"Musical prostitute" interview to Rudi Dolezal
Munich, 1984 (from Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD)
D.: How does it feel in the end of a day like that? Do you like your job in an evening like that?
FM: I love my job, but I hate talking to people like you! (smiles)
D (laughs): Thanks!
FM: No, really, I love it right now because I said earlier on, you’re the last person I’m talking to. So, you’ll probably get the best interview, darling, you know (smiles).
D.: I mean, the whole thing like this afternoon, when you have to talk to so many journalists…
FM: Well, it’s a part of my job, so I have to do it. We don’t do it that often, so I mean it’s like… this is the first kind of press conference we’ve had for a long while, you know. 3-4-5 years maybe… So I don’t mind doing this. If I had to do it every day, forget it!
D.: Do you sometimes have that feeling that… I mean, obviously people asking the same questions all the time, it’s…
FM: They always do, they always do…
D.: …that only music is your statement, not the talking?
FM: No, no. I think it’s more than music, you know. We are personalities, so you talk about more than music. I mean, if all you talked about was music… depending on if you’re a music paper, then you talk about music. But it’s more to us than just writing songs. I mean, we do other things, and we have characters, and… depends on what you want to talk about. So, I don’t mind it. And of course people ask the same questions, cause some of the questions are current and they want to know about the same things. So, ask me about my solo album then, ha! (smiles)
D.: Yes, what about your solo album?
FM: Oh, it’s great! (smiles)
D.: Of course it is! (laughs) Does it sound different?
FM: Yes, it sounds different, I hope… It’s not finished yet, see, I don’t know how it’s gonna come out, but at the moment I’ve worked on it for about two month, two or three month, and I’ve supposed to finish it before the Queen tour, but I needed a bit more time. And… it’s sounding good, I’ve got… It’s nice to actually play with different people, because I’ve always played with Queen all the time. So, I had, you know, a drummer from… a session drummer from Munich, and guitarists from Munich, so basically all German players. And this made my songs sound different, you know.
D.: To people outside it sometimes feels funny or special that there are so many solo projects, where the rest of band is still going as well on the side. How would you analyze the influence of the solo stuff for the band when you come back together again? Is that an advantage that you’re four strong writers and also do stuff on your own?
FM: Yes, I think… In a funny way I thought because… I think this is on of the few groups that all four members write, and I thought, that we’d be doing our solo albums much before this. But I think in a funny way when we do a Queen album – they are like four solo projects within themselves anyway, because I mean I have my bunch of songs, Brian has his, and Roger, and John. And so, it’s like four little solo projects working side by side, and then we put them all together. So I think that was the reason that we didn’t actually go and do solo projects earlier on. I mean if we’re all writing all the same kind of songs, then we do get fed up and say: “Oh, I want to do my solo album first!” But we’re all writing different songs, so it keeps us interested. So for what… about 13 years or whatever – that was interesting enough for us to carry on. And as far as I was concerned, all Queen albums were little solo projects anyway. I was writing my kind of songs that I wanted… But now I think the time is come when I want a whole album of my own, and Roger’s done two already, so… I think, most of people thought that I would be the first to have a solo album and then the band, you know, Queen would break up and all that. But here you are, after 13 years, four old ladies are still rocking away! (laughs)
D.: What about the actually work in studio when you four come together and everybody wants to bring his side of songs?
FM: Yeah, it happens all the time, yeah…
D.: It sounds like having also…
FM: It’s like a cock fight, isn’t it?
FM: Yeah, we are four cocks fighting! (smiles) Oh, that’s getting nicer! (laughs). You know, the funny thing is that this sort of… happened almost when we’ve met, the four of us. And it’s just – you won’t believe it, I mean people think that O’K, now they’re fighting… We fought from actually the first day because we used to know each other from university and all that. And we used to fight about musical ideas and this and that, because we’re all very strong characters, you know, we all have egos, so we always kept fighting. But I think the fighting seems to keep us together. Because I think sometimes… I think, bands break up when there is one very strong person and the others get left out and think “Oh, God, this asshole is just too strong and we want to join another band!” But the four of us are real… (in an undertone) I just can’t say this four letters words… We’re very strong individually, so we just keep going with each other. And I think the reason we’ve stayed together for so long is just none of us want to leave, because I mean if you leave it’s like being a coward and going out. So we still keep going and as long as the music is still there, as long as people are still buying the music – then it’s okay. When they’ll stop buying our records – I’ll say good buy and do something else. Become a strip artist or something!
D.: Yeah? To what music you would strip? What music would you use?
F (laughs): All the songs I’ve written! Come on!
D.: Announcing a tour like that, if you think of the tour life that’s the head of yours, that’s a pleasant imagination, or do you hate a tour life basically?
FM: What? Touring?
D.: Touring and all this…
FM: It depends. I mean, this tour I’m looking forward to it, cause we haven’t done it for two years. There was a time when we were doing tours so extensively, cause I mean we were going to the studio, make an album, and then tour the world, and then we go back, and that was the routine. I mean, I didn’t have any time to actually break away. And we actually did that for about eight or nine years. And that’s why the last couple of years we wanted to break away from that format. Because I was getting very bored, and so were the others, and… Just to get away and do different things and think about some things. And so this tour I’m looking forward to it, because we haven’t tour and we can do different things. It’s gonna be… it’s gonna be fresh, you know. And otherwise there were tours I hated, because when we used to do American tours that lasted for three or four months. And towards the end, it was just terrible, I just never wanted to go on the stage again, cause… after a while the songs sounded very… you know, if you’re doing it for three month, you have to do the same routine, and you just… you need time away, so you can get freshness into it. And I think that probably happens to everybody.
D.: What’s the fresh element now in the new tour?
FM: (laughs) It’s me! My costume! (Dolezal laughs) No, it’s just a… it’s new, I mean, the one thing element that I like on this tour is that we're actually gonna go all way back and do songs from all the old albums as well. Because I mean… So that I think anybody coming to see Queen this time is going to get a little piece of all the albums. So I mean there were times when somebody comes to a show and say “Oh, they didn’t do anything from this album or whatever”. Of course, we can’t do all the songs from 13 albums, we would be there for two days. But I think what we’re doing is gonna take… Even if it is one song from one album or two from each – we’re not gonna leave any album out. So, I think, that to me is fun, because we have been practicing some of the early stuff, I mean, we’ve been practicing Keep Yourself Alive and Liar from our first album. And it makes me think, you know, that about 13 years ago we were doing this. And at that time I had long hair and black finger nails and make up and everything, the kind of things that Boy George is doing right now. And to think that I’ll sort of still be singing those songs – it’s sort of… Oh, (…) it makes me sound old, doesn’t it? I don’t look too bad for 37, I tell you! (smiles)
D.: Do you have the feeling that a lot of people imitates you –cause you mentioned Boy George. Do you have the feeling that you see them come and go while your career is going on, you know, so many new projects…
FM: I don’t know... I don’t think Boy George is gonna come and go, I think Boy George is gonna be here for a long while. There always… I mean, there are always people that come up like that. For me you can always tell somebody who is going to stay, and some… and Boy George is going to stay. What do you think?
D.: Yes, I think so too. The question is what will you wear in ten years?
FM: Oh, that’s doesn’t matter! I mean, (Dolezal laughs). Oh! (laughs) That’s the least of the problems I should think about.
D.: What does it mean to you, I mean, I talk to Keith Richards recently and he said that the most important thing in his career was when he realized that being on stage and being admired by young kids is not the answer to life. Did you have a similar experience when you first of all thought that’s it, and than you (…) up on the certain stage you were thinking of something else that’s…
FM: No, the most important thing to me is to be happy, to be honest, and to have fun. And depending on how… whatever I do. I mean, of course, music is important to me, and… because that’s my life, and as long as, I mean, I’ll carry on as long as I write music and people want to buy it. It’s important to me, but I mean that’s not the bill or the end of, I mean I just… there is… to me happiness is the most important thing. If I’m happy, then it shows in my work. So basically I just want to be happy and make a lot of money and buy a lot of things. (laughs). Especially in Vienna!
D.: Antique? Just a moment…
D.: You’ve also recorded something with Michael Jackson, that was not released yet. I think the song is even called Victory, is that true?
FM: That’s right, yes. I’ve done… I’ve done like three tracks with him, and it’s about a year ago. Longer than that… And yes, Victory was one of the songs, and he wanted to use the title for The Jackson thing. But the song is still there, probably just waiting until the two of us just get together and finish it.
D.: You haven’t finished it yet?
FM: No, I mean it just because he has commitments, I have commitments, and it’s very difficult. I mean, he is on tour, I’m going on tour, and you’ve got to sort of… you know, it’s very difficult when two different musicians try to get together, and they have… He has to do his stuff. And it’s just when I was spending some time in Los Angeles and we’re friends, he said "Oh, why don’t we try something?". So, I mean, one day it will probably be finished. And the other song is called State Of Shock, which I did and Mick Jagger is on it, because… But it’s all okay because Michael called me up and said: "look, I want to finish the song, I want it on the Jackson’s album!" And I said “I can’t come over, because I am in Munich”. And he said "Is it okay if Michael… if Mick does it?" So, I said "Fine”, you know, songs are songs, you know. I mean as long as our friendship carries on, we can write all kinds of songs after that.
D.: With what other people would could you think of cooperating, like you do with Bowie and Jackson under song released of… What are people who are interesting to you?
FM: No, it depends. I mean it’s just… I don’t think of those things. I mean, sometimes you just meet friends, and if you think about doing a song together, you talk about that, otherwise that’s not what I think about all the time. I mean, Elton and I have been friends for a long time, but we never, we’ve actually sort of said to each other, one day we’ll probably go on together and write a song, but it’s… it’s better being friends, do you know what I mean? And the thing about it is spontaneity. So, it’s just… if it happens than we’re talking and someone says: “Oh, let’s go into the studio and do it!" And that’s the best thing. And that what happened with David Bowie. We were just, he was just around, we were having dinner for a couple of days, and we were recording in the studio, and he just said: "Oh, maybe I’ll come in and see what happens". So it wasn’t planned. If it’s planned, then it’s boring, it’s just… And we were just going there and fooling around and see what happened, and suddenly this song started taking shape. And we said "Or, that’s quite nice, let’s work on it a bit!" And the result of that was Under Pressure. So, I’m not really… I don’t get up every morning and say "OK, Which, who am I gonna work with today?" Those kinds of things don’t work.
D.: How do you describe yourself as an artist? Could you say that you are a very organized person, a very spontaneous person? What would you say?
FM: No, myself as an artist… I’m just a musical prostitute, my dear! (laughs)
D (laughs): Organized or not?
FM: Oh, who cares? Disorganized and organized. That’s an asshole question to ask to anybody! It’s just… I don’t know, I’m just me, you know, I’m just me. I’m very disorganized at times, I’m organized at times, and… I’m just me.
D.: What emotions do you have when you see old stuffs for example like you mentioned before – with long hair, black finger nails…
FM: Oh, when I see myself? Oh, dear, I want to tell you more up. I just think, I should laugh at myself. But I know that it was something that you had to do. I think someone like Boy George in about five-ten years time is gonna look and say "Oh my God, did I really look like that?!" But you know that it was relevant at that time, and it was right, and I think… I don’t regret any of the things I did. It’s just that I laugh. I mean, what did you look like ten years ago?
FM: Do you look at your pictures?
FM: Well, there you are! So I just think it’s a process of growing up, you know, it’s experience, and… I just think, at this point in time, if I had long hair and black finger nails and wearing that things, I would look ridiculous. I mean, I looked ridiculous then, but it worked! (laughs) But it was all right then. So, it’s just growing up and getting experience.
D.: If you look at all the members of the band, I know it’s a difficult question, but what do you think every single member does contribute to the special chemistry that’s Queen in the end?
FM: What do I think what it give? Well, it’s hard to pin point those things, because I mean we certainly have this ingredient between the four of us, otherwise it wouldn’t worked, especially for this long. And we’re all have a role to play, but I couldn’t tell you what it was. I mean, it’s just… The only thing I could tell you is that the reason is because we are diverse, we are four different characters, coming from, and that’s why I think it’s worked. Not two of us are the same. I mean, we’re all like totally different things, but we come together and there’s a chemistry that works. And I couldn’t tell you what it was, because I mean who can? It’s just something that seems to fit. And that’s what good bands are made of, you know. And we are good (smiles).
D.: Okay. Thank you very much.