Interviews - Brian May

Glutton For Punishment (Pelo, March 1981)

Glutton For Punishment

This interview took place in Mar del Plata, one of the main resort cities of Argentina, during the “Gluttons for punishment tour�? in 1981.

WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO SPEAK SPANISH?

It was long time ago. I went to Islas Canarias to study and there I couldn't communicate with people in English, so I had to learn some Spanish from them. The funniest thing is that I did it through records!

WE MET EACH OTHER IN NEW ORLEANS, DURING THE OFFICIAL LAUNCHING OF JAZZ...

Yes, I remember. Do you remember that huge party? It was really good, wasn't it?

HOWEVER, QUEEN WASN'T AS BIG AS IT IS NOW!

It's true. In some way, we are bigger and stronger now. The strength of a band depends on how good are its musicians. I mean, it's important how each member write and play music. Queen has been improving gradually worldwide due to our individual and group improvements in different aspects. Queen, for instance, started to have big success in the United States with Crazy little thing called love and Another bites the dust. Anyway, I think getting to the top is mainly a matter of luck. Of course, the mass media are important too!

WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE QUEEN ALBUM?

Actually, I don't have one in particular. Really, I don't listen to them often. If I had to choose one, I would choose Queen II. Despite its defects, it includes really good songs. We took chances, maybe the bigger ones that we have taken, but we enjoyed recording it. That album meant a big progress for us. I also like A Night At the Opera.

HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF MAKING A SOLO ALBUM?

Absolutely not. Roger is recording his own album that it's going to be released soon, but I don't have plans to make a solo album so far.

IS QUEEN GOING TO RELEASE ANOTHER LIVE ALBUM?

I don't think so.

WHY? YOU AREN'T SATISFIED WITH LIVE KILLERS

I've never been completely satisfied. I'll be a nonconformist forever. I think Live killers was a kind of evidence of what we were doing live late in the seventies. In some way, I'm unsatisfied. We had to work hard in every concert and there were serious sound problems. There were concerts that we had sounded great but then when we listened to the tapes they sounded awful. We recorded ten or fifteen shows, but we could only use three or four of them to work on. Anyway, live albums never sound good because there are noises and shouts that affect it. As it shows, Live killers isn't my favorite album!

WHY HAVE QUEEN CHANGED ITS IMAGE AND STYLE?

It was necessary to film the video Crazy little thing called love. We had to recreate a rock atmosphere as close to the fifties as possible. Anyway, I don't think it was a deliberate change. Before The game, we used to focus on melodies and harmonies but this time we had some ideas based on the rhythm, and it worked. Now we look and sound different.

HOW DID YOU FEEL WORKING ON THE SOUNDTRACK OF FLASH?

Really nice. It was interesting to write music for that movie. Particularly I learned a completely new job because I had never composed any soundtrack before. And it gives the band a possibility to open a new market. Besides, for the first time we worked for someone else. We didn't create songs for our own pleasure, but for the film director. Anyway, we worked freely, I mean, nobody told us what we had to do. We wrote some of the songs quickly and easily because this record sounds as a typical Queen album.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ARGENTINEAN FANS?

They are amazing. We received a huge and warm welcome. I would say that everything was surprisingly good. Of course, we had sold many records here and we had also read articles about your country but we didn't expect it. Many people told us 'you have to go to Argentina because they love you'. Now I can say that they didn't lie me, our local fans are wonderful. It was a moving experience not only on stage but also on streets. The emotion overwhelmed us. Everywhere we went, they were there to show us their appreciation. I must confess that we are astonished.

ARE YOU COMING BACK TO ARGENTINA?

Of course. This country and its people are wonderful and we want to play for you again. We'll never forget this experience therefore, I'm sure we'll want to have a similar one in the near future.

Interviews

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