Brian May Says He Had To Work On His Voice After Losing Freddie Mercury

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Queen’s Brian May recently talked to Goldmine Magazine about the latest reissue of his first solo album ‘Back to the Light.’ The guitarist stated that he had never considered creating an instrumental album because he preferred having vocals in a song. However, this posed a challenge since May didn’t have Mercury anymore.

Brian May rose to prominence with his songwriting and guitar skills as a member of Queen until Mercury passed away in 1991. His legacy lived through Queen, but the band members also established their own paths and projects after that. Brian May thought about Mercury’s passing when his illness started getting worse, but he didn’t stop writing songs. He got Mercury’s blessing to continue making music even after he died, and so, that’s what he did.

A couple of months after the saddening death of Mercury, May released his first studio album ‘Back to the Light’ and took the first step as a solo artist. Already known for his guitar skills with Queen, he also showed his vocal talents in this album. He was expected to create an instrumental album, but instead, he went in a new direction.

In his recent interview, he stated that to be a good vocalist, he had to train his voice like a muscle and push himself harder at each exercise. As he was obsessed with songs and believed that vocals make songs special, so he never considered doing an instrumental album. Brian added that he would record his vocals first, and then it would take him around five minutes to do the instrumentals.

Brian May talked about training his voice by stating:

“I’ve always been obsessed with songs, and songs to me are about singers. And about the vocals. So, no, I didn’t want to make an instrumental album. It wasn’t what I wanted. And all I had was me. I didn’t have Freddie anymore. I didn’t have anybody else there.

So I just pushed myself as hard as I could push myself when I would go in the studio day after day; try and exercise the voice like a muscle and sing harder and higher and with more depth and more passion. Just see what I could get out of my body. So. yeah, that was the fundamental thing. I did the instrumentals in five minutes later on.”

Mercury’s blessing came when May showed him the track ‘Driven By You’ before he passed away as a possible Queen song. However, Mercury insisted he move forward with it by himself as he won’t be around much longer. Aside from its sentimental value, ‘Back to the Light’ was a hit during its time, peaking at No. 6 on the UK albums chart and No. 159 in US Billboard 200. May released a reissue last August as part of the Brian May Gold Series.

You can listen to the reissue of ‘Back to the Light’ through Spotify below.