Brian and BTTL on radio this weekend


Back to the Light

Radio to tune into over the weekend for more on BTTL

Saturday 7 Aug – after 11.30am
BBC Wales, Brian interviewed by Carol Vorderman

Saturday 7 Aug – after 8pm
BBC RADIO 2, The Rock Show with Johnnie Walker to play RESURRECTION
– Playback:

Saturday 7 Aug – around 9.15pm
ABSOLUTE RADIO [Classic Rock Party]
ABSOLUTE CLASSIC ROCK [Classic Rock Party – Claire Sturgess]
Brian talking about Driven by You and track to be played
– Playback: Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute Radio aired Brian May interview and tracks across the stations over the weekend:

Sunday 8 Aug – around 2.30pm
GREATEST HITS RADIO – Simon Mayo’s show to interview Brian and play tracks from the album
– Playback: 

Brian May and Simon Mayo talk BTTL – GHits Radio 08/08/2021

Sunday – 8 Aug after 7pm
PLANET ROCK for an an hour discussion about the album with Brian and tracks played – with Wyatt.
(repeated on Wednesday)
– Playback:

ENJOY THIS video clip from Brian’s Interview with Radio 5 Live, Elis and John from Friday 6 August 2021

Brian May with Elis and John [1] Radio 5 Live 06/08/2021 [1]

So Brian, we’re so excited today’s release day for “Back to the Light” – the re-release of an album that first came out nearly 30 years ago and I wondered at what point did it begin to creep back into your head that you had some unfinished business with this album? I think it was all your idea actually.

E&OE – by Jen Tunney

BRIAN MAY: Elis and John – my great friends. I’m so happy to be talking to you on my release day and in answer to your question it just gradually dawned on me during the lockdown that nobody could get hold of my solo stuff. my output: “Back to the Light”, Another World”, the “Starfleet” album and all the myriad collaborations that I’ve done over the years. So I thought I have to somehow get it out there before I die. I have to polish it all up and put it out there for a whole new generation and it’s an idea that’s grown in my head and I’m thrilled that the first of this Gold Series is now out there today. “Back to the Light” is reborn. It really is like a resurrection and i feel like it identifies with people’s feelings at the moment, because people – we’ve all been through a pretty dark time and we are looking for a way back to the light and a way to rediscover ourselves and that’s what this album is about … … …

It’s a very old school album but it’s made by a very young man – a very, a very young man you bear more than a passing resemblance to. What was it like revisiting your your past self and. you know, the music that you made in an in what you’ve said was another very difficult time in your life? We’ve all been through the stresses and strains and… of lockdown and had our connections with family and friends tested but when this album was recorded you were also going through some very difficult times so it must have been quite emotional to go back to it.

BRIAN: Very emotional and great for me quite cathartic for me. I thought that I would be looking at a young man that maybe I didn’t relate to anymore but I totally relate. I am totally in that man and it’s like looking in the mirror. The hair colour might have changed but there’s not much else diff… oh yeah we’re not even going to talk about what’s below the waist – but you know fundamentally I am that boy still that still has those hopes and dreams and frustrations and yearnings and that’s what the album is about. It’s completely contemporary with me as I am now so no apologies. “Back to the Light” is me and I hope that it relates to everybody’s journey that they’re making right now.

With 30 years having passed since it was released, were you tempted to go back and tinker with it and change things?

BRIAN: Strangely, no. I discovered it was perfect. There was no way out of it. I didn’t want to change a note. I didn’t want to remix nothing – no – because I put my heart and soul into it at the time. Took a long time to make and I had good technology. I had great technicians with me and Justin, who co-produced and engineered, and really know there’s nothing I want to change. It’s all there and it’s now polished up and ready to go.

You also had some superb musicians working with you on the album – Cozy Powell, who sadly passed away, and I know you’ve taken a lot of time to pay tribute to him in the notes for this new release of “Back to the Light”, but I wonder if you could speak a bit about his qualities and what it was like recording with him.

BRIAN: Oh my God, Cozy is so central to this album, I can’t even describe it. He’s the reason that it got made because a lot of the time I would go into the studio but I would have no self-belief. I’d have no energy – no drive, no motivation – and Cozy would come in always full of optimism, belief and humour. “Right boy, we’ll do that. I’ll go in and do that. You do this and I’ll… it’ll be, it’ll be great. It’ll be amazing, be hooligan”.

You know, Cozy was the greatest elevator of the spirit that I ever met and he’s one of my greatest friends, sorely missed now. It’s so sad not having around but he was also one of the world’s greatest drummers and a seminal drummer in the sense that he created along with Bonzo of Led Zeppelin and Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge…

I don’t know who was there – Keith Moon – he created rock drumming along with those guys he defined what it was and he gave it his heart and soul. Seeing a Cozy Powell gig was a phenomenal thing. He also used to set all his his kit on fire and stuff and play the ‘1812 Overture’.

BRIAN: He was a man who liked spectacle and like production like we did and, yeah, he was a great friend and his drumming, on this album I think is a central pillar of it. He also brought some material in. Some of the backing tracks came from Cozy as well so ‘Resurrection’ and ‘Nothing But Blue’ both originated with Cozy working away on his own with his people in Mono Studios. Cozy – I’ve dedicated the album to him. The re-release of this album is dedicated to Cozy Powell.

Oh that’s incredibly sweet of you.

I wonder just finally – you talked about how important Cozy was in sort of elevating you and motivating you when you’re a solo artist that must be so important because you know really the buck stops with you. When you were Queen – was sort of touring in the 80s – did did you all have to fulfill that role at different times or was there one member of the band who would be the one if people were getting a bit low or tired to say. “Come on guys, you know, we’ve got this gig tonight”, or was that a role that you shared?

BRIAN: Oh that’s an interesting question. I don’t think the question arose because we were so much like cogs in a machine – so interdependent there generally wasn’t a flagging in that sense. There was always a machine which was up and running and we always had confidence in. It’s strange it might have faltered sometimes in the studio because we’re all pulling in so many different directions in the studio but definitely on the road it didn’t come up. We just were that group. We were interdependent. We were also completely confident in the people around us – our road crew, management etc. So we had an incredible driving force. We had like an atomic generator in the middle of Queen. There was never a lack of energy.

So Brian, before we let you get on wit the rest of the release day for “Back to the Light” I was just wondering, and I’m sure many fans are wondering – you’re going through these solo albums. You’re repackaging them. You’re sort of tweaking them. You’re bringing them back to the world – has that given you a temptation to record some new material – some new solo material?

BRIAN: It has. It’s very much in my head now right here and I’d like to make the album that I quite got around to making which is the one which wasn’t vocal led. I’d like to do the instrumental album. A lot of it’s in my mind. It has been for years – so yeah – ‘Id like to do that. I think it may be the right time. Got a bit of work to do before then. I want to get “Another World” out there. I want to get |Starfleet” out there and a lot of the collaborations I’ve done – a lot of the soundtracks I’ve done for movies. I’d like to get “Auria” out there but all along the way I think I will be finding time to go in the studio and just break some new ground. I’d like to do that.

Well we look forward very much to that day. And folks, whatever your medium of choice is- whether it’s download or CD or vinyl – make sure you get “Back to the Light” into your life, because it is an absolute belter.

Brian May we thank you very much.

BRIAN: Bless you.