Brian May: “I miss Freddie in my life”


Brian playing Olympics Closing Ceremony

The following interview is a re-translation: German to English – where the original would have been in English.


With thanks to Christian Rischer,

In the Austrian daily newspaper “Kronen Zeitung” the 14.07.2013 a report that is published by Brian May & Kerry Ellis concert in Klagenfurt with cutouts on a telephone interview with Brian May. The full detailed interview is on the site of the “Crown newspaper” online. Brian May announces that the two TV shows, at which Queen with other artists – including Adam Lambert – play, held in Las Vegas and London.


14 July 2013 by Robert Fröwein, Kronen Zeitung

Cult guitarist and Queen legend Brian May on 15 July takes to an open-air stage to Klagenfurt on Lake Wörthersee. We talked to him about Freddie Mercury, his collaboration with Korea- spoken rapper Psy and various future plans.

“Krone”:: Brian, you’re for several weeks with Kerry Ellis on your “Born Free” traveling tour. What were the first reactions?

Brian May: Simply wonderful. The feedback has been great so far. We have a lot of contact with the audience and have fun on stage. It can easily happen and that is something of a return to the days when it all began for me. The show has nothing to do with an express or a bulldozer. We can rearrange things and react spontaneously.

“Krone”: With Kerry, you already played in 2011 the “Anthems” tour, but your new one is much more intimate. Why?

May: Since there are many reasons, but the first and most important is that we like the flexibility. We were in South Africa and helped “Born Free Foundation” Founder Virginia McKenna in their work with the lions. In the end, that’s gone so far that we gave some really intimate concerts in the jungle. It felt so good that we wanted to bring back that feeling uch to Europe. This was the origin of the tour. There are no monumental parts – you only hear a voice and a guitar and a little keyboard. Kerry has an extraordinary voice. I play guitar very reduced, but that is exactly the way I learned the instrument. To play guitar is discovering the inner truth of a song for me.

“Krone”: So this step of the bombastic has Queen shows the quiet “Born Free” – tour naturally arise?

May: Yes, that was a conscious decision, but I will also make other shows again. I like it big and with lots of noise (laughs). But these shows are full of quiet strength and we have noticed that the audience is very fast with the hot material and interacts with us. We also have moments with e- guitars, where it is louder then (laughs). But in principle the sound is very simple.

“Krone”: How can the stage to introduce this peaceful setting?

May: It’s all around very intimate. The accompanying album called “Acoustic By Candlelight” and we really have a lot of candles. We also have videos that are projected on the songs and be shown. The music is already for themselves, but a lot of the songs are also related to wild animals, the basic theme of the show.

“Krone”: My first thought was, yes, that Brian May with age is just quiet.

May: (laughs) Maybe it really is true. On the other hand, I’m become a warrior. I’m basically a quiet person, but since I am committed animal rights, I have war every day. I’m fighting against people who treat the animals hunt and kill bad. In this respect, is exactly the opposite of “be quiet” occurred.

“Krone”: What opportunities are you as an artist, if you employ yourself for animals?

May: Most of my life I’ve spent trying to change the world with music. But when you get older you notice that it’s not enough. Music is great and a unifying force for people. In my shows I do not preach, because my audience is very sensitive and understands that people should live together with other creatures. But people who do not understand this, you need to meet outside of music. I spend a lot of time in the lower house of the British Parliament to put forward my subjects and am very active in the media. We also have a “Wildlife Rescue Service.” Music is only a part of me, but not the whole.

“Krone”: Have you ever thought to operate in this regard yourself as a politician?

May: I do not think I could do that, because you have to make so many exceptions. The closer I get to the politics, I’m more disappointed by it. The people there are mainly focused on her career, power and money. I could not do it that way.

“Krone”: Coming back to Kerry. You are a good friend for many years. How has it developed?

May: That was a very happy accident. She came to an audition at the very beginning of our “We Will Rock You” show and with her extraordinary voice was blown over. I already had it on radar, because I’ve seen it in “My Fair Lady” and knew immediately that it is something extraordinary. This voice was unforgettable. I am a very happy person, I was finally so many years with Freddie (Mercury) work. At that time I already had songs in my head and interpretations that have been associated with him. I have really missed. Kerry has developed into a person who inspired me directly.

“Krone”: Do you find it difficult, all the great Queen to perform classic without Freddie?

May: Not directly. Of course I miss him in my life, but if I can interpret songs written by him, which gives me much joy. I know that he would find the good. That he wants his songs to live. The songs are not written in stone, they can be interpreted so differently, as I do with Kerry. I feel satisfaction when I think that he had such a great life and has left such a wonderful story. I am very proud of what we have achieved together.

“Krone”: How much soul Queen is still in your heart?

May: It’s still all there. (laughs) The motivation I had at the beginning of Queen, I still have and I’m still the same person with the same possibilities and dreams. There were of course times when these feelings were interrupted. I had to go through a difficult time, when we lost Freddie. I had about the same time lost my father and my first marriage. When I look back on it, but everything has put back together and I’m the old man.

“Krone”: Did you then ripped the music from this low?

May: Music is a wonderful healer. But sometimes you need outside help when you’re really on the ground. Although music can be wonderful, but it’s even more important to raise a hand and ask for help. This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my life – you can not always solve your problems yourself.

“Krone”: How do you feel today about the fact that almost no band had so many big hits like Queen?

May: That’s a madness. Sometimes I wake up and still think I am dreaming. We had great ambitions and hopes, when we were young and it is incredible that we were able to meet so many dreams of it. I am really very happy.

“Krone”: Do you think that younger bands today can have similar success as then?

May: Things have changed dramatically and it has become very difficult for a young band to earn money. Everyone expects to get the music for free. This is a fundamental problem, but in principle you simply go out and play, develop yourself as an artist. But I do think that the possibilities still exist. You need only muse or the Foo Fighters cite as an example.

“Krone”: Are you planning new shows or projects with Queen?

May: The only thing we have been pretty ripe on the screen, a few TV shows. One in Las Vegas and one in London. We like to visit Queen play songs with several other artists. We also hope that Adam Lambert is back on board, for we have enjoyed working with him last year a lot. And besides, we’re talking for ages about the Freddie movie. We had been so many problems, which can be an advantage but because you are cautious of it. And because we are very careful, after all we have a huge responsibility to portray Freddie really honest. The job has to fit, finally, we have this one chance.

“Krone”: Do you write also on new Queen songs?

May: Hard to say. Queen to make music without Freddie would be strange. I was not sure if that would be a proper Queen album. I wrote a song for Freddie, but that was about it. We tend to work on material that has not yet been published. All holy times you can find again a piece of the past and try to install. We have also found a few songs where Freddie and Michael Jackson sing together. Else I have already written new material, but always thought of Kerry, because she is my inspiration for new music.

“Krone”: You’ve already written some songs with her, the aktuelleste called “The Kissing Me Song.” In your “Born Free” shows you have incorporated these songs also between the Queen classics and so many Beatles or Kansas songs. Fit together?

May: Until now this has not liked any. (laughs) The show is very theatrical and dramatic, and in the end people will be surprised, because it suddenly becomes very loud and electric. It’s all about the fun.

“Krone”:Will you also record a new studio album with Kerry?

May: Yes, half the album we’ve done.

“Krone”: What’s in the roumours that you are planning something with the South Korean whiz Psy?

May: We met him and he’s going to remix a song from us. We have sometimes loosely talked about maybe what to do together in the future. We are in no hurry, but keep in touch.

“Krone”: Can you say what song it is?

May: I do not know if I [can] do that (laughs). It’s funny, because I’ve received so many different reactions to it. Many have said: “What a wonderful idea, what original thought.” Others said again, “Oh my God, how could you do such a thing. Will you sell [out] completely?” But for me, music is just music. If I find something original, new – I do not care where it comes from.

“Krone”: I also think that one should always be open to new ideas.

May: Absolutely, that’s also the reason why the cooperation with Kerry works so well. She comes from the musical range and our roots vary considerably, but it’s just interesting to explore such different territories.

“Krone”: Brian May has so far no desire to go into musical board.

May: Absolutely not!

Tickets for the show on 15 July at the Wörthersee in Carinthia stage there are still 01/960 96 999, the “crown” – ticket shop or at the box office.