BRIAN MAY Describes QUEEN's Chemistry With ADAM LAMBERT As 'Truly Incredible'
March 28, 2023
In a new interview with SiriusXM's Classic Rewind, QUEEN guitarist Brian May spoke about the evolution of the band's live performance since he and drummer Roger Taylor first shared the stage together with singer Adam Lambert more than a decade ago. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think our chemistry is better than it ever was. I mean, Roger and I go back hundreds of years, as you probably know. But with Adam, I mean, it was good from the beginning, but it's now amazing. We now have a real empathy on stage, a real kind of understanding. There's a connection. And you probably know, we don't have any clicks or backing tracks or anything, so we're completely free and we can feel what each other wants to do. So every night, it'll go a slightly different way. And I love that — the danger of that is brilliant. And we all feel more confident, I think. And I think as you get older, you get more forgiving of yourself. You don't regard things as mistakes. You regard everything as an opportunity. You get more forgiving of your younger self as well. You think, 'Okay, I was only young.' But it's a different feeling.
"I just think it's a privilege to be out there and to be able to do that and to get that incredible response from the audience," Brian added. "The QUEEN thing has been something amazing for all of us, and it's a real privilege to have that."
After SiriusXM's Mark Goodman noted that QUEEN managed to not only continue after the death of iconic frontman Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991 of complications from to AIDS, but thrive following the arrival of Lambert, the guitarist said: "It's amazing that we didn't look for him. I always think that. We didn't advertise; we didn't audition. He just turned up out of the blue, out of heaven, and he had everything that we needed, plus more. And it is truly incredible."
Lambert, May and Taylor first shared the stage during "American Idol" in May 2009 for a performance of "We Are The Champions". They teamed up again in 2011 at the MTV European Music Awards in Belfast, Ireland for an electrifying eight-minute finale of "The Show Must Go On", "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" and in the summer of 2012, Lambert performed a series of shows with QUEEN across Europe as well as dates in Russia, Ukraine and Poland. They have since completed a number of tours and performed at some of the biggest festivals in the world.
In May 2019, Lambert said that he wasn't convinced it was the right move for him to record new music with QUEEN. Speaking to Hunger, he said: "People always ask if we want to record together, and I'm not sure it makes total sense, because it wouldn't really be QUEEN, because, to me, QUEEN is Freddie. My favorite thing is collaborating and putting these concerts together and creating on stage — it's super fulfilling and exciting. To present these ideas to these two gentlemen — especially when they like the idea."
May previously described Lambert as the only singer the band had found capable of filling Mercury's shoes. "Adam is the first person we've encountered who can do all the QUEEN catalog without blinking," said May. "He is a gift from God." Taylor echoed the guitarist's sentiments, adding: "[Adam's] incredibly musical, and we certainly take anything he says quite seriously."
Lambert, for his part, downplayed the Mercury comparisons, saying: "There's never going to be another, and I'm not replacing him. That's not what I'm doing. I'm trying to keep the memory alive, and remind people how amazing he was, without imitating him. I'm trying to share with the audience how much he inspired me."
In 2004, QUEEN recruited BAD COMPANY singer Paul Rodgers, with whom they completed two world tours and released an album, "The Cosmos Rocks", in 2008. They amicably parted ways a year later when Rodgers returned to BAD COMPANY. Since 2011, QUEEN has been fronted by Lambert.
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