The bigger the better
David Wigg, 1985
DW: Action, Freddie. You have certainly been in action. We've come to expect the unexpected from you, Freddie. And you've certainly done at this time a solo project, a solo album.
FM (laughs): And a new haircut.
DW (laughs): No, after making eighty million hits, what makes you want to go on, what makes you want to do something like this, which is a very big risk for you, isn’t it? To stick on your head there and stand up alone, without other musicians…
FM: That's the way I like to live. Well, firstly, if I didn’t do… if I didn’t do this – I don’t have anything to do, you know. I can’t cook, I'm not very good at being a housewife. (I. & Freddie laugh) This is in my blood, I mean, I just seem to have been doing this for so long that it's so in my blood, I don't know what else to do, you know. But it's just a nervous energy that I have and I just basically write music and I want to keep doing that. I have a lot of songs and I enjoy doing them. See, it's come to a stage where before I felt it was my work, it's still my work, now I just feel it's something that I enjoy doing, you know, it's very interesting, and there are lots of challenges ahead, and…
DW: Is it like starting a new career?
FM: (after a pause) Hm… not, not really. No, no. Because to start a career – it’s… I mean, you have to go through all the pitfalls and… No, it’s just a sort of being on a side (smiles, winks). How about that? (I. laughs).
DW: (laughs): – Then why does the Emperor of rock want to wear new clothes?
FM: Emperor of rock… Oh, It’s something in everyone’s metabolism, you know, I mean, something in one’s career. I mean, I wanted to do… It doesn’t mean that I’m gonna finish with Queen, whatever, it’s just a sort of outlet after all these years. I mean, Queen have been together for… what about? – thirteen years or so, and you wanted to do different things. And… It’s something in me that I want to do, and… it’s a challenge anyway, it’s a challenge. I wanted to write a bunch of songs, which actually came out under the name Freddie Mercury, so… Why not, you know. I think, the time and place is right.
DW: You talk a lot about love on the Album.
FM: Yes, I know. I don’t know why.
DW: It obviously means a lot to you.
FM: I'm possessed by love… Isn't everybody? Isn’t everybody?
DW: Yes, I suppose they are… Are you… Down, deep down there, in spite of the tough visage you put on, are you a romantic at heart?
FM: Well, I guess so. But I think… Yes, I just... I like writing songs about love, because I mean there's so much scope… love and the lack of love is always going to go on and there are so many different ways that people fall in love and the way that people fall out of love and to actually sing and write about love is just limitless. And… I'm a very loving person, you know.
DW: Are you?
FM: (laughs very much) Oh, I put myself in that!
DW: But on stage you give this impression that you're quite a formidable individual, Freddie!
FM: I am. (ironically)
DW: On stage or off?
FM: That's just another part of me, that's my workload, you know, that's me having to do my job, and that's the other side of my character, that comes across. I'm just very frivolous and I like to enjoy myself, and… what better way to do it than on stage, in front of 300.000 people, you know, I just cook on stage (smiles). That's just my nature, that's not what I am like in real life, you know. My character is built up of all kinds of ingredients, and this is one element of me, that on stage this is my job, and I don't like to go on stage sitting on a stool and do a show; I like to put a song across in the way it is, you know, and it's all part of show-biz and theater, and… That’s another side of me. So…
DW: When you face an audience of some 300.000 people, like I saw you in Rio, do you get intimidated by the size of the crowd?
FM: FM: No, the bigger the better, in everything (laughs; DW laughs too). No, no, no. I think, everybody that wants to be successful and is successful, I mean you know, I don't care what they say, I mean they're going to say "Oh, I like playing to... ". I know there was a fashion, there was a trend earlier on a few years ago with the Punk movement or whatever and they said "Oh, we want to play to the small audiences "cause we're being intimate" and all that… Load of rubbish! I mean, everybod y who wants to be a star, wants to play the biggest audiences. Isn't that inside them? I'm not afraid to speak that out. Everybody wants to play the biggest audiences ever. I want to play to as many people as I can, and the more the merrier, 'cause my music is not channeled into any category. I want everybody to listen to it. I don't write music for just Japanese or just the Germans, ‘cause music is for everybody. It’s an international language, and that’s the way it is. And as far as I’m concerned, I'd like the whole world to listen to my music. And I want anybody and everybody to come and to listen to me and look at me when I'm playing.
DW: So do you live for today rather than for the future or...
FM: No, I live for tomorrow. I'm a man of extremes, you know, I sort of change from day to day like a chameleon and… each day is different to me. And I look forward to that, you know. I don't want to be the same person everyday. And… you know, who knows, the way this album has turned out – it's just a whole spectrum of what my life is, to be honest… But I was not “made in heaven”. A lightening bolt suddenly goes “kh!”
DW: Do you think you're going to get to heaven?
FM: No, I don't want to.
DW: You don't want to? (laughs)
FM: No (smiles), hell’s much better. Look at the interesting people that you're going to meet down there. You're going to be there too, you know.
(Something bangs behind Freddie, he turns around)
FM: Oh! That’s nice!
DW: (laughs hysterically): That must have been a controversial remark!
FM: (laughs) Somebody didn't like what I've just said!
DW: Do you think you could live without fame?
FM: Quite easily. Cause I'd still be the same person, I'd still be the same person. I mean, I just… My life-style doesn't suddenly stop because... I've always been like this, I've always been like this. Success does help, you know, and I just, you know, it makes easier to be outrageous or whatever. But I mean that doesn't stop me. If all my money ended tomorrow, I’d still be the same person; I'd still go about the same way, like I had lots of money. And…That's what I used to do before. That's something inbred, that's part of me and I'll always, I'll always walk around like a Persian popinjay and no one's going to stop me, honey (smiles).
DW: But you live very extravagantly, that would be hard to do.
FM: I know. With or without money I seem to do it, you know. Musical prostitute, dear! (laughs)
DW: Freddie, what would you say as been the highlight of your career with the group?
FM: (laughs thoughtfully) Oh, Dear… I don’t know.
DW: Is that something that stands up, and you, you know …
FM: Well, actually I think… To be serious for a minute?
FM: I think, what’s actually been quite down pounded, it’s that we’ve actually stayed together all this years, you know. I mean, I think, if you think in terms of… In terms, cause we’ve started in the true sort of heavy rock’n roll sense, were a quartet in the course of Led Zeppelin and all those. And in the years past they’ve always broken up or whatever, and they had changed of personnel – you know about that. And when you think about that – we’re the only sort of four grown-downs that are actually stuck in together. And we all have ego problems, like any other group, but we’ve never actually let it go that far, where we’d actually said: “OK, let’s forget it”. Because I think we all, the four of us, have actually said that this chemistry has worked. Has really worked for us, and so why kill the goose that lays the golden egg, and… long may she reign!
DW: What is your attitude to life?
FM: (laughs) I don't know. Actually at this point in time I think it’s just having a good time, to be honest. Before I was very serious, and… you know, I was sort of caught up in being successful and being a star and all that, and I thought “this is the way a star behaves” of whatever. Now I don't give a damn. I don't give a damn. I just want to do things my way, and I want to have fun.