Q: Brian, the fans have been complaining about the lack of changes in the setlist.
BM: Well, even in the old days, the setlist stayed pretty much the same. We never were the E
Street Band, ready to play their entire back catalogue in a second, b-sides and unreleased
tracks included. I mean, 3 years after Live Killers, Fred couldn't even remember the opening
chords of Spread Your Wings. In fact, we always thought rehearsals were a bit of a drag. And
now with Paul, we've done dozens of gigs and he still relies very much on the autocue, as you
know. So a rolling setlist wouldn't be the wisest move.
Q : I see. Also, there are very few songs written by Freddie on this tour, 5 out of 32. It's a
bit weird, considering the weight he had in Queen as a songwriter.
BM: We're not doing this for Mary Austin to get royalties, you know. And as I said before, it's
time to reassess Queen's back catalogue. Is Somebody To Love really better than Last Horizon?
Not to me. I even considered Prophet's Song instead of Bo Rhap, but the others said they'd
rather not. And again, it has to do with Paul; Do you really want to hear him sing Seven Seas
Of Rhye? I think not. He makes a mythical land sound like a frigging pub in Scotland (laughs).
Q : Fair enough. Still, very much like the Beatles, Queen has a lot of extraordinary album
tracks, often much stronger than the singles. With don't you play more of them? In 1991, Roger
said he wanted to play the entire Black Side of Queen II on an Innuendo Tour, even though he
knew this would never happen.
BM: Uh, hello? We're doing a Queen tour without Freddie Mercury, it's hard enough as it is. Do
you think playing Flick Of The Wrist and It's Late instead of A Kind Of Magic and I Want To
Break Free will help us fill arenas ? This is not a fan convention gig with Jeff Scott Soto,
Q: What about Innuendo?
BM: Well, we managed to trash this song with John Deacon and the singer of Led Zeppelin, so what makes you think we could pull it off with Danny Miranda and the singer of The Firm? You have to know your limitations sometimes.
Q: The Cosmos Rocks reception has been somehow mixed. Some say the songwriting is poor, the
production dated, the lyrics daft. Your own track, We Believe, has many opponents.
BM: Yeah, I know. But I have more important things to do in my life. Those books on zodiacal
light and steroscopic photography don't write themselves, you know. I don't have time to write
until I have something really good. And why should I try harder? I don't have anything to
prove, I mean, I wrote We Will Rock You, for Pete's sake! I'm not McCartney, I don't want to have Nigel Godrich
around calling me an old cunt to be motivated. As for We Believe, which was originally titled
Badgers, Whales And Billboards, once again I had little time to write so I asked Jen to compile
some of my Soapbox's shining moments.
Q: Why really isn't John Deacon involved?
BM: Hmm, he said he was disgusted with what we did at the time, 5ive, the Pepsi ad, WATC with
Robbie. Admittedly all this was shameful, but Roger needed the money. It's expensive to have
one's own race track.
Q: Your acoustic set, the solo, Last Horizon. There is a lot of you in the show.
BM: It's a personal revenge. 15 years ago I was opening for Guns N Roses, doing a 40 minute set
in front of metalheads, half of whom didn't know who I was and the other on a pee break. I
promised myself I would be A-List again. And I did it.
Q: All thanks to Paul Rodgers. Britain's leading blues rock singer fronting Queen, that's not
an obvious choice, but he can sing.
BM: Yeah, he can. At one point Rog and I thought we would never find the right guy. But now
he's here, and he's cool. Although, with his chick who is his manager and who designs his
ridiculous stage outfits, I sometimes have to convince myself that I am not in Spinal Tap