STATUS QUO Frontman: 'There Are Some Fans Who Don't Like The Idea That We Still Exist'

September 2, 2019

Jörg Reiche of Germany's Rock Bottom recently conducted an interview with STATUS QUO frontman Francis Rossi and guitarist Richie Malone. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the reactions to their current lineup:

Francis: "With respect, we cannot be saying they're 'shit reactions.' We're bound to say they're great reactions, but they've been great reactions. [Laughs] No, but there are some fans who write to us that don't like the idea that we still exist or I still exist. They don't like the idea that Richie's in the band. They don't like the idea that John Edwards [bass] is in the band. They don't like the idea that the band has a keyboard player, so, the best thing they've done for us is to make me think I'm going to continue, then. It seems against the grain. The reaction thus far has been really good. We have not been booed off once."

On the writing process for their 33rd studio album, "Backbone", their first since the 2016 passing of guitarist Rick Parfitt:

Francis: "It's very strange. There were various albums Rick wasn't on over the years because of his condition at times, and afterward. It doesn't say too much for the rest of us to think, 'Was it hard to do it without Rick?' Well, no. We're all players. We all record. I record anyways. If you say 'Did we miss Rick?' Of course, we missed him initially when he died and initially when he retired and initially when Richie began. Of course, you missed him. I miss my parents. They're dead. It would be funny if I didn't miss them. They're not there. Rick's not here. Did we find it difficult? Not particularly, no. That's one of the things about life, when Rick died, he actually died first in Turkey. The difficult point when they took him away in the ambulance in June or July, whenever it was, it was going back downstairs through the hotel, and people were having a drink in the bar, and some people sat in the restaurant, and people were checking in at the hotel, and life was going on. That was the most difficult moment, to be really honest. The rest of the time after that, you realize that you have to go on. So, we did."

On the fact Malone is much younger than his STATUS QUO bandmates and whether it changed the chemistry within the band:

Francis: "Yes it did. That's part of the whole thing that I said some people don't like the idea, the initial thing when Richie first did his shows. I think within four shows, I said to him, 'You'll be fine.' The first four shows were like 'the new guy on the stage.' After the first four shows, you'll be fine and you'll develop your own thing. You'll do your thing. Don't do this, don't do that, anything he tries to copy, that's ridiculous. Then he would play the songs, then the rest of us, it wasn't the rest of us sat down and realized, but we all realized he played the songs — he learned them from the initial records how he played them, and that's how they were in his memory. We, as a band, had become complacent or blasé about playing generally. Lots of the dynamics, the light and the shade in the songs had gone. It's one of the things that has come back in spades. It came back big time when we were on stage, the dynamics of each song. You can see it in the band that we are actually looking at each other, there's eye contact. You can't be sure where there's a look to see that if perhaps it's going to drop there. That is a real joy. I can't help it that people don't like that."

On whether the "Backbone" album title represents the current state of STATUS QUO:

Francis: "Yes, I would think so. It's very much something that when John and I were writing the thing and John took it away to try and put the thing together before he sent it back to me, that I'm sure that sound came out when you go [mimics playing]. Obviously, it came to him, 'Backbone', or maybe it came to him before that. I don't know. You have to ask John Edwards if you get him in a room, but it's dangerous to allow him in a room. He breaks things. But, yeah, I'm sure he feels that's somewhat of how the band is and the position it's in, and it also relates to life generally. You have got to have a backbone to live life the way that you want to do. He's a bit like that. He's going to do his thing, whatever happens."

"Backbone" will be released September 6 through earMUSIC.

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