Web Chat (June 1998)


   The full Transcript

Brian May was online via Virgin Net on Monday June 1st, from 7pm until 9.30pm. There were a few problems initially, which resulted in a series of questions being typed, and Brian's answers not coming through and vice versa, so therefore the first few lines won't make much sense - Brian was replying to questions asked by the interviewer live, not in the chat. As Brian himself said, the answers given weren't always exactly what he said. Brian wasn't the one typing - AndyB was selecting the questions, and Brian was being asked them verbally, and someone else typed his replies. Note: the typos have been corrected, and some of the words have been corrected to give a better sense of what was being said. Here's the transcript :)

ArikBot changes topic to "Chat live to Brian May and send in your requests. Tonight at 7. "

AndyB reminds lovers of Bad Music and Bad Football teams that we have a double bill tonight on Virgin net, chat live to Scotland Manager Craig brown at 5, and Brian May at 7 (I didn't even mention bad haircuts!).

ArikBot: This room is the answer room during this evenings chat. Please go to #BrianMayChat to ask your questions. You will only be able to chat in the question room.

BrianMay: Hi - we're live now. The webcast is now starting.

BrianMay: Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck coolest guitarists on the planet

AndyB reminds users to post their questions in the room #BrianMayChat and see answers here

BrianMay: It was completely spontaneous, but knew each other because we did guitar legends in Seville - we played all together. I've only been in one "guitar legend " thing and that was the one in Seville

BrianMay: Our Queen songs... we don't use many effects in the Queen music. it's an ac30 .. and a lot of peoples sounds are in the fingers versus the effects - take Hank Marvin for instance

BrianMay: Who is closest to my sound? I don't think anyone's ripping me off really. Sound is very important. It's underrated. Jeff Beck has a great sound... his atmospheres and things. I don't know of any young people from this country that I really like their sound

AndyB: Here's a question from Gaz, Gaz at Queen Heaven (you know what Queen Heaven is?)

BrianMay: Yeah, yes...

Gaz: Hi Brian...Gaz from Queen Heaven here - now that you're seeing more of what the web does, what are your
thoughts on things like music files , photos and so on, being available on unofficial websites? Particularly MP3
technology, which allows massive compression at CD quality? And are you against unreleased tracks being made
available for download, such as the two tracks you performed on Virgin Radio last week, and things like the Highlander
version of 'A Kind Of Magic' ?

AndyB: Do you know what mp3 is?

BrianMay: Not a lot..

AndyB: Big scandal, 'cos it's CD-quality sound, that people can play over the internet for free, without paying royalties -
and now youcan get unreleased tracks

BrianMay: Gaz: Well I think it needs attention but I think it's one of those things which is bound to happen, and you're a
Luddite if you stand in the way. It will sort itself out to a certain extent. Erm..yeah..It does kind of change the way you feelabout things, to an extent, you know. It used to be that you could stand on the street corner and play - or you could do a live show somewhere, and just think it's for the moment. Now you have to think that it will be out there for forever more - somebody will have bootlegged it, and it makes you  feel.. It kind of spoils the moment sometimes. I actually thought about that, doing the Virgin Radio thing, I thought, this is gonna be on bootlegs all over the world, you know, (laughs) and it made me feel... I think I would have been more´ relaxed and more spontaneous if I hadn't had that thought in my head, you know, I'm quite vulnerable to that kind of´thing, and I tend to be not a person who does
everything right all the time, you know, so...

AndyB: Do you learn from your mistakes?

Brian: Yes, but a lot of mistakes are just random things you know, and if you do a whole tour you are probably going to play each of the songs brilliantly one night, in the whole tour, and the rest of the nights there will be things wrong with them, you know, or there might be magic moments, and that's what live is about. If you start sort of making everything permanent, there's a danger of losing the spontaneity. That bothers me more than the royalties, you know. I think royalties will sort themselves out, but

AndyB: Do you check out the queen fan sites? or the Brian May official site? Do you have a hand in you know

Brian: Yeah that one I know. That is the only one I have involvement with - I helped design the look of it. They used my suggestions to make the look better. I don't surf the net in general though. I have someone do it for me instead, because I find it sluggish.

Tobias: Hello Brian. My name is Tobias and I'm from Sweden. I would just like to say that I think you're the best guitar player in the world. I'm also wondering if you have any plans to visit Sweden, or any of the Scandinavian countries, on your tour?

BrianMay: Tobias: There are dates on our tour currently to play in Sweden - we don't have a drummer at the moment and that may impede our playing in Sweden, but yes I hope to go there and see ya Tobias

(At this point the questions and answers seemed to lose track of each other completely - where possible we've matched them up. There are quite a few questions from here on that don't get answered for one reason or another, and many of them have been deleted from this transcript. Another thing worth noting is that questions being asked by the interviewer, from ther ones emailed in, are preceded by Brina repeating the question. Ed)

GeneRex: Hi Brian, How do you cope with dry periods of creativity?

BrianMay: to see this live via real video - that is a news flash for ya

BrianMay: Yes yes no no to releasing an album with Patrick Moore

RedSpecial98: What's the word on the queen BBC sessions...will they be released?

BrianMay: He actually writes good music. He's an exceptional...

homer: Brian - are there any particular queen songs that you used to dread performing live due to their intricacy?

Miracle: How much money would you need before you would part with your Red Special?

BrianMay: Ok, we're back now

ryvers: You Wrote about 3 new guitars in the another world booklet....what are they ???????

BrianMay: I have guitars from Greg Fryer besides the Red Special - I always use the Red Special live - it will be back in time for the tour.

BrianMay: For Chris Cooper, I still think We Will Rock You is great and I love hearing it at the football matches. Gives me a very warm feeling to know that it is heard all over the world. But can I make it public knowledge that I am not a football expert!

tweety: What is the song that couldn't be on your live album for copyright reasons?

BrianMay: The song that couldn't be on my live album was God by John Lennon due to copyright control - Yoko has control, and she never replied to me. So it's not on there but surely it's been bootlegged

BrianMay: Fried chicken... it was just a stupid aside that went into the song.. you know which one I'm talking about. - there are a lot of things in queen albums that you don't expect that 's why we threw them in. The same kind of thing with Another World. I won't mention them either. there is a glaringly obvious secret though - a lot of people couldn't find the secret .. a lot of the journos. The fans found it, but the reviewers didn't.

Mayzinha: Hi Mr. May I'm Ana from Brazil and I'd like to know if you receive the gifts that we send to you or not?

BrianMay: mayzinha: Not sure if we received your gifts. I try to answer people when the time, but there is a lot of people to reply to ...thanks and we'll try and get back to you.

BrianMay: I love Brazil and Argentina!

DazedAndConfused: Brian, why didn't you include the wonderful songs What Are We Made Of (with Sissel) and Nobody Knew (with Carmine) on your new album?

BrianMay: dazed and confused: It was a hard choice. What Are We Made Of was a contender for the album, but just not enough room - there was never a version that was just right for the album The Carmine track just wasn't the right one. This is an internet goody ... I am thinking of putting together another album with all the stuff we didn't use on Another World

Lizard: G'day Brian, This is Paul from Australia...If someone asked you to shave off your hair for charity or a dare would you consider doing it and if it grew back do you think it would grow curly again?

BrianMay: For lizard: Re my hair. yes, no , no , maybe and no. - it's natural and that's official. Don't believe the press - other hair mishaps include setting on fire when we were at Brixton. It grew back curly though. always curly. Can't change it. Regarding who's right about black holes. I don't think either of them are right about black holes - Einstein got most of the things right about black holes. I'm not an expert on black holes, I must admit. don't know all the physics. but Einstein was generally right - he may have missed a couple of things though

AndyB: Question from Twinkie from Southend: How did the Brian May band form?

BrianMay: Julie managed the Queen office for many years and is now my manager

BrianMay: My children hate me being such a big star, so please them alone. it's very hard for them to have a father who is always in the public eye. None of them are following them into music, although Jimmy may surprise us all next week

Gianky1: Hi Brian, Giancarlo from Italy here, will you participate in the forthcoming Pavarotti International? If not, why not?

BrianMay: Giancarlo; I may participate. It's nice to participate, lots of children running around, a very active atmosphere - I think I may have played tambourine or something.

Emilio: FROM EMILIO: Hi Brian ! Please, explain to everyone the right meaning of "ANOTHER WORLD" cover. Thanks a lot !

BrianMay: Re the photo on the album cover of Another World - I saw the picture of the tree in a magazine and I had to go find it - the location has to remain secret so it doesn't get trampled.

BrianMay: Who influenced my music the most... everyone you love influences your music the most. It's hard to say. I lost my mother a year ago as well and that was in my work as well. The biggest emotion in creation is the bridge to optimism.

CatherineZielin: Do you know what the 2 bonus tracks will be for the August U.S. release of Another World?

BrianMay: Queen had its time and place and at the moment I'm not concentrating on that era. For all US fans, Another World will be available in the US in August. There will probably be a bonus mini CD with it. The American version of the CD will be different to the UK version.

BrianMay: Did I like Bohemian Rhapsody being used in Wayne's World? Yes, I thought it was very good. We used to do the same thing that the guys were doing as well. We used to bang our heads

sweflash: Hello Brian! This is Stefan from Sweden who is writing. How will you replace Cozy? Have you asked Roger?

BrianMay: The most interesting moment with Queen and playing with Bad News. Had a great time playing with BN at reading. - they were very funny and spontaneous. It was great playing with Vim. Any arguments in the studio they had were real.

Angela: Brian, this is more of a plea than a question. Are you going to perform in America at all? If so, please come near Wisconsin!

BrianMay: Angela: I'd love to go to Wisconsin. I will try and go if we can drum up the audience. The potential audience seems to be dwindling in the states though. The last tour I did in the states... how should I put this, I was kind of embarrassed for the band because of the size of the audience. If it's possible to go to the states I will be there

BrianMay: What were the best videos I've done? Can't really tell you.

BrianMay: The best thing of playing in South America was being taken out in an armoured car after the gigs - they'd stop everything for us.

Gianky1: Brian why you were dressed as a penguin on the back sleeve photos of the QUEEN (1st) album as like as the dress for "I'm going slightly mad"??? This is a question that many Queen fans want to know but nobody ever answered! Can you tell something about it?

BrianMay: gianky1: it was a whim - Now you know the answer

NealeF: What is your favourite London venue to play at (besides the Virgin Megastore of course)? Also, what is your favourite venue in the world to play?

BrianMay: nealf: My favourite London venue was the Hyde Park gig. It was out of this world - it was a kind of homecoming and we hadn't been accepted in London till then. it was brilliant to get the reaction we did from the fans. - one of my other favourite venues is the Albert Hall. it has a magic to it. - we'll be playing there this fall so try and get there.

BrianMay: What drives me? ha ha, the car joke? The Driven By You thing is not a joke, it's an aphorism. What drives me is just the search to find stuff that has never been found before. I just like to get up there and play things and just to see the reaction from the
audience. When it all comes to fruition is the moment you get up and play it live on stage

Petra: from Auckland: Where is your favourite holiday destination?

BrianMay: Hello petra! Wow I had a brilliant time in Auckland - I'd love to get back there. My favourite hols destination is a little island called Kourasaw in the Dutch Caribbean.

r-special1: Hi, Mr. May. This is Livia from Vienna. First thanks for your all the music you gave to us. How does your love to astronomy influence your music?

BrianMay: Would I have done anything different in my career? Like playing in SA during the height of apartheid? I could talk about this all night. Sanctions always hurt the poor, the weak, the children.

ittemie: Virve here, I´m from Finland and I would like to know that are you coming to any concert in Finland, at this summer, or next summer? I have waited that you would come here, because when you last time were at Finland, it was in 1974 and I weren't born yet then =(

Gambit: Brian May - question for you here. You said your influences were Jimi Hendrix and Beatles etc. Have you got any bands today that you like the sound of?

BrianMay: Hmm, Re the different influences in Another World. There were many different styles in it because I went where they lead me.

toyrx: Brian, do you have E-Mail and do you look at the Queen sites on the Internet?

BrianMay: Re playing the bass on my new album. I play because it's part of the writing process. I'm not as great as John Deacon, but I like it.

TvR would just like to say hello to Brian May..... " Hiya Brian.. "

Hoyerman: Brian, which song do you feel best shows the versatility of your Red Special guitar ( whether Queen or not)??

BrianMay: Re my project with Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. The project I did with him was perfect because he put so much sweat and enthusiasm in it. He knows that John Bonham and Cozy had what it takes - let's talk about Cozy

Gianky1: Will the song familiarly known as "Is everybody happy..." (recorded on 1987 and aired on a fan club convention) be released in the near future??? I find it lovely, what about your opinion?

BrianMay: Can I just say one thing before that. Can I say sorry to all the guys who queued up at Virgin Radio. They didn't make it known that I wasn't actually going to be there.

MLG: Do you miss Cozy and what will he most be remembered for?

BrianMay: Were any lefty red specials made? yes there were some unlicensed Japanese copies made. - strangely enough, I think Cozy had one. I may be wrong, but someone that I know requested one

GeneRex: Brian, Would Cozy and Mick Ronson make it into your all time best fun band? This is Gene here in the USA.

BrianMay: Hey GeneRex! It sure would be funny. There are so many good people in this business. Yesterday I was in Germany and did a TV show with Rick Parfitt. He's a great guy. I also have known the Quo guys for along time. They're great and should be afforded a lot more respect than they get. Everyone should see Quo. They are the best of their kind. And people will miss them when they're gone

Iomi: Are you a long time Black Sabbath fan?

BrianMay: Hello mr Iomi! I've known Tony from Black Sabbath for years and years and years - he's a brilliant guitar player and a human being of great substance.

BrianMay: What would I get rid of in the rubbish - any five things in the world, if I could - let's start with the millennium dome - why are we building this huge white elephant - it's full up with the millennium dome. - I think that we should build hospitals instead of the dome. - I work with a lot of charities and think that the money should be spent better helping those who need it.

AndyB: Have you ever considered biting the head off a live bat?

Sheri: What was the reason behind changing guitarists for the first Brian May Band tour from the guy who was with you in South America to Jamie Moses? I'm glad you did - Jamie's great!

BrianMay: Regarding new guitar players. We now have Jamie playing with us versus the guitar player we had in South America because we found him and that was it.

Loverboy: What do you think of the numerous tribute bands around? I hear you asked for your own copy of "Ga Ga"s CD?

BrianMay: Loverboy: I think queen tribute bands are great. however we have to keep them at arm's length other wise it could be too dangerous. Many of them are very good

Sheene: Hi Brian, this is Gary and Emma from Southend, we loved the t-shirts from the promo nights, how about BM clogs next time?

BrianMay: Gary, Emma: brilliant! - I love you.

BrianMay: If I joined the spice girls now that Geri has left... I'd just have to do what they do. I thought that they were all great and feel for them. I know what they've been through - it's very hard.

Doug: Brian. Something that I've always wanted to know that's been bugging me for ages... In the Magic Years video, there's an interlude where you are at the piano, in the studio recording One Vision, playing a lovely little piece. What is it??????

BrianMay: Doug: I think it was a song called Butterfly, I never released it. It's somewhere in the vaults. I don't play piano very often but I was taught it. It's good for helping to write songs.

Wolfgang: Wolfgang from Germany. Queen music is used a lot in TV adverts. What do you think of this and do you (i.e. members of the band) approve the products?

BrianMay: Wolfgang! We don't always approve products when Queen's music is used for their commercials. We can say no to some products and I think we said no to more than one smoking commercial. It's the same thing when people send us covers of our songs they've sampled. We've said no to some covers that people want to record.

TheGuvnor: You' ve been working over 20 years with Queen and as a solo artist and during these 20 years I'm sure you recorded a lot of songs ("Hangman"....) that never made it on an album. Then, there are a lot of live recordings, live videos and other "rarities". Can we expect anything to be released in the (near) future? Christian,Germany

BrianMay: Re Queen: There are no plans to release any Queen music that has not been previously released.

BrianMay: The good thing about technology is I can play the piano and record it into midi. and if there are mistakes, I can go back and correct them.

BlackQueen: My friend Drew would like you come up to Edinburgh for tea and scones and play guitar with you. Fancy it?

BrianMay: BlackQueen: sounds great, if I have any time in twenty years. thank you.

AndyB: Brian do you ever read any of the fanzines like POTU and Chronicle? (from Bev, please blow me a kiss))

BrianMay: Do I have any hidden hobbies? my big hobby is photography . I collect stereo photographs from the nineteenth century. - T.R. Williams is one of the photographers who I am trying to find photographs from... if anyone has any!

BrianMay: Bev: I'm gonna blow you a kiss!

AndyB: Can you play "harry palmer" :-)

BrianMay: The best way to start playing guitar? I'm hopeless at playing scales and don't know what modes are called. Instead try and be instinctive first and analytic afterwords, although it's good to study the theory of music.

AndyB: The most popular request we have had is "Tie Your Mother Down" - Any chance of a quick burst?

BrianMay: Gotta tune up before I can play any requests.

BrianMay: What age is good to start playing guitar? you can do it anytime.

BrianMay: Was the pose on the album cover done for yoga reasons? No, more for resting reasons

Freddie-vanter: Brian, can you tell us more about the secret instrumental track on Another World?

BrianMay: Am I a vegetarian? No, I'm just a person who doesn't eat meat.

BrianMay: It was the latter... I have enormous respect for Jimi Hendrix but when I played his music it I took it to another place .

MaNoPlaS2: Hi Brian! I'm from Spain. Now I'm working on a clone of Red Special, but I think that is very expensive now build a guitar in these days!!! What do you recommended, please. You are Incredible!!!

BrianMay: manoplas2: what do I recommend? I'd say get some help when making it. Ask people who understand woodwork, guitars and electronics. Always ask advice

BrianMay: Would I marry Marina from Italy? Let's talk about it. That's a very sweet offer, thank you.

Sue: What was your nickname at school?

BrianMay: Sue: My nicknames at school. I had lots. The best one that comes to mind is Brimay as it was the name of a box of matches at the time. I was also called 'you'.

BrianMay: Does "the queen of heaven" looking down on us refer to Freddie? Different things come to me at different times. So no, not directly. Lyrics come in different patterns. the queen of heaven is just the queen of heaven.

tweety: how do you make that 'floating wave sound-effect' you used in GET DOWN MAKE LOVE on LIVE KILLERS?? any chance of showing us?

BrianMay: Hello tweety! We had a special pedal made for the harmoniser.

Volker: Volker from Germany here (great show yesterday!) I would like to know what you are doing all day, I mean "normal" people are going to work/school during the day or doing the house work. Could you describe a usual "Brian May-day" ?

BrianMay: Hi Volker! My days are very chaotic. I talk to a lot of people on TV and radio and internet chats like this. There isn't really a typical day. The phone goes all day. I worry about my kids, where my lady is. I worry about Queen and at about 11pm I try and make some music. I like to go for a walk or swimming or in the garden when I can. It's a busy kind of life, but I guess I'm lucky.

ryvers: Please play or sing something from "breakthru", I'd like to dedicate it to the love of my life, Xav, because I wrote the lyrics on a valentine card to her...

Brazil: Do you play guitar in the bathroom?

BrianMay: Do I play guitar in the bathroom? No, because your fingers get soft. You can't do a lot of washing on tour because of that. You want to go in the steam bath to get your vocals sounding well, but you don't want your fingers to get soft.

BrianMay: How do I feel answering questions via a computer? It's ok, but I'd prefer to do my own typing. because my answers aren't totally coming through. In the future I'd rather do my own typing even if it is slow!

AndyB: One last important question I've been getting all night from Mark Please ask Cherry to marry me whilst playing the Wedding March from Flash

BrianMay: Ok Cherry if you're out there, you have to marry Mark. Just do it. You have to be careful of the Wedding March though because it has a bit of a death march in it.

BrianMay: One last chord for the road

AndyB: Rob Leedham is desperate for a lick from Bohemian Rhapsody (the bit that goes before "nothing really matters")

BrianMay: Thanks for the chat . bye!

AndyB would like to thank Brian on behalf of all the chatters here! Thanks a million for taking time out for us. Brian would like to chat live to you all...he is in the chat room now and on the keyboard!

AndyB says you can chat directly to Brian now..he is at the computer! (waits for deluge)

(There was far too much going on at this point, as the channel became unmoderated, so we've made vast edits and saved just the bits of Brian speaking, and a few other comments. Ed)

BrianMay: Hey!!!! OK, this is Brian typing - if I'd been a better typist I would've done it all this way......I really enjoyed talking to you all - it was a nice first stab at this kind of thing.....hopefully we'll improve things as we go along.........THANKS for being on-line!!!!!!!!!!!!!! loadsa love Bri

Binkzz: Brian!!!! Brian! next time you chat online, can i make you your own personal chatter? (no costs, no promo's no catches, and better organised then this)

BrianMay: TELL YOU WHAT.......(this is Brian speaking again.........) if you really want to know what was said in the ON-LINE segment - please check the VIRGIN web site. cause they have promised me they will publish a proper transcript of what went on.........

Binkzz: Brian, is it possible for you to stop by the official queen channel?

Renny: Brian, take your time some day and check out Queen Heaven at , okay? :)

Binkzz: Brian: do you want to come to the big queen party then?

BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI
BrianMay: .LOVE YO'ALL ------- BRI

Binkzz gives Brian a big big hug before he goes


AndyB would like to say that the prize winners will be notified via email this week

BrianMay: Brian has now left the building. thanks everyone for making this a special evening on Virgin Net. Byee!!!

Binkzz: Brian: I'll see you on the 11th!!!!!!!

r-special1: And thanks to poor AndyB! You deserved a beer (or some) :-)

(original source: Virgin Net)

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