Live Interview: Status Quo

First came the record, then an acoustic night at the Roundhouse last year (out on record in April), and now the Quo are poised for a full unplugged tour.

Francis Rossi talks about life in the stripped-down zone.

How do you feel, seeing how well Aquostic has done?

The fact that there’s success round it… I’m sixty-five, and it’s thrilling! As we got more into the project it got better, so we took greater care of it. It was such a buzz.

Were you nervous at the recent Roundhouse gig?

Backstage, waiting to go on, I could not believe the volume of the audience. It was: “Oh shit, they’re going to wipe us out.” I was slightly nervous, I suppose. But once you sit down, the song has to just ‘do it’ – you can’t run across the stage or anything. But it was a fabulous night.

Has it given you confidence for the spring dates?

Yeah. I’m really looking forward to it. I find it difficult these days to do the electric thing, because the body hurts – the whole physicality of what Status Quo has been.

Have you experienced much backlash against Aquostic?

A little. But some of it was shock, I believe. We’ll find out when we see how well tickets sell for the tour. All those business things… It’s kinda sad how much all that affects your success today. The fact that we did an album of our old songs, posed nude on the cover, got Bryan Adams to shoot it… Why do you do it? Because it made everyone talk about it.

Can you see Quo releasing an all-new acoustic record?

I’ve thought about it, because all those songs were written acoustically. It would be great to have new stuff take off. But if you and I were the record company, and the manager comes to us and says: “They want to write a whole new album of acoustic stuff.” They’d say: “Fuck off, give us the hits.”

Aquostic – Live At The Roundhouse is out on April 13.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.