Rossi: Let’s do the Frantic Four again – and see if we can do it better!
But if you did make mistakes, people didn’t really notice or care.
I think they noticed but probably didn’t care. I’m not going to lie to you and say, “Yeah, it was fantastic.” I had a really hard time on that tour. However, there’s something in me that says: “Let’s do it again and see if we can do it better.”
If there were so many errors on the Frantics tour, did you re-touch the live recordings that are just about to be released?
No, I had to stay away from that. I told Mike Paxman [producer] that he wouldn’t have got past the first few bars without trying to repair things. When we did the double-live album all those years ago [in 1977] we decided that we wouldn’t do what everyone else was doing and fix anything, which was a mistake. This time, realising the size of the task, I left it to Mike and I think he had great trouble. But – again – the people that will want it will love it.
So you haven’t listened to or watched anything from the tour?
I did so accidentally a few nights ago. Someone had sent me some clips from the movie [Bula Quo!] and underneath there were some links. I thought: “Oh fuck it, let’s have a look.” Junior’s Wailing from Hammersmith, it was. And it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought… but I soon turned the friggin’ thing off. [Laughs] I can’t look at myself on screen because I look like a dickhead.
It sounds like a new album from the FF isn’t too likely.
I really can’t see it. The way we record now is so efficient. The other two guys are probably thinking: “Four months to make an album” and volume of sales cannot pay for that shit anymore. My thing on that is “no”. But as I’ve said many times before if someone were to give me 20 million to do it, I’d be in the studio in five minutes. That’s not gonna happen, though.
Classic Rock wrote that Quo had ‘made a telegraphed pole-sized rod for their own back’ with the Frantic Four gigs.
Of course I disagree. A few days later we [the 2013 edition of Quo] played in Australia and the crowd was just as loud. I couldn’t believe that a few people said that John Edwards could learn a few things from Alan Lancaster. That showed there were no musicians in that audience. That’s not knocking Alan, he’s just not as good as bass player as John Edwards, whether or not they like his feel more or the punters like way he looks. I love Alan to death now, I love being with him again and we get on extremely well, but I cannot pretend [any different]. I was so relieved to get back to [the regular Quo] so that I could walk a few yards away from the kit and the drummer wouldn’t lose pace. I like the idea of everyone onstage knowing exactly what’s expected of them; just because someone farts they’re not gonna go wrong.
There are strong rumours that the FF have been offered a spot at next year’s Download Festival?
[Silence at end of phone, before Rossi finally replies]: Moving right along…
So is that being considered?
I’ll be honest. I don’t think so.