Few bands have done a second job as Queens. The idea of continuing without Freddie Mercury was out of the question when traditional rock music It started, not least by guitarist Brian May. However, since their relaunch in 2003 with ex-Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, and later Adam Lambert, the band has gone as big as they were the first time around.
“I’d like to say more than that,” Mai now tells us. “It’s incredible.”
Refining the rise of the queen in the twenty-first century is very popular we will Rock You Both theater and film bohemian rhapsody A biopic starring Rami Malek as Mercury and Guillaume Lee as May — which has won four Academy Awards, the most at the 91st Awards — plus a string of hugely successful tours that showed Lambert as the literal and figurative heir to the crown of Mercury.
May’s extracurricular activities were varied and unexpected, from returning to his first love of astrophysics to becoming a scourge of badger hunters, fox hunters, and politicians alike. He may have limited his music production over recent years – no solo studio record has been released since then Another world In 1998 – but the legendary guitarist tells traditional rock music It won’t change anything
You were interviewed for the first issue of Classic Rock in 1998. What were you going to do at the time?
I had embarked on the journey of my second solo album. It started with me revisiting all of those songs that got me down this path in the first place — Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Mott The Hoople along the way — but they became something different. Then there was all this emotional turmoil I was having at the time, which is the way I seem to be built. It’s quite a diverse record, but it includes everything I was into at the time. All external things merge with internal things, and they all become very complex.
Back in 1998, do you think Queen is over and over, or do you have a secret master plan to essentially become one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century?
Oh, we thought it was over. Roger and I were convinced that it would be impossible to continue. Once we lost Freddy, the soul is gone. We didn’t even have the desire to be honest. Made in Heaven It was supposed to be the last chapter, and then we got into our solo act. And then we met quite by accident Paul Rodgers, and we thought, “Maybe let’s work with this guy who has been a hero for us, and see what happens.”
How do you look at that period now? Is the album you put together, universe rocksWorth re-evaluating?
I am proud of this album. I think it has some really good stuff and is underrated. We had a great time and Paul was fun. It was great. Not only is he flexing his muscles on queen stuff, but we’re also playing Now all right and his songs. I loved going around the world to play those things, boys with a new kind of game. It was cool for a while and eventually revved up, and it was clear that Paul needed to get back to his career. But we parted in very good relations and kept in touch.
And then of course there’s Adam Lambert, with whom the Queen is now. If he didn’t enter your life, would the Queen be as big as she is today?
I can’t see it would have worked with anyone else. It is a billion vote and a billion presence; Appearance spirit, character, extent and ability to reinterpret things. Plus he’s a nice person. It is a gift from God.
People never filmed shows on smartphones at the height of the original band’s heyday. How do you feel about the people who are doing this now?
It’s kind of weird when you look at the audience and they don’t look at you again, they’re looking at their phones. Some of them even got their backs to you, and took selfies behind them. It is not the greatest inspiration. But it is life. I don’t lose sleep over it. Things change over the years, and that’s one of the things.
Have you seen the Beatles documentary, get back?
she did. It was very close to home for us, because it was the kind of situation we often found ourselves in. I found the first episode very challenging, because they don’t really progress and the creative juices don’t flow very well. But the second episode is much nicer to watch. It’s great to see George Harrison come alone. And there are moments of pure magic, like John Lennon singing the song that has a melody jealous man But with completely different words. It got me sideways.
Is there a Get Back style document waiting to be set up on the Queen?
I do not think so. We have little snippets, but we were very conscious. There are some who went to one vision A small documentary, but we’re not used to the cameras being there, so it’s not a very natural sight. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. Perhaps it is better to keep a little mystery.
Axl Rose asked you to play guitar on the album that became GN’R Chinese democracy. What was it like?
It was a strange experience. I think he was halfway through it all. At this point, Axl was pretty much aloof. He worked in his house, I was working in the studio down the hill with his engineer at the time, and he rarely came down. Every now and then he would call him, get excited a lot, talk a lot, and then leave again. I don’t think any of those I’ve played have actually gotten the album.
Have you crossed paths with Axl since then?
Not much no. There is an occasional message, but it’s really very little. I really should have kept in better touch. I tend to be a bit shy and aloof. I deeply regret that I did not communicate further with Ed Van Halen.
What are your favorite memories of him?
I have a lot of favorite memories, but I remember once he came to see us play. We went back to the hotel after that. He brought with him a bottle of his favorite drink, and I think it was Southern Comfort. Anyway, he’s knocking her again, and so I started hitting her again, and I totally lost her. The next thing I remember I was on the floor in the bathroom, after I fell on the floor and cracked my head in the wash basin. I don’t even remember going to the bathroom. It’s one of the few times in my life that I got out of control.
In recent years, I’ve called out farmers who kill badgers, those who still support fox hunting, flatlanders, anti-vaccination, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Was there ever a point where you ran out of patience for fools?
[Laughs] This is a good way to put it. I’m a person who likes to be open minded, but I struggle with some of these things, I really do. Especially when you start posting things that are undoubtedly misinformation. You become destructive and antisocial. It’s so easy to find proof that the Earth isn’t flat, so why would you want to go around and say the opposite?
I can’t tolerate people spreading misinformation – it’s a really easy way to get blocked by me on Instagram. And Boris Johnson? Yeah, I just don’t know how he sleeps. He is responsible for a lot of terrible things happening. This is a whole other conversation, to be honest.
As a man of science, have you ever looked at Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos being launched into space and thought, “It must be me”?
No, because that’s not what I aspire to. I mean, give me a few weeks in the ISS and I might feel differently. I think I’ll enjoy that or a trip to the moon – something of substance. But shooting you in there, being weightless for a little while and then going back down doesn’t appeal to me, I’m afraid.
With your astrophysicist hat on, what’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in the past 24 years?
This should be a New Horizons mission, which is flying close to Pluto. To do this – and fly alongside an object in the Kuiper belt that was not even known – what an extraordinary thing to do. I contributed stereotaxic therapy, and I was in the control room when the flight happened, and everyone was yelling and yelling when we saw those first pictures. It was a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
You have been voted as the best guitarist of all time by the readers of Total Guitar magazine. Do you agree with them?
I can not agree. I’m very flattered, and it means so much to me that so many people voted, because it means they are taking part in my work. So I greatly appreciate it. But do I believe it? No, I mean, look at someone like Al de Meola. There is no way I can even aspire to do a hundredth of what he does. Malmstein survives…any number of people. So yes, I appreciate it, but it makes me smile.
It was played on the roof of Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. What does the view look like from there?
I could see the crowds along the mall, I could also see the palace itself and the party was going on. But other than that you can only see lots and lots of chimney pots. But the feeling of being there was completely fear. Not because of height, but because the possibility of making myself an idiot was just too huge. People say, “Were you afraid of falling?” No, I was afraid of being the guy who screwed it up atop Buckingham Palace with a billion people watching. It was completely alive and completely dangerous.
Were you invited again to celebrate the platinum jubilee this summer?
[Laughs] I have no freedom to respond to that.
There is Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Elton John, Sir Rod Stewart. Do you feel neglected?
No, I have my own CBE, and I’m very happy with it. I don’t think there is any point in being my master. I don’t think it will give me anything that I don’t have right now. If they offer me to be a lord, it will be different, for I will be able to sit in the House of Lords and perhaps help influence the way the country is run, especially with regard to wild animals, which is a great passion of mine.
She has collaborated with quite a few artists in the past twenty-four years, and has released two albums with Kerry Ellis. But is there a part of you that wishes you could release more singles?
Can. But in order to do so, I had to not do all the things that I poured my heart out, which are many and varied. I enjoyed returning to astronomy in a very serious way; I have enjoyed founding and organizing my own London Stereoscopic company and publishing a lot of stereoscopic material; I enjoyed being able to change things up just a little bit in terms of wild animal rights. Plus I enjoyed being a father and grandfather, and hopefully a respected husband, which is a very big deal for me. I had to give up all of that in order to put on more music.
There have been rumors that you are collaborating with Tony Iommi on new music. Any truth in that?
We’ve been looking at things, but we haven’t gotten as far as we might wish. take time. And covid is not helping…
What else did you plan? Any new music?
Well, all eyes on this roundup. We were just flying, hot as hell, and then all of a sudden it all stopped. So getting back on the road is the overarching goal.
How do you see the Queen’s influence over the past 24 years?
Back to that rocky river. There are teams upstream of us, like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, and there are teams downstream of us, like Foo Fighters and The Darkness. I just feel proud to be a part of it. I look at her and think: “Yes, I did my homework.” I hope I can still do that.