Brian Interview

Source: Virgin Radio June 1993

Submitted by: Richard Orchard

 

Richard: You're in the last stages of a UK tour. How's it going?

Brian: It's been incredible. Very exciting for me, a great challenge. It takes everything I've got to get through it, just physically! But it's wonderful We've had a fantastic response.

Richard: Why is it particularly gruelling this time? I mean you've got plenty of experience of touring.

Brian: It's just that I have to sing which is incredibly consuming physically. I understand what dear old Fred went through all those years because we used to go out and party after the show and go out and shop in the morning. And Fred always used to say "I can't do that - it takes all I've got" and that's the way I am now. I check into the hotel, I rest and prepare, I do the gig and I go to sleep.

Richard: You're not slowing down, Brian?

Brian: I'm fun on days off!

Richard: I read that when you first found yourself centre stage, you found it quite difficult to cope with - rather than hanging round the edge with a guitar

Brian: It took a little while. The first three gigs or so down in South America I thought "I'm not absolutely sure I can pull this off. It's an experiment and we'll see what happens". I didn't know if the voice would last more than thirty minutes. But strangely enough if you have the will to do something then it's amazing what you can do. And the voice seems to get stronger the more you do this as long as you treat yourself reasonably sensibly.

Richard: Did you have to go to singing lessons? A lot of people have been surprised by the range that your voice is displaying, on record and live.

Brian: I didn't really go to lessons. I just applied myself in the way that, I suppose, my Dad taught me to. My Dad taught me that if there's something you really want to do more than anyone else then you can do it better than anyone else. I wanted to do this. I didn't want anyone else to sing after Fred - my stuff - and I just had to do it. I'm continually fascinated to see how far I can take it. In the studio in the beginning I couldn't get above an A. That's what I've done all my life when I used to sing with Queen a bit - the harmonies and stuff - that was my limit. And I just gradually pushed and I kicked it until it bled really, to see what I could do. And at the end of the album I could sing three or four notes higher than that. And now on tour I can do things I couldn't do on the record.

Richard: Isn't it strange you've discovered this latent talent for hitting the high notes relatively late in your career?

Brian: It's not just the high stuff, although that's a nice little challenge. It's getting the strength and getting the power to express yourself. There is a knack to it. I mean it still kills me. I can't speak or walk for the first half an hour and then I'm fine. There's a recovery curve.

Richard: Is it my imagination or is your voice deeper than it used to be?

Brian: Maybe it got stretched!

Richard: I can understand why you didn't stretch yourself before, because with such a fantastic singer at the front of Queen, there was no impetus.

Brian: That's right. I always thought once Fred got hold of something there was no point in anyone else singing it. Because he always gave it something incredibly special.

Richard: Is your life the rarified one of the rock star?

Brian: It's a strange life. You can't be totally normal otherwise you can't survive. That's the truth. You can't be the boy next door. But I prefer to keep a balance and to the things that a normal person does. Sometimes it's very hard. The actual life itself and the travelling means you're very pulled away from it a lot of the time. It's very hard to have a family life. It's just a very difficult thing to get right. The fact that I'm easily recognisable now makes it harder to do some of the normal things.

Richard: America preceded the UK tour. Y