Francis ROSSI
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Interview Francis ROSSI October 13th 2007 -

(c) Copyright Status Quo
  1. Why have you chosen Status Quo as the name for your band ?

    We didn't really choose it. We first chose the name Spectres - with a manager of ours when we were very young, 13 or 14. It got to a point when we thought that we should change the name, to be contentious and to perhaps draw (c) attention to ourselves, maybe we should call ourselves the homosexuals ( The Queers) - na'h - maybe the Mohammad Ali’s and then he said perhaps Traffic, ok, then a week later Steve Winwood became Traffic so we became Traffic Jam, which was horrible ! A little while later we were rehearsing in this basement and we said that we really need to change the name again, and our manager said, whilst we continued to rehearse, some other name, and then he said Quo Vadis - no - well then he said Status Quo. We just said OK yeh, with a quick wave of our hands, that'll be fine, OK, but we didn't know what Status Quo meant of course, it would have been fabulous to say yes that we realised what it meant, when we were so young and we weren't going to change our music anyway, it was 'just a name' and 'sounded good' and we kept the name. We were so lucky it never changed - Status Quo's meaning was there, it would have been nice to say that we knew the meaning - but we didn't - it just sounded good at the time !

  2. (c)
  3. Can you introduce Status Quo in only 3 words ?

    No ! ha ha ha...Describe Status Quo in 3 words...Energetic, loud, (holding his hand in the air and pointing to his fingers)... oh no...That's four words. You can chuck one out...

  4. In your opinion what makes the success of a band ?

    Any band...yes ? One likes to think it's good music, good songs...but good is...what he thinks is good or we think is good is different, so...a lot of it is determination, a lot of it is what's fixed in your head - what it's (c) going to be. I am sure when I was very young I just fixed on the future...and this is how it's going to be... and I believe that works..but what makes a good band... I don't know what makes a good band...well the public makes a good band... without an audience and without a public any band...well 'phew' I don't care who it is... without an audience...well. It's a very strange thing that people like me need to go and stand on the stage in front of people and say look at me...why do we need to do that ? there is something very wrong with anybody, in show business or movies...because basically I am quite shy normally...well I always think of Elton John and Brian May... they are also quite shy people... but we go on stage and can do that other that it's like we are insecure but there is a contradiction going on... I find it very odd that any of us can actually go and do this and stand in front of people...but to answer your question, what makes a good band ? Well I think the audience... because you start off wanting to be loved...then you build and build and build...that's what makes you who you are. If you didn't build and get love...well... the band would become...well...and that (c) adds a certain confidence to a band I suppose and you have to build a balance between confidence and big headedness...there is always this balance going on. Within this industry people are always telling you ... 'great show', 'great concert', 'I love you', 'I love your music', 'I love all your records'. People that don't like us don't come to the theatre. This is any and every band and every one comes up and says 'by the way I really dislike you...I haven't bought any of your records, I think you are really rubbish''. People think that but it's never presented to any of us. why am I talking so much ? Because I have a big mouth !

  5. We understand that Status Quo has played more than 6 000 concerts in front of more than 25 millions people, travelled more than 6 millions kilometers and lived for many years far from your families... therefore after 42 years career as a musician, do you think you are still in contact with real life or do you feel like real God rock stars ?


    Yeh...haaaaa...'NO' to the last bit...We often have discussions as to whether it is real life...we sometimes say it isn't real life... but it is to us...because this is what we do. We like to justify it by calling it work but I am sure a lot of people would like to say I'd like to do that because it's easy and it's not work...but there is something about it that is very taxing in some ways...if you said to me that we don't have to do tonight's show...we say 'yeh, great'...but we'd leave on the bus 30 minutes down the road and we'd say... 'we would have loved to play tonight...and that always happens. Most mornings I wake up thinking, oh no, 'I can't do this anymore...I can't do this'...but as the day goes on...whoo...whoo..and get that joy've got this sense of freedom when the show is finished...and then you wake up in the morning and think 'oh no' again...but..I have been like this since I was's very strange. it would be nice if I could answer one question, but the straight answer is I can't...

  6. Is it hard to live without your family ?


    Well, I should say yes but I have been touring like this since I was about 16 so I don't know any other way. I sometimes feel very sad that I wasn't there when most of my children were growing up but when I am at home, we stopped work last year about December 21st and we went back to this work in May or June. Now all that time I was at home, I don't go away, I don't go to the pub, I don't go to football, I don't go to rugby, I don't go down to Brighton with my mates to the pub...I stay at home. My children know that if I am at home, I am at home. So when they are up in the morning, I am there, when they come home from school I am there...oh Dad's still they know I am here for long periods of time so I think that balances a little bit, and I also imagine there are some people who are truck drivers who are never at home, some people are in the armed forces who are never at home. (c) Lots of people, not just people in this business. But I guess sometimes you think maybe this isn't the way...but that isn't to say that there is one particular way one should be brought up. All governments try to tell us the ideal family is this...there is no ideal family...but they keep trying to tell us... there is...but that's just how it used to happen. If you go back 40 or 50 years how families worked it was completely different. There were 8 to 10 children in families and they were all messing with each other...musn't go there.

  7. Do you have some hobbies apart from the music ?

    No, not really...I tend to go shooting with a 12 bore, but I don't shoot animals...I can shoot humans but not animals...clay pigeon shooting...I don't (c) often go. But I like to go home and stay there. I am so often away. My wife and children go and stay on holiday, but I don't, I stay at home. For me to go on an aeroplane, live out of a suitcase and stay in a hotel...that is not a holiday...I am holiday is at home.

    AM : I read that you like collecting Ko´ Carp

    I stopped a few years ago. I had this pond with lots of very nice fish but one of the fish at one time was ill. It was the oxygen in one of the filters which packed in, so these fish would come up and my daughter was crying, so I thought I cannot do this anymore...So I sold the fish and somebody looked after them.


    AM : Do you shoot clay pigeon sometimes or do you just collect them ?

    Yeh I would like to do it again...clay pigeons, pigeons, other than that I don't shoot anybody...I like basically shooting but I don't go often, it's not like I am that keen but I have done it a few times...but the main thing is that I am a very boring person and I like to go home and stay there. I practice my guitar at night, I go to the gym at 10 in the morning, I come home at 11am and I have something to eat and then I go into the studio until 6 or 7pm...Take the dog for a walk...

  8. Tell us about your latest album (the 33rd one)


    It's called 'In Search of the Fourth Chord' and generally most people see that as a joke because the thing about it is that most people think that's it said that we always have our songs in three chords...lots of them are in three chords or four and five and so on, but the idea of using that title is that as soon as anyone hears 'In Search of the Fourth Chord' it can only be Status Quo. It couldn't be Pink Floyd, it couldn't be The Stones, it couldn't be anybody...Nobody else would laugh at themselves in that way, and soon as somebody said to me what about the Fourth Chord, I smiled, that's good and we are aware of that these days. The market place has become much more of a business, it's much harder to get through, as there are more acts, and there is so much more competition and so anything that draws attention, and so I prostituted myself since I was about 12 really, for the sake of Status Quo.


    AM : Which chord do you prefer to play ?

    That one (holding up his left hand in the air)

    AM : Which topic do you prefer to sing ?

    I don't know. I don't like to umh...I don't necessarily like the idea particularly of political statements...I believe that most people know that if we go around telling people 'your life is shit, they don't pay you enough, you are being abused, the system is F...'. They all know this, deep inside they know this, so you stand there telling them... and they say : 'I know, I know'... Well that's us, we like to take people away for nearly two's fantasy, rock'n'roll is fantasy, the whole thing of show business is's not real, so I believe that's good...we need a little...brief respite from life.

  9. What do you enjoy most : playing in big stadium in front of thousands people or playing in small venues like here tonight - Le Radiant ?


    I don't like either of them. I like somewhere in the middle. This isn't too bad tonight. but it will be extremely hot and hard work...when we get a crowd bigger than 20,000 it starts to get...phew... and sometimes in a place... I think there are 2 000 people here tonight, we might play our best show ever, it could have been in front of 20,000 people but that's how it is but I prefer 7 to 12,000 people where you can see the people whereas when you get to 20, 30 or 40,000 it just becomes this thing. I am sure it's very good for business and I am sure it is very good for ego, but I don't feel contact with the audience and one of the things I like about Status Quo is that we have contact with the audience, we have eye-contact with the audience, and I love to see people and see what they are doing and the bigger the venue you can only see so many thousand people, so you lose that, and the one thing that makes Status Quo work, I believe, is that it draws people in, we pass something and they pass something back and this energy develops in the middle of the stage, which is nothing to do with anybody, and us and the audience are "wow" playing with this ball...this get excited, damn fools !

  10. Tell us about your French tour ?

    Many years ago we used to tour France as we used to like France a lot. The venues weren't very good, it was very difficult to get fed...Franš (c) can't eat there...and we'd come from here into Germany which would be fine but if we came from Germany into here it was really hard work. Then suddenly it stopped...then about 4 years ago I read an article in a music magazine in England by a guy who used to be a promoter, a lovely man, and I was just reading as it was about him and he talked about us and the first band he promoted and he said that he received a letter from one of our managers saying we don't need you anymore...and it went dead for us and you tend to think perhaps you have become unpopular, it's understandable but it wasn't like that...and then we said come on we are going back to France...and then we come back to France and genuinely we came out and even Rick who doesn't normally care or not says 'I like France, I like being here', we all like being here, France is is the truth. We have been trying to get here for so many years...there is something truly wonderful about French audiences and they have one thing that most audiences around the world don't have...they listen ! Most audiences come in and drink a lot... and you see these people staggering...and if you say did you see Status Quo last night ? 'Yep I think so'...but a Frenchman isn't going to buy a ticket and be so drunk he doesn't know what he is you are very (c) much aware they are watching and listening and everything, and that is...oh...well it makes you hang on...oh be we lift our game... so playing in front of French people is wonderful...we now have to go to Germany next week so there you go, and then England. England is hard work... we have been doing the same things in England for at least 25 years... and the other thing that's truly wonderful thing about France is that somebody decided they are going to make some venues, one here, one there, another you come and tour in France that's fantastic, and this isn't one of the best ones at all here, but most of the venues we go to in the last two weeks have showers for everybody, and clean toilets for everybody that England well...wee's a somewhat messy toilet...all those things matter to us when you are touring. And Andrew came in here today and said what is it about today...ah... There are no windows...we have been spoilt in France. We have been spoilt in France and we want to come back next summer, and we want to come back next autumn...that's what we are trying to do. We remember when I first woke up in Caen and I looked out of the window and it was was really French...and it smelt French. I thought this is really going to be good. Every night you have to work, you have to concentrate...cause they are watching and there is something about that I really Andrew said today we ha've been spoilt...we have come to's like we've opened Pandora's box and now what do we do...we have to go and do ordinary gigs now...oh Dear...!