Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > About Killer Queen by Bernie Garzio

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Sebastian user not visiting
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Posted: 11 Aug 08, 12:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I figured it deserves its own topic so here it is (sorry if there's one already):

IMO, it's well-played, well-sung, well-performed... but there's something about the mix that somehow doesn't make it justice.

I think 'gunpowder' has the middle-voice a bit flat, which is a shame because the rest of vocals are all in tune.

John hated Hot Space. Frederick's favourite singer was not Paul Rodgers. Rog didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Wales is not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 vox.
MamaQueen user not visiting

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Posted: 14 Aug 08, 15:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The singer is absolutly off key, otherwise the voice is good and the music is good.

Freddie es como Carlos Gardel: cada dia canta mejor.
Yara user not visiting

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Posted: 14 Aug 08, 16:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Sebastian, Hi Mama (lol)! Is Bernie around? I mean, is it possible that he reads this? I think it'd make more sense if I addressed the message to him!

First, because things "go around" the internet very fast even if we do our best not to make some things public, I want you to know that it' humble, most humble opinion, ok? I don't know if you know by now, probably you do, that I sing in the state orchestra here. :op And I'm youngest soprano. :o) So, people do get intimidated sometimes if I just express a personal view because of this, I think - I mentioned it in some e-mails and it was "leaked" or someone spread the fact because whenever I start talking about singing, I get two answers, neither of them normal: "Shut up you arrogant boring..." or "I'll not debate that", and things like this, as if I were an alien. I'm an alien in many respects, but definitely not because of singing officialy in the orchestra despite being quite young - that's very usual, it's nothing "other-wordly" and I get paid to sing things that have already been sung by thousands of people before, so it's not like I'm breaking some new ground,'s not that hard, apart the physical part, it's not that hard.

Doing Queen covers, yes, it's hard. lol Because you have the original. I don't know exactly how the heck Mozart would like the soprano to sound in a certain piece, so it leaves more space to interpretation (flaws, hehehe). And, of course, millions of people sing it every year, so it's definitely not unusual and I have a lot of references.

Singing Queen, well, it's diferent because fans know exactly how the original sound like and not many people risk doing covers, and those who do often get mixed results and a lot of bashing by Queen fans. Hahaha. Well, that's the way it is, there's no way.

So: I'm a lucky girl who sings the obvious. Don't take me as an authority, just as a QUEEN FAN. :-)


Well, good job! Look, it's a very difficult song to perform. Very. Mama is right, I think, in that - I don't know if that was what she meant - Bernie has some difficulties in returning to C and keeping his singing there for the most of the first part, I guess. He starts off well but he begins to drift away from the key as his breath goes out (that's one of the explanations I could find for it). So, how did you feel when you had to sing it, Bernie? Did you feel confident and in control over your breathing? Or did you feel uncomfortable?

Your voice is very nice, the sound of it, the timbre. Although you put, in my opinion, too much agression in the beginning of "a built-in..." - maybe matter of personal interpretation, maybe, again, breathing issues, I don't know - you wrap up the verse just beautifully and your voice fades out correctly in "you can't decline...".

I should point out that you sing smoothly the whole sentence, which is good (a built-in a remedy for K. and K. //no pause here for breathing, that's correct, you did it just fine!// at any time an invitation...

Very delicate phrasing in "caviar & cigarettes, well versed in etiquette", just fine.

The harmony sounds fine to me overall, and what our friend Sebastian noticed may have to do more with color than pitch, what do you think, Sebastian?

So end of the first part: you did a very good job! The thing about the key, well, it's not dirturbing to me, at least, it doesn't make the song less enjoyable, but that's me. I get to it later on if you like me to, ok? It may have been a choice of interpretation and there are, to my mind, some rough edges in phrases which should be sung smoothly in the same key and in tune.


Having said that, dear Bernie, what happened from then on!??? I'll kill you! Haha. You sang the first part just fine, but it seems you lose the focus in the second and mainly in the third part. Then, yes, some wrong notes, and a progressive loss in delicacy and pitch as the song goes exactly the other way around: more delicate and high-pitched overall.

You sound more, it's as if you had lost the patience or the focus! No! Stay there, you were doing just fine! I think you sang the first part very well and then said to yourself: "Ha, I rock, now I can relax". Hehehe. No! I mean, you should relax, but not lose your focus and, especially, not forget about how exactly it sounds in the original version in order to keep having a reference you can fall back on whenever you need, specially if you want to consciously drift away from the original as a matter of interpretation.

Specially in the last part, but that's the conception throughout the whole song, there's a constant feeling that Freddie's voice is fading away because he sings it with a lot of delicacy, artificially manipulating the color and doing some difficult falsettos. I think you're not in full control of your voice when it comes to singing falsetto or falsetto-like lines, especially when the line begins or finishes this way, as in Killer Queen: in the "drop of a hat" phrase: *she's*...*playf*...*cat*...*tarily*...*out-of-action...*absolutely drive..*", for instance.


lazyness in voice

Freddie pretends to be some kind of aristocrat when he sings it. So there's some humor in the singing you should bear in mind, I think: he sings as if he didn't want to make much effort to sing it, so he literally drags his voice throughout the song! It's as if the aristocrat didn't want to get tired speaking, you know? So he just drags his voice all the way and does some falsetto-like lines here and there to show off his delicacy and "finesse". Haha.

That's the concept of the song. It's important to grasp it because it'll have a huge impact on the way you sing it, much more than key or being in tune all the time, it's not the thing one should aim at, I think. Of course, sounding in key is great (lol), but that can easily be improved - but if you do some fumbles here and there, minor ones, well, it's ok, not the end of the world as we know it, the listener will enjoy the song, but if you fail to grasp the spirit of the piece, then, well, the listener may take exception to your version.

I think you got the concept but you didn't turn it into reality, you didn't embodied the character - "Freddie" is not "Freddie" there, he's a character, he's emboding a character, and that's important to have in mind.


All said and done, I think, and it's just my most humble opinion, don't feel intimidated or something, that it was a very, very good job, and because you have a very fine voice and talent I think you can improve mountains from it, you have a lot of potential, I feel, which has not been explored as it could have been.

So, congratulations, but keep training a lot and may the eargerness to do always better never go away!

Micrówave user not visiting
Delilah, on Medium Power
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Posted: 14 Aug 08, 17:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'll not debate that.


MamaQueen user not visiting

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Posted: 14 Aug 08, 18:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Yara.

Yes, the song is very hard to interpret, as are almost all of Queen songs for different reasons, one of them is the multiple harmonies they have.
You did a very good analysis Bernie's interpretation. I respect your opinion and experience, and I agree with most of what you said. I am not a professional singer and do not know how to read music, but have had some experience with singing.

To sing on key with the music is the main thing IMO, otherwise it distracts the listener from everything else.

So, Bernie if you read this, you did a good job. Your voice timber is very nice. Your being out of key with the music may have other reason. Maybe you couln't hear the music well. Or maybe you sang without the music and then you overlapped it with the music and they were both on different keys.

Well, it takes guts anyways. Keep going.

Freddie es como Carlos Gardel: cada dia canta mejor.
Adam Baboolal user not visiting
Adam Baboolal
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Posted: 14 Aug 08, 19:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Think I missed out on this one when it came out. Pretty cool little cover. :) But the singing has definitely got some off-key moments on the lead vox. Nice piano part. Nice interesting vox harmonies. Very nice in places.

Interesting guitar stuff. Definitely got a sound happening with them, though maybe a bit overly fx'ed! I could probably say something similar about the drums. Nice and punchy drums but perhaps a little overly compressed sounding.
I'd like to note that it's really nice sounding sonically as well. Good recordings. It always interests me about what was used to record the track. I'm sure it could help others wishing to make similar sounding covers.

Well, pretty good overall cover!


Bernie Garzio user not visiting

Be Gentle, I'm a newbie: 2 posts
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Posted: 05 Sep 08, 09:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I want to start by thanking everyone for listining to my version of Killer Queen. I have been away for sometime and was told by a friend that people were talking about the song. First , I have been a profesional musician for over 20 years. I respect everyone's opinion on the song. I do not think I sound at all like Freddie. My falsetto sucks. I do these songs to learn arrangements. I think the vocal, guitar and bass arrangements are that of genius. Having said that, I'm happy that I can get semi close to what they have done.

2005 I quit playing music. I started working as a Photographer at Disney World. Now 2008, I miss playing and thought I could not play anymore. So to see if I could I did Killer Queen. One of my favorite songs. After 3 years of not playing or practicing it's not to bad. I have other Queen and original songs on My Space.

About the mix.
The conversion from a wave file to mp3 does not do it justice. I agree it sounds over compressed and distorted. It does not sound like that on the original file. The My Space file sounds a little better but still not like the original file.

Thank you for all the constructive criticism. Good and Bad. If this reply didn't answer all your questions let me know and I will address them. Thank You again!


Bernie Garzio user not visiting

Be Gentle, I'm a newbie: 2 posts
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Posted: 05 Sep 08, 09:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I used Soundtrack Pro for the Recording

Yara user not visiting

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Posted: 05 Sep 08, 13:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think you're doing just fine, you definitely didn't lose your skills. And, again, the song you like so much and you've chosen to perform is a very hard one to sing. Very hard. Yet you delivered it, and it takes some gut to do so! And you did it well, I think. There's always things to improve, but, hey, that can be said pretty much about anyone of us musicians, so good job and welcome back to planet music!! :-)