7th June 2023

Star Fleet: Press Association Interview

Brian May: Revisiting Star Fleet project opened door into amazing moment

By Kerri-Ann Roper and Naomi Clarke, PA Reporters

Sir Brian May has said revisiting his Star Fleet project for a special 40th-anniversary edition has been like “opening a door into an amazing moment in my past”.

The Queen guitarist, 75, has released an “extensively revisited and expanded” boxset version of the sessions he recorded 40 years ago titled Brian May + Friends: Star Fleet Project.

The set is a complete document of the two days, April 21 and 22 1983, that Sir Brian spent in the Record Plant, Los Angeles, accompanied by his friends and rock music luminaries guitarist Edward Van Halen, drummer Alan Gratzer, bassist Phil Chen and keyboardist Fred Mandel.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s incredible, it’s that moment when you first open the product that you’ve been working on for months, it’s always a great thrill.

“You never get tired of it somehow and it never becomes ordinary. It’s just such a fantastic feeling of pride and anticipation at the same time. “But also, because of what’s in the box. It’s opening a door into an amazing moment in my past, which I will never forget, to my dying day.

“And it’s great to just put it in a place where it’s safe. I suppose that’s what I feel like. It’s a place where everyone will be able to have access to it forever and hopefully enjoy it in the same way as we did on that, on those two days.”

He said it had always been a “very emotional” experience for him to listen back to the tracks, especially given that Van Halen and Chen have died.

“They were both great people and great friends and it really does bring a big lump to the throat,” he said “And of course you feel sadness, but as with Freddie, you also feel a certain amount of joy that they were in the world and that these wonderful moments did actually happen. So it’s a real mixture of emotions.”

Sir Brian first released the original three-track mini-album on October 31 1983, which featured a full-length take of Star Fleet.

This was the rocker’s reimagining of the signature tune from the Japanese-made children’s sci-fi series of the same name. The guitarist used to watch the programme with his son James when he was a child and this inspired his attachment to its title song, originally written by English musician Paul Bliss.

Sir Brian said he recently spoke to his now-grown son about watching the show together, saying: “We were recalling those moments, we used to get up very early on a Saturday morning and creep downstairs and watch the next episode of Star Fleet. “And it was very exciting. When you’ve got children, you kind of see the world through their eyes so I was just as excited about the story as he was.”

The new box set includes 2 CDs, one vinyl LP and a vinyl single, as well as other collectors’ items. Among the collection is a 23-track CD filled with previously unreleased material. Brian May + Friends: Star Fleet Sessions will be launched as a deluxe edition box set worldwide on July 14.

Click here to pre-order now.