David Richards Interview

Source: Rolling Stone 1995

Submitted by: Richard Orchard


Q: Was A Winters Tale the last song Freddie wrote for Made In Heaven?

DR: A Winters Tale was the last song he wrote, the lost song he sang for MIH was Mother Love, which Brian wrote for him.

Q: Did Brian write the song after ideas by Freddie?

DR: As far as I can remember, Brian came to the studios one day, wrote down some chords and Freddie started to sing the song. Brian handed Freddie a little piece of paper with some lines on it, where the idea or inspiration came from, I can't tell.

Q: What sort of feelings do you have about the release of MIH?

DR: We fulfilled Freddie's last wish. He wanted to make music till the last second, he wanted to sing. It was a difficult situation for all of us, but especially for Freddie, but he really wanted this project to be finished, even though he knew that the album would be released after his death.

Q: When did you realize how ill Freddie actually was?

DR: I knew that he was very ill, amazingly his voice became better and better though. "My voice is still here" he used to say, "So I'll keep on singing till the end" I personally didn't know that he had AIDS, I speculated he had cancer. I think everyone involved pushed aside the fact that it was really that serious. Everyone still had that glimpse of hope that at the end maybe a miracle would happen...

Q: Did you already notice his illness during the Innuendo sessions?

DR: I noticed that something was wrong, but I didn't know what.

Q: How much more difficult did his physical condition make the MIH sessions?

DR: We spent more time on the singing parts, cause Freddie needed a lot of rest during the recording. on the other side, Freddie wanted to be as precise as possible, because he knew there won't be anymore live tours for him, he wanted it to be perfect.

Q: Were the songs just more like demos when Freddie recorded the vocals? Or what's the reason that the rest of the band recorded the instrumental parts of the tracks last year?

DR: We always took 2 or 3 different approaches in recording songs. Sometimes a single band member had an idea for a song and had a demo of it with only some chords and some lyrics. Then the whole band came together and arranged the song, brought new ideas to the song and gave it the Queen-Sound. A simple idea evolved to a song. Innuendo on the other side evolved out of an improvisation in the Casino hall in Montreux. Freddie was upstairs in the studio and heard them playing that song and he just said: "ohhh I love it" and he ran downstairs and began to sing to it. Naturally a lot of work was put into Innuendo afterwards, but the idea came from that spontaneous jam in the hall.

Q: Again, did the band just record rough versions of the songs, so Freddie could still sing on those songs?

DR: No, they recorded the tracks live. The songs weren't rough versions, they were planned as finished versions, the spontaneity of the recording should be kept. We edited the songs later, we cut some parts out, but basically, it was recorded live, including the vocals. I remember that we had some problems because you could also hear the drums over Freddie's microphone. I've arranged the band in the studio like they would play a gig in a big hall, to create that "live feeling", even though no audience was there.

Q: How long did you work with Freddie on this album?

DR: Let's say it took us about 4 weeks for recording, in this period the songs were written and recorded. After Freddie's death no one wanted to continue on MIH, they needed some time for themselves. In the years after Freddie's death they came together again and said: "Let's do some work, Freddie wanted that we add the missing parts to the puzzle". I think this work took them again 3 or 4 months.

Q: What was changed on the songs at this time? Just final touches?

DR: Yes. Some songs remained in th