coz I just couldn’t stop doing it and we went to record it and they were telling me to shut up and I said no because it has to sound this way and it does sound that way. You just said it. So you heard it. you got it you know?
VP Yes and you have to have a hook that takes people into a song and they remember that bit then you can put whatever you want underneath it. They have to have that thing that hooks them in.
VP It might be one word or one bar of a song.
SQ Yes that’s the glue that holds it together.
VP Totally and with ‘Can the Can’ that was a hook that everyone remembered it just hooked people in like wow what an expression that was! Finally what else do you have lined up for December and the New Year?
SQ I am doing eighty gigs this year. I was promoting the album. I am now promoting the documentary. I have just finished an album with KT Tunstall and I am now going back into the studio again with my son to make the next album because that all takes time. In January I go to LA to get an award and then finally in February I am having three weeks off.
VP thanks Suzi its been wonderful to meet you.
SQ Thank you for talking to me. Bye Bye.
Suzi Quatro’s new album ‘No Control’ is out now and available at all good online and in-store retailers. Tour dates can be found on Suzi’s official website. http://www.suziquatro.com/shows.html