Brian May interview – on being crowned ‘Riff Lord’ Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2015


Brian May - playing live 2014

16 June 2015

– report they spoke to Brian May before the ceremony, who said he was honoured to be in the same company as the previous recipient, “best friend in the business and father of heavy metal” Tony Iommi.

Speaking of Queen, he said it wasn’t always easy to get his riffs onto Queen albums. BRIAN MAY: “It was difficult. We had this problem with every session with every album, where there were four painters trying to paint on the same canvas. And it was painful; you’re always trying to push your baby, and you’re always trying to be heard, in a sense. It was very tough, and we had to learn to deal with each other and recognise that the sum of the parts was greater than the part itself.”

On who was Queen’s second best guitar riff writer? “I don’t even know if I was the first even!”, but named Freddie Mercury, and his work on ‘Ogre Battle’. “It’s a great guitar riff. He wrote that on a battered old acoustic, and I can still see his hands working. His hands worked twice as hard as everybody else as he wouldn’t do up and down strokes, he would only do down strokes. So he was like a possessed person when he was playing the guitar.