Interview: Brian May on “Very tight-knit Queen family”


Another interview with Brian which took place earlier this month, published in the Daily Express:

BRIAN MAY has opened up on the “very tightly knit Queen family”. which includes working alongside John Deacon and Freddie Mercury destate owner Mary Austin to this day.

Brian May on ‘very tight-knit Queen family’ with Freddie Mercury estate owner Mary Austin
2 October 2020 by George Simpson

Brian May and Roger Taylor may be the only two active Queen members working today, but the duo still works very closely with retired bassist John Deacon and the Freddie Mercury estate. The latter is largely owned by the late singer’s former girlfriend Mary Austin, while his sister Kashmira Bulsara also has part ownership. Speaking exclusively with, May shared how he always runs decisions on matters of art, business and management past Deacon.

May said how the deal is that if they don’t hear back from Deacon then he’s agreed to their decision.

The 73-year-old shared: “If we do hear back he’ll have some strong opinion and we’ll take notice.

“So he’s very much part of the team, he’s just a quiet part of the team – which in a sense, he always was to be honest. He’s quiet until that moment that he really speaks up and then you have to listen.”

When asked if Deacon often replies with a disagreement, May admitted he does occasionally. He then went on to highlight the close Queen family today, which includes Freddie Mercury’s estate too.

May said: “Occasionally, yeah, occasionally because it’s a very tightly knit family, the Queen family. And that includes Freddie’s estate; we’re still very much bound up the four of us and that can’t really change.”

May said: “I suppose it could change but we’ve all, including Freddie, made a commitment that wanted it to remain a family no matter what happens; y’know after we’ve gone. Which is nice. It’s really…it gives us all a feeling of integrity and wholeness. And, I suppose, some degree of comfort really because it would be such a shame after building up this wonderful catalogue that it all got split up and fragmented and cheapened in some ways.”

The Queen guitarist summed up by saying how they want the band’s career to exist as “a work for eternity”.

Mary Austin - black and white
Mary Austin

Following his death on November 24, 1991, Freddie left his home, 50 per cent of his recording royalties and most of his wealth to Mary Austin. While the remainder went to his sister Kashmira and parents Bomi and Jer. Following their deaths, it’s believed that Austin’s share increased to 75 per cent. This would mean the 69-year-old receives around 19 per cent of Queen’s total future earnings.

Austin inherited Freddie’s 28 room £20 million West London mansion and most of his £9 million fortune, plus his art collection and Louis XV furniture. While she wasn’t involved in the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, the 69-year-old was expected to make around £40 million in royalties from the movie. The Freddie Mercury biopic cost around $50 million to make and took over $900 million at the worldwide box office.

While Bohemian Rhapsody won more Oscars than any other movie at the 2019 Oscars, including a Best Actor gong for Freddie star Rami Malek.