Brian May Reflects On Freddie Mercury’s Widely Misunderstood Image

During a recent appearance on SiriusXM’s Debatable, Queen’s Brian May addressed the widely misunderstood image of Freddie Mercury as the diva leader of the band. May stated that contrary to what is supposed, Mercury was the one who held the group together.

Queen was known for their democratic environment while creating their music in Mercury’s lifetime. All four members would contribute to the songwriting process, vocals, and instruments. However, Freddie Mercury was always the one who stood out as the energetic frontman of the band. Thus, some naturally accepted him as the leader of the band and the creative genius behind the band’s success.

Although Mercury was the most visible member, he expressed that there was no leader in the group at every opportunity. He always stressed that he was just the band’s lead singer, and that was all. He would say that all four members had equal roles within the group. During his recent interview, Brian May also reflected on this misconceived image of Freddie Mercury by saying that the actual situation was the opposite.

The guitarist stated that Mercury was regarded as a self-centered man who would insist on what he wanted. However, he was, in fact, the one who held the band together. The musician also recalled Freddie’s words about not being the leader of the band and about the democratic atmosphere in the group.

He confirmed that what Mercury said was accurate. For him, all four members had the right to speak, so it would naturally cause some disagreements among them, but Mercury would always find a way to hold them together to keep creating new music. May thinks that they all owe the late frontman a lot in this regard.

Brian May speaking on the image of Freddie Mercury:

“I have to say, Freddie tends to have the image of being someone who’s like a diva and won’t compromise, but actually, Freddie was a wonderful force of coherence. If he was questioned in the interviews about being the leader of the band, he would always say, ‘No, I’m not the, I’m the lead singer, but we are a democracy.’

It was absolutely true. So very often, Roger and John would be pulling in opposite directions. Roger and myself always in opposite directions. Freddie would be able to find the sort of glue to make it still hang together. So I think we all owe Freddie a lot because of that, the catalyst that he was apart from being a great creator in his own right. He was part of the essential glue that made this very kind of rocky organization that managed to keep creating.”

You can listen to the full interview below.