Brian May’s RMP Extra Interview


On Sunday 17 June 2012 interviews went out on Polish RMF with Brian, Roger and Adam, separately
– these were recent phone interviews.
Sunday 10.00-15.00 • Martha Grzywacz

Marta Grzywacz
Marta Grzywacz

Meet the famous and popular with a slightly different angle. Pros and cons of fame, debuts and great returns, the most important events from the world of culture. In personal conversations Grzywacz Marta discovers the secrets of the stars every Sunday from h. 10.00.

Here is a rough translation of BRIAN’S INTERVIEW.  Please bear in mind this has been translated to Polish from English, and back to English – so not verbatim

Travel to the stars


Martha Grzywacz, RMF FM: You come to Poland with a new vocalist, who you contracted for 6 concerts. Why did you chose Adam Lambert?

BRIAN MAY: It’s good to work with talented musicians and we met such a musician. Adam is a great guy and without a doubt very talented. He has an incredible voice. Freddie would have loved him – both professionally and personally, especially because Adam is charming, very casual, easy to work with and he has an amazing instrument – his voice. Music is his passion. He lives and breathes music, just like Freddie once did. He is also a showman, just like Freddie was and he has a natural ability to connect with the audience. That is a very important part of being a rock singer, because for me music is not only sheet music. It is a kind of conversation with the audience and that is very important. What is weird is that the organization which was doing auditions for singers for “We Will Rock Yo” in Las Vegas didn’t notice Adam. Adam applied to play Galileo and they rejected him. He didn’t get through and we didn’t get the chance to meet him then. What is crazy for me is that a guy like him comes in and no one noticed him!?

Someone has suffered a penalty?

BM: Heads should have rolled for it, but that organization no longer exists, because I withdrew from Las Vegas.

Gracie for 40 years, with over 20 without Freddie Mercury. How do you remember the time when it ran out?

Time after Freddie’s death was very difficult for us. Everyone reacted in denial. Negation in the sense that we did not want to talk about it, did not want to dwell on. I went on tour, singing and then I played with The Brian May Band and no one wanted to talk about Queen. I said it was over -, talk about what I do now. In retrospect, I think in this way I experienced grief. Today, years later, happy to go back to the old moments, I have found their proper place in my memory.

Really ever thought that the Queen is over?

Yes, and probably the part of Queen is over. That I did not recover. That time has passed. He was very precious to us. I’m proud that I was a part of it, because we were [left] with a long list of songs that people still want to hear, and probably would prefer to listen to us than someone else who plays them. But I am your present life really like. I like it I do not have to go without a break in touring for months shut up in a recording studio that I can do other important things for me. However, there comes a time when Queen calls and you can not only not help you answer that call. Everything else must then wait. You press a button and you feel that Phoenix is formed, and we again devoted to life for the group. I take it very seriously. Like those of the sample. We work in the studio for a month, and yet we do with Adam a few numbers [shows?], but we want everything to be as it should. And that’s cool. The spacecraft calls and we must take another journey to the stars.

I heard that a movie about Freddie.

Yes, we do a film about the life of Freddie. In his role there is Sacha Baron Cohen, who has signed a contract. Sasha was waiting for this for a long time, is very involved and help us push through the various stages of production. Our partner is Robert de Niro and his Tribeca Film Festival. Work is already well advanced. We have a script and all the necessary approvals. In the fall we start shooting.

In a few weeks you come to the Polish concert. Which of the concerts you ever played was the hardest for you?

Probably, from the technical side it was a concert on the roof of Buckingham Palace on the occasion of the Queen (2002 – 50 years – ed.) Nobody before us has not done anything like this and everyone said, you do not give advice, do not play this live, it’s too hard what will you do if something goes wrong before the billionth audience? To which I replied: I prefer to get something went wrong before billionth audience than me I made a mistake before billionth audience. So I took a lot of attempts, but technically everything was as it should until 10 minutes before the start of the concert. But what the audience saw was played totally live. I was very dangerous. Me and the band we were at a great distance from each other, connected only cables. People asked then: if there was concern that fall off the roof? But I’m not scared about it. I was afraid that I will look silly when I play badly. But thank God it all worked out.

You met the Queen in person?

Yes, even a few times. I got from her my CBE. But do not sit together 🙂 And we’re probably not too close to each other 🙂

What’s the best care for the concert?

A 3 mm square on the fingertips. They are very important and if they damage is in serious trouble. So I have to be very careful during the trial, because when you exaggerate on their pads and the skin begins to descend, I will not be able to properly play. Do not put a play of passion, if your fingers bleed. You have to play just enough to pad were hard, or a little more.

What is the hardest song you’re playing at concerts?

These are not the toughest play. We make it easy for ourselves This track is, for example, Bohemian Rhapsody. If we want to play it like in the studio, we would not advise. There are too many voices and all of our course. In the studio, we recorded it on multiple tracks. There are a couple of guitars. This song is like a picture, which consists of many colours. On stage we do it with this kind of show of video and light. To play this live it would be foolish.

What are you thinking during the concerts?

All kinds of things. But even when I play, life goes on, and even though I’m immersed in the music, a lot of things come to me: I see a banner at the end of the hall, on which someone had written some weird password, and start thinking, what is it what the hell they’re there write down? It can hurt you suddenly rate, which is becoming more common as we get older. Sometimes I am looking for sound, sometimes hard to hear yourself, or other musicians, so tend to be times when I struggle with vocals and think about how to catch more information on the monitor. Because if I do not hear myself, I am not able to play. I feel like a five-year old. I do not play the guitar from memory, I need feedback, and when I lose it I’m like a blind man.

And your appearance do you care?

When I play – not too much. At other times a bit more. Especially when I see their pictures in newspapers and think: Jesus Christ, I’m already looking like!

But you almost do not change.

Of course, that is changing, but I have no trouble to come to terms with what he did with me. I’m not glamorous, I’m not a movie star, I feel completely comfortable in my own skin. Much better today than when I was young, because I got used to how I look and I am much more aware of their role in the world.

Time went around very gently with your hair …

Yes, I still have a few on the head. I think it’s a cold shower makes my hair grow well. I like a cold shower. Works great on my nerves, skin, mood, once you catch on reality. But it must be really cold. I am convinced that you have in Poland good, cold water. I’m waiting to find out.

… And after all these years have never changed your hairstyle.

No, I would feel weird. When you’re young you do not have a sense of security. I also did not have it especially when it comes to appearance. I was always too tall and too skinny. I had curly hair, which I was ashamed of, because all my idols have great hair. Eric Clapton, for example – I wanted to have such hair as he has. Until one day appeared on the scene Jimmy Hendrix and I thought, now I too can feel great about my hair. It was a moment of liberation. I have to thank Jimmy Hendrix.

You say that now you have the time to deal with other things that fascinated you. You’re back to astronomy …

Indeed, some drove away in other areas, but the field has a strange power of attraction. This is my second passion. Wherever I go I see a star, I just put in a little effort and had little luck. I love astronomy, and it gives me – a feeling of belonging to the universe, a perspective on life. Astronomy is changing very rapidly, especially in these days, every minute someone finds something new. This applies not only to professionals but also amateurs who are equipped with excellent equipment, many of them have better computers than those who had sent men to the moon. So astronomy attracted me again. I came to the conclusion that we finish what once started. Today I have a PhD Doctorate in Astrophysics. And I have no patience for people who just style me ‘Sir’. If you put enough work to earn his doctorate from the name, you can not let others forget about it.

You’re back to astronomy you have heard the cry from the sky?

More or less. That’s a total fun story. I spent some time in the company of Patrick Moore, who is considered the father of British astronomy, and for 50 years leading the television show “Sky at Night”, which has no precedent anywhere in the world. He became a good friend of mine, we observed along the eclipse, and the Transit of Venus, and he always told me: “Brian, you should finish your doctorate. You have gone through four years of work”. And I always replied that I had to head. Until one day someone asked me in an interview, will I ever finally write my dissertation. I replied that I would. Coincidence that this interview has read Michael Robinson, chief of the astrophysics at Imperial Colledge, that my alma mater and he sent me an email: “Dear Brian, I heard that you would like to finish writing a PhD, if you say it seriously, come to the Imperial Colledge, I will be your promoter.” I could not refuse.

What was your thesis?

The dust in the solar system. And then, along with Patrick wrote the book “Bang! A Complete History of the Universe” (Big Bang. Total history of the universe – ed), which sold a huge number of copies. It’s kind of a guide to the universe, which presents events in chronological order. Before us nobody did.

Even Stephen Hawking?

Hawking presents a theory of the universe a little from the other side. We are aware of what he writes, as we know, no one of his books does not understand. Not excluding myself. That is why we have taken to write something that would be understandable to all. And now, we wrote another book, which has just been sent to the publisher Friday. “Cosmic Tourist”. This is a journey through the universe, where we visit all the sights to see points in the fabulous scenery of the sky. So if you want to travel the universe, we advise where you should make yourself stop.

In that case, you probably know that in 2012 will be the end of the world? J

As an astronomer I ask: where you have proof that it will end?

In my opinion the world will not end.