Mr. Stewart, you have been allowed to be called “Sir Rod” for two years. Are you proud of your knighthood?
ROD STEWART: Yeah, damn proud. It means a lot to me. I’m still Rod, no question, but it was a wonderful day. I just wished that my parents had experienced the ceremony. But it’s great to be called “Sir Rod” in hotels and on public occasions. There is something. Well, I laugh too, but it’s kind of nice. However, my everyday life has not changed.
Does a Rod Stewart even have a daily routine?
STEWART: Of course he did. I went on tour with Cyndi Lauper in the summer in the summer, which is of course routine somewhere, even if it was fun. Cyndi is a crazy noodle, I love her. Two blondes on a big trip. Now in the fall we will give more concerts.
Keyword fun. “Blood Red Roses” is your 30th studio album. Do you still feel like making this effort?
STEWART: But of course. Recording an album is pure pleasure for me. Otherwise I would not do it, why should I scrape off? And it sure is a much truer job than tarring a road. Today it’s better than it used to be, I enjoy it more, also because I do not have to sit in the recording studio for months, which is an activity where the fun actually stops for me. We work a lot on the laptop and we send the music back and forth. Everything is transatlantic today.
STEWART: Yes, we email ideas back and forth, I write lyrics, my co-producer then adds drums and bass and so on, you save a lot of time animal, that makes me very happy. It is also cheaper, because you do not have to pay all the time for the studio and for the musicians. But really only when you need them.
That time is limited, you thematize in the song “Farewell”. From whom do you say goodbye?
STEWART: From a close friend, his name was Ewan Dawson. His son lives in Germany. We grew up together, we were very close. I admired Ewan, he had a wonderful sense of humor. Ronnie Wood knew him very well too. He died three years ago. I did not think that I would write a song about him, that was not a nagging need, but suddenly I had the right music and wrote this text.
Are you also thinking about your own mortality?
STEWART: Of course, yes. I would be lying if I said it does not affect me. I’m not afraid of dying, the thought does not worry me too much. It should not happen soon enough. I also do everything I can to stay away from the grave.
STEWART: I’m going to the doctor. I get myself checked regulary. I think men should really use the advances in medicine that we have today. I have my prostate tested, I’ve done a colonoscopy, even the gastroscopy with the camera through the neck, which is really bad. But if you go out there and know that everything is alright, that’s great. Liver test, kidney test, everything is important.
On the one hand, you are quite wise when it comes to the life and lessons of life. On the other hand, you have that deeply boyish aura. Is that something you care for?
STEWART: I’m not working on it right now, but it’s true, that’s how I’ll get over it. I think this business where I move, it does not necessarily keep you physically fresh, but it helps you stay mentally youthful. Because I love what I do. My band is young, my children are young, my wife is young. Maybe that’s also in my DNA.
Can you imagine being old?
STEWART: But I’m old! This knee is broken, so I can not play football anymore. I feel alright, I train a lot, keep fit, eat sensibly. But I drink too much, that’s still my downfall.
STEWART: I drink too much wine. I love wine. I do not have the heart to eat in a nice restaurant and drink water. It just needs a glass of wine.
Have you always had the alcohol under control?
STEWART: I never got under the wheels. That was always in the frame. Honestly, if I drink too much, I’ll just fall over. I like to drink a bit, because I do not notice anything. But I never completely give myself the edge.
The single “Did not I” revolves around drug problems. What exactly is it about?
STEWART: I sing from a parent’s perspective about the hardships and worries that you have with teen drug addicts.
What moved you to this topic?
STEWART: I do not know. I do not sit down and think “So, now I am writing about drug addiction from the point of view of the parents”. That just interested me. You get to know how they change, behave differently, speak differently, even go different. And you sit there thinking, “What’s going on here?” Like all my songs, it just came to me.
About “Look In Her Eyes” you say the song tells a moral story. Which one exactly?
STEWART: In my day, girls and boys were more relaxed than they are today, even gruff and a bit more direct. Today, that has changed a lot, we men have to be careful about this “#MeToo” movement, which was long overdue. We can no longer tuck one behind the bandage and jump into the pub for the next woman.