Brian May interview with Universal Music Japan (Transcript)


Brian May on ‘Queen Forever’ and Adam Lambert Nov 2014 Pt1



It was great being back in Japan. It was a rush though. It was a little bit too quick. I wish we had a bit more time and also it was hot and very humid, and particularly Osaka it rained and doing guitar solos in the rain, you know, you can be a hero but it’s not that much fun. So I would love to see some video of that (laughs) because it makes it something completely different. You know, you’re soaking wet, and your fingers get all soft and its a complete… it’s like an endurance test and you have to kind of keep in your mind that you’re entertaining people and they are still there.

Having said all that, it was great, ‘cos the response was great and it was fun. Yeah, I could have just done with a bit more time to look around, you know, ‘cos Japan’s a wonderful place and one of the places we really grew up, Japan, … so it would have been nice. We have to go back.

Ah… always Japanese food, yeah, but as I say, it was a rush. We didn’t have that much time. A little bit in Tokyo. Yeah, it was interesting. I mean also I’m not 25 anymore, you know. In the old days I would do all night, you now, and we’d go out drink and eat and whatever, and I would get up in the morning and do towers and gardens and whatever, you know. Now I have to concentrate on keeping the energy and keeping healthy, but I did go up the new tower which is called, is it the ‘Sky Tree’, which was very cool? I like towers, ‘cos you get a perspective on the world and Japan…. Tokyo is just such an incredible city, you know. Always, building, building, building – it’s quite awesome. So I enjoy that. It gives me a little feeling of perspective. And I like the food. I had some really nice traditional Japanese food. Vegetarian so I like to have the old Buddhist food, which is really nice. So, yeah, it was a good time – too quick, too quick.

Well there’s two things I guess. The record was a compilation anyway and we’ve been working on trying to choose the songs for quite a long time. It’s quite difficult, cos we start off with the idea of love songs but also need to be lesser known love songs, also very accessible songs, so we had a lot of argument and discussion. So here you have an album of compilation, but not greatest hits. Add to that the fact that we found these three new tracks. We found actually four but only three of them survived the selection process for now, We also have various mixes which people haven’t heard. But there is one version of each of three songs which are all new, and new in different ways – I can tell you about this if you want. The first thing we found was a song called “Let Me In Your Heart Again”, and to be honest, it, like a lot things that are hidden, it wasn’t really hidden. It was actually staring us in the face. It was on the side. “Let Me In Your Heart Again” was supposedly a lost song, but actually it was very much there, in front of our face. We just didn’t see it. It was marked on the box, “Let Me In Your Heart Again, Take 1, 2, 3, 4, 5”, and none of the takes we thought were right, and we kept changing the key because it a difficult song to sing with the range. It’s one of these things where Freddie says, “Brian, you always give me impossible things to sing”, and so we were changing it around and we thought that we didn’t have it – we thought we didn’t do it this, we’d have to come back to this another day, and so it was put on the shelf.

Now, what I discovered, when we got everything out was, in fact, between the takes, we did have enough, and it’s actually the four of us playing together, singing together, which is great, and it’s quite precious to hear that coming back, you feel it’s not something pieced together in ProTools, in the sense of here’s the drums, here’s the guitar, it was actually played together and it feels good. There’s no clicks, of course, and we just play instinctively, but what I was able to do in ProTools was chop bits up and find, make sure the middle eight worked as a concept.

A little miracle happened actually, ‘cos we had two different versions of the middle eight and for some reason in my head I suddenly realised that they could link together. But having done that, you have a track where we’re playing and I had to do very little actually to make it into a finished track – a little bit of extra backing vocals, a little bit of extra guitar in the middle, but mostly as it was played in 1984, or whatever it was.

So I got very excited and we could see we had a track which we thought was lost, but …

“Let Me In Your Heart Again” I wrote at the time. Yeah.

I think so, it’s that period in Los Angeles.


Brian May on ‘Queen Forever’ and Adam Lambert Nov 2014 Pt2