Taken from "Pelo" Magazine, Argentina, March 1981
I apologise for the mistakes in the translation.
Exclusive interview with Brian May
"Emotion overwhelmed us"
The big lighting grid chases him with its changing colours. He is alone on stage and, while the crowd makes the stadium shudder with their screams, he turns around and faces the spotlight with his more fearsome weapon: the guitar. A great number of effects flood the loudspeakers while lights go away, defeated. It's only then when one of the world's best guitarists walks around triumphally over the stage. He has won the battle once more. This is him: Brian May.
The same Brian May that agreed to join us at the Mar del Plata stadium stalls to carry out the interview.
-Where did you learn to speak Spanish?
-It was some time ago. I had moved to the Canary Islands and it was impossible for me to communicate with people in my language, so I had to learn theirs. The funny thing is how I learned: through records... (laughs).
-We were with you in New Orleans for the "Jazz" presentation...
-Yes, I remember. Hey, do you remember the party? That was good.
-At that time Queen wasn't as big as it is now...
-(Smiles) That's true. In a certain way that's how the wind blows now: the stronger the breezes, the stronger the wind. In a group, the power depends on how good as soloists the musicians are, I mean, the skills of each instrumentalist and composer carry weight. Queen was growing gradually in each country. That was because of our individual and group progresses in every aspect. For example, Queen became bigger in USA after the release of two songs: "Crazy little thing called love" and "Another one bites the dust". Anyway I think that becoming big or important is more than anything a matter of luck. Success is based in people who listen and like our songs, then listen to them in the streets and make their friends listen to them. Thus a chain of Queen fans begins to develop. The same happens with other bands.
-What's your favourite Queen album?
-Actually I don't have a favourite album. I don't really listen to them much... (laughs). If I have to choose one, it is "Queen II", because in spite of all the flaws it has, recording it was an interesting experience. Besides, it has god songs. That album was the biggest step we took with regard of musical evolution. It was also the biggest risk we've taken so far. Another album I like is "A night at the opera". The rest of the material we recorded after "A night..." I haven't heard enough as to give a solid opinion about those albums.
-Are you planning to do some solo work?
-Not at all. Roger is recording an album that will be released next spring, but I haven't thought about doing anything similar, at least for now.
-Have you thought of recording another live album?
-I really doubt we do it...
-Are you satisfied with "Live killers"?
-(Frowns) Satisfied? I am never really satisfied with anything I do. I'm a nonconformist. I think the live album was only a testimony of what we were doing on stage at that time. I am somehow unsatisfied, because we had to work hard in every concert and there were serious sound problems to solve. Sometimes the concerts sound very well, but when you listen to the recording you want to kill yourself because of how awful everything sounds. Out of ten or fifteen concerts we recorded, we could only use the tapes of three or four of them to edit "Live Killers". Anyway, the sound of live albums is never good. The main reason is that the audience has to be included and the crowd noise affects the instruments. As you may notice, "Live Killers" is not my favourite album at all...
-What was the cause for Queen's change of music and image since "The Game"?
-The change of image was necessary to make the single "Crazy little thing called love" because we had to create an atmosphere of rock from the 50's. Anyway, I think that it wasn't a deliberate change in the real sense of the word. The musical image is the result of many hours thinking of rhythm instead of thinking about the way in which we generally deal with songs. For "The Game" we took into account the rhythm more than the sound, which is uncommon for us. In the previous albums we cared more about the form an not the rhythm, and that's why we thought it was good to vary a bit.
-What was the result of composing the music for "Flash Gordon"?
-It was very positive. It was very interesting to work in the music of that film. I particularly liked learning a different job, that is creating soundtracks. For the band it also means to open to a new market. The first song we wrote for "Flash Gordon" was also the first song we did for someone that wasn't ourselves. In general, we do music for our own satisfaction. In this new environment for us, that is cinema industry, a problem showed up, that was that the music should be good, because the film is good. I really liked the film. Our work was very free in a certain way, because no one told us what to do. Besides, we didn´t have to put the same strict control we put when we do our music. What's more: some parts of that soundtrack were very easy to do because they have the classic, typical Queen sound.
-Here in Argentina a film was released last year, "Harlequin", starring Robert Powell, in which a certain Brian May appears as composer of the soundtrack. Was it you?
-"Harlequin"? No, no. It must be someone with the same name, I guess... I hope the music is good, because there must be many people thinking it is mine.
-What do you think about the Argentinian audience?
-Amazing. I never thought they could be so warm. We thought the audience would be colder than they actually were. I'd say it was surprinsingly good. We were expecting we would do great because we had sold many records here and we knew something about the audience and the people through magazine articles. Many people had told us to come to Argentina because the people are wonderful and we would do great. Now I can happily say that they didn't lie to us. The people here are beautiful and incomparable. There were moments when emotion overwhelmed us, basically because it was our first time here and despite that, many people bought tickets to see us and felt happy with our songs and enjoyed our show. The response of the people was warm and affectionate everywhere, on stage and in the streets. Everywhere we would go, they were following us or waiting for us to express their love for us. It's beautiful that something like this happens. I confess that we couldn't get over our surprise because anywhere, except from Japan, had happened anything like this. We've been really touched..
-Is Queen coming back to Argentina?
-(Smiles). Of course. This country is beautiful and the people are wonderful. We want to come back and play for you so that we can relive the immense joy this tour has brought us. Queen will come back to Argentina.