November 24 marks the 30th anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death, and September 5 would have been the Queen singer's 75th birthday. Already on August 6, the album "Back To The Light" of his ex-bandmate Brian May was re-released, with which he processed the loss of his friend and the resulting end of the group in 1992. In the interview he talked about his crisis at that time, Mercury's continuing presence and the modern media society.
The man on the screen looks tired - though this has nothing to do with his 74th birthday the day before, but with the floods in the British capital: the basement and first floor of his house in Kensington were flooded, and alongside instruments, amplifiers and memorabilia, many photos from his childhood and the early Queen years also fell victim to the water. "It's a tragedy," says the doctor of astrophysics, who now also has a hairdo to match his degree: a fluffy white mat in a tiered shape reminiscent of the powdered wigs of the British legal profession
eclipsed: Do you ever wonder what Freddie would be like today, at 75? And how Queen would sound if you could have continued with him?
Brian May: That's constantly on my mind, and Freddie is still with me. There is really no day when I don't think about him. And I'm sure: If he would still be alive, we would continue to make music and also be very successful. Also, I think Freddie would still surprise us. I guarantee he'd still be doing stuff that's completely out of the ordinary and still great. In that respect, it's almost ironic that it was only because of his death that we were able to do some things that would have been impossible otherwise, like the musical: "We Will Rock You" is a tribute to Freddie, and if he were still here, we would hardly have thought of tackling that. The same goes for the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody." In that respect, I think it's fair to say we've done our best to keep it going and make sure it keeps finding an audience. To this day, it feels like Freddie is still with us. He's such a presence that it's hardly noticeable that he's been dead for 30 years
eclipsed: Did you ever actually ask him about his homosexuality?
May: It was never an issue within the band. I mean, we knew from the beginning that he was into men. He never made a secret of that. (laughs) But we were a band, a team, a family. We were all pulling together to make Queen a successful band. We subordinated everything to that, and it didn't matter who was into who or what. There was no drama in the band, and we kept our personal lives out of it as much as possible. When we were together, we focused on the band. We didn't care what anyone did outside of that constellation. We treated each other with respect and were always good friends. Just a unit, connected by the music
eclipsed: Why were his sexual preferences not a media topic during his lifetime - while today it seems very important to "label" an artist?
May: I often ask myself the same question: why this is more important today than it was in the 70s and 80s, and why you have to define a person by their sexuality at all. I think, on the one hand, it's because of the celebrity culture, which is reinforced by the social media. It's this greed for personal, private information about supposedly famous people - where the fan defines himself or herself by knowing more intimate things about the object of his or her desire than anyone else and being close to him or her just because of that, which is of course complete nonsense. On the other hand, the media makes it very easy for themselves by labeling people - as "straight," "gay," "lesbian," "transgender," whatever. They pigeonhole people and assign them stereotypes to make them easier to market. People used to be more respectful: they were artists, and they were just eccentric. I don't think Freddie was ever asked about being gay or whatever - it was the same with Elton, Bowie or Rob Halford. It just wasn't an issue ...