Decoding the Queen Gene in Ratatat’s DNA – Evan Mast talks Brian May


Evan Mast Talks Brian May, Remixing Björk, and Magnifique, Their First LP in Five Years
22 July 2015 by Trent Moorman

Ratatat – Decoded how Brian May did it…

Ratatat – Decoded how Brian May did it….


Toward the climax of the 1980 film adaption of Flash Gordon, heroine Dale Arden screams, “Flash! Flash! I love you, but we only have 14 minutes to save the Earth.” The soundtrack, by Queen, is blazing and triumphant. Ming the Merciless is defeated (spoiler alert) to the most royal, eloquent guitar and keyboard rock possible.

Brooklyn duo Ratatat pull essential strands of their DNA from the embossed, stadium-filling sonics so articulately varnished and layered by Queen’s guitarist, Brian May. Ratatat’s fifth album, Magnifique (out July 17 on XL)..

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I wanted to jump in on the Brian May aspect of Ratatat’s sound.

We’re huge fans of his for sure. Especially with the new record, we really studied how he achieved his sound and arrangements. When we were recording our first record, we did a cover of the “Killer Queen” guitar solo. We broke it down and figured out all the parts to see how Brian May did it. No one layers like him. It’s like classical music, the way he fits harmonies together. When I listen to Queen records, I’ll just fast-forward to the guitar solos.