Brian May sat down with The Huffington Post last Tuesday (30 June) at the London Asteroid Day event at the Science Museum in London. Check out the conversation…
8 July 2015 by Nitya Rajan
With his long cloudy white curls spilling on to his shoulders and a turquoise shirt unbuttoned to reveal a small gold medallion, legendary guitarist Brian May looked every inch a rockstar as he sauntered into a conference room tucked away in the stone-floored corridors of the Science Museum. He was here for the premiere of Asteroid Day on June 30 – a new global initiative that aims to save the planet from death by asteroid or at the very least, provide a real life Armageddon-esque solution that doesn’t involve Bruce Willis.
As a side note, May thought Willis did a fine job of pretending to save the earth.
Asteroid Day’s beginnings appear to be a humble one, stemming from a simple conversation between May and Grigorij Richters, a German filmmaker who directed the event’s official movie 51ºNORTH.
May, like others working on Asteroid Day, does not have a rose-tinted outlook on what the annual event will actually achieve. As he sat down to talk with us about all things science, Queen and Armageddon, his softly spoken voice made one of the most powerful points of the evening: “One day it (Asteroid Day) may save the world.
TRANSCRIPT by Jen Tunney [E&OE]
BRIAN: Yeah, I’ve been very lucky.
I think the world is changing ‘cos I kind of felt lonely doing this stuff about 15 years ago. You know when I did my thesis, I was putting things in there which related from the ‘Rock Star’ world, if you like, into the thesis and people were a little bit frowny about it, you know. But now, for instance, I just gave an award to Matt Taylor, who’s the Chief Scientist in the project. He’s a Heavy Metal freak, you know. He was given an award by Metal Hammer – a spoon and hammer award.
Yes and world has changed a lot and it’s now it’s not that unusual for people to want to marry Art and Science and not be pigeon-holed. I think it’s an escape from what happened with our generation. We were forced into being a Scientist and not an Artist, or forced into being an artist and you can’t possibly do Science. So those of us who rebelled against that have found great joy in all that it produces.
If you can contribute to all parts of life around us and bring them together, it’s a joy. I think, you know, and it can lead to some very interesting results – to insights, which you wouldn’t otherwise get if you were just pouring over your book. So, I enjoy it, I do. I enjoy being part of it. I know that I’m not the highest level Scientist, in terms of asteroid research, but I can put a few little pieces which were forbidden. Brilliant.
Thank you so much for your time. I really do appreciate…
BRIAN: Pleased to meet you. …
[INDISTINCT] Armageddon and Bruce Willis …
BRIAN: Well, the science is very rigorous in this case, yes, and very very well researched and Grig was absolutely passionate about that. He said “I don’t want anything in this which couldn’t happen”, and it’s really very true. So I’m enjoying it. It’s a different kind of experience, and it may lead to something wonderful. It may save the world.