Queen Rocks (Press Conference 1998)Queen Rocks Press Conference
The new album features mainly songs written by the both of you. There's only one song by Freddie. Is there a special reason behind this choice of songs?
Brian: The songs were just chosen because they were rock-songs really, like the hard rock end of what we do. It's just that Freddie mainly was writing different stuff, I suppose.
Roger: There are some collaborations on there. This is meant to be a hard-rock album, with the exception of this new song. And that's really the way it turned out. I mean we sort of split everything equally anyway, you know. in the band. So it was just. we tended to write that. especially Brian tended to write the harder rock songs. So it turned out.
Brian: See, when it comes to "Queen -The Epics" it'll be different....
The songs you've chosen exist in different versions around the world. On American records or even on bootlegs. But you've chosen the regular ones, the ones we all know. Are you saving the rare ones up for a kind of Queen anthology maybe?
Brian: Well, you mean the remixes and stuff.. I think.. we honestly think that the Originals are better. I think that's what it comes down to. Yeah, they were meant to be all the original recordings. Cause I think if I buy a compilation album of one of my favourite artists and then you get some kind of a different remix, I feel cheated. I would rather give people what they know that the songs sounded like.
Roger: We feel that the original versions, which have been re-mastered so that they work well together as a sound on the album...we feel they are the definitive versions. And the way the songs were conceived in the first place. So I think if you chose one they're the best versions to have.
Being back in the studio without Freddie. How was it, recording a Queen-song?
Brian: Quite strange. We're without Freddie the whole time and it's taking a lot of time getting used to it. This was originally intended not to happen. The song was just there. It is only because Roger and John reacted to the song and said they wanna do it. I have to say it was very good. It was very magical really. I think we felt like Freddie was there in spirit, because the song is about him anyway. And there are lots of little trademarks in there. There are lots of little quotes, which are very Queen-like, very Freddie like.
Roger: It was good fun actually. It was much easier than we expected it to be.
Are there more songs to come as Queen?
Brian: I would say not at the moment.
Roger: But I don't see why not. It's quite possible, it's just that we don't actually have any at the moment.
Brian: I think a lot depends how this gets perceived. On that we'll depend how we feel long term, I guess. I don't think we intended this to happen really. People may decide we can't sing. They probably already did. (laughter)
Did you ever think about working with another singer now that you've got another song?
Roger: We actually have worked with quite a few other singers. But the idea of working with one permanently is very difficult, Â´cause Freddie is a very hard act to follow and it would seem very strange then with somebody else on any kind of permanent basis.
Brian: It would be very hard for someone coming in. It's like some fabulous sports car with three mad fucking drivers in it already, and if somebody comes in they're gonna find it very hard. (laughter) No plans at the moment, although George is great. We admired George as a performer, but his direction is very different. But we are us, and that's different.
Will there be another Queen-tour with just you two as singers?
Brian: I don't think we know. We don't have any plans at the moment.
Roger: No plans, so we can't answer in either way. Sorry, sorry about that.
What about the Princess? How did you feel?
Brian: Very, very sad. We both went to the funeral. We were involved in a lot of the same things that Princess Diana was involved in. The charity work and stuff, so we bumped into her quite a lot. And she was something very wonderful and very special and we felt terribly sad that she'd be taken away so soon. Strangely enough the last conversation I had with the Princess she just said it must be pretty hard for you still doing without Freddie, and I said yes, sometimes it's hard and she said how tragic that he'd been taken away so soon- what a waste. So I guess everybody feels that about her. But strangely enough, in the way she died, she gave the world something as well. I don't think that there's ever been that kind of feeling in Britain.
Roger: It was a very strange time in the UK.
Do you think it's good to glorify people like that?
Roger: In some ways no, I don't think it is. But if they made people happy, I don't see why they shouldn't be remembered.
Brian: I think there is some similarity between Freddie and the Princess, because they both had the ability to make the ordinary person to feel like they had some kind of chance. That's a precious gift.
Roger: And they had the same dress. (laughter)
Whom is the single dedicated to?
Brian: It's written about Freddie, really, but I guess, if you write a song, songs have always more meanings than the first one you come across. The song in my mind started about 2 years ago. I just couldn't find all the words.
Would you be part of this tribute concert for Diana, in spring time in London?
Roger: That's tough to answer, because that's the first we've heard of it.
Brian: We're actually not a functional unit as a live-act either at the moment.
Roger: I don't know. I think maybe we've done our tributes.
'No one but you' is the only new song on the record. Is it something like a new start for Queen?
Brian: Well, you mustn't read too much in there. At the moment it's just a song, and that's all that's happened. It's not part of a grand master plan yet. The song is on there because we thought it was nice to have a bonus-track on there, because all the tracks of course have been released before.
Roger: It is the first new thing we've done together, without Freddie.
Why did you choose that cover?
Brian: Why do you ask this question? Â´Cause you hate it. Tell me, really? You like it or not?
Interviewer: I'm not really sure.
Brian: Shall we be honest? It was done in pretty much of a hurry and the concept behind it is the crest, which we lived with for years and it's kind of exploding. I think we all felt that perhaps it wasn't quite how we imagined it would be, but time was very short, but ..we think it's fabulous yes (laughter)
Roger: On t-shirts it looks like somebody has been sick over it...(laughter)
Do you think that this is your best cover?
Roger: No! (laughter)
Brian : the music's damn good...
Are you very into video-games?
Roger: I'm not, I think Brian is
Brian: Certain ones, I am. I'm not very into "Beat 'em up". I find it too boring and I'm not skilful enough to get in. I like Doom, I think it's a fantastic game, because you feel like you're really there. And for the kids, they get really scared. You know Doom? Ah, Doom is fantastic. There's lots of blood, but you really feel you're there, and you go around those dark corridors and your actually in the point of view, graphics, and if something happens to you, really, you really get scared. I think this game I'm sure will be brilliant, but it's not something which we've directly worked on the development of. It's called "The Eye".
Are there any solo-projects you're working on, the two of you together, or as single artists?
Brian: We're both separately working on solo-albums. Right, Roger?
Roger: Yeah, I think we're both about 80% through!
As there was a lot focused on Freddie, do you think that your individual talents are overlooked because of that?
Roger: Personally no. Part of being in a band is really accepting the fact that, if you have a singer, especially as one as flamboyant and outstanding as Freddie was, he's the natural visual focus and I think if you don't understand that everybody in the band has a different role, and if it worries you, that he gets the most attention, then I think you should leave the band. We would never have lasted if that was the case.
Brian: And we're very proud of him. I guess we did use him as the focus point.
What about John Deacon? Was he involved in the compilation of the album? Where is he today?
Roger: Great question! (laughter)
Brian: These are very difficult questions.
Roger: He's a complete mystery to us, I mean.
Brian: He's generally involved at a distance. He's very much involved, but he doesn't get involved in the "day-to-day" bits of pieces, I guess Roger and I do that really. Where is he today? He's at home, I think. But he does secret things, secret "Deaky things". Base players do that. (laughter)
Roger: But he's never been seen spending money though.
One question to Roger first: Will you go on tour next year?
Roger: I doubt it, I would like to see how my album is received, so it's unlikely.
interviewer: Why? Many fans would come and see you live.
Roger: Oh, you're very kind. Thanks! If I felt that there was a demand there maybe, but it's a lot of work involved. I have to finish my record first and see what happens.
Brian, will you go on tour next year?
Brian: I hope to, yes! If I ever finish the album.