Interview with Freddie Mercury (Joepie Magazine)
What is Queen’s biggest wish in the moment ?
Freddie Mercury: World success, of course. And I don’t mean hysterical people everywhere we go, but respect and enthusiasm for the things we do. We have noticed that our audience is very large. We get the “freaks” in our hall, the “snobs”, but also teenagers who buy Mud and the older youngsters who want to listen. With all these people and their support, we hope to bring it much further. For us, ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ is the first step in that direction. We are full of ideas and we hope we can work them out on a next album.
Queen is taking the wheel over from Led Zeppelin:
With their single ‘Killer Queen’ at the top of the hit parades for the first time, people’s expectations of Queen are very high. The biggest specialists in business predict that Queen will take over the wheel from Led Zeppelin. Not always people thought about Queen like this. A year long they were ignored by the press and didn’t get a chance on radio and television. That was a tough cookie for the boys of Queen!
We talked about this and their future plans during a brief conversation with singer Freddie Mercury.
Freddie Mercury: It’s really funny how the specialists have suddenly turned to us. Until our third album ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ they ignored us, or tried to break us. We never got any constructive criticism. Thank God we never cared. We kept on working with the same courage and the same enthusiasm and that turned in our favour. The audience has always reacted and supported us very well; they dragged us to the top. The press had to say who we were! For some time, we rejected people of Melody Maker and The New Musical Express. In the beginning they wrote the most terrible things about us, they twisted our conversations. We did this for a year. Very often, friends told us they sent free-lance reporters to us and each time they were waiting before a closed door [?]. Now, with our album and single at the first place of the top 30, they are obligated to take us seriously.
How do you explain those reactions of the press ?
Freddie Mercury: In England the specialists like getting the credits of discovering bands, they love adulation. When we released our first album, we already had a lot of fans who made sure the album entered the charts. The press stood for a fait accompli. Without ever writing a word about us we climbed the top. They couldn’t stand that. THEY make the bands, you know? We never had a fight with the journalists. They were just mad, because we sold our albums without their involvement. Thank God it wasn’t like that in other countries.
On stage you seem to be aggressive. Are you like that in real life as well ?
Freddie Mercury: Not at all. I am a soft type. On stage I experience a sort of transformation by the influence of the music. I love our repertoire, I can live it up. We are very lucky that we have a record company which doesn’t try to force us in a certain direction. My output would be half of like it is now. I live out on stage. When I sing a slow song I can feel melancholic, is the music aggressive, it pumps me up so that I’m going to act more aggressive. The audience experiences this in the same way.
People compare you with Led Zeppelin, yes, and even The Beatles:
Freddie Mercury: One says we will exceed Led Zeppelin. That’s not our intention. Our intention is to exceed ourselves. Of course we hope to be as successful as they are worldwide. I don’t think you can compare us with those bands, except that we try to bring their qualities together. The recording technique of The Beatles, the power of Led Zeppelin and the perfect sound of Yes. We take this as a compliment because they are not just some average bands. No one ever blamed us to copy bands, and that’s good. I write a lot of compositions and I would hate it if they compared my work.
Extracted from Joepie Magazine 1974