Freddie Mercury’s Tactic To Manipulate The Audience, Queen Archive Reveals

The latest episode of Queen’s ‘The Greatest Live’ series on YouTube showed Freddie Mercury sharing his thoughts on stage performances during an old interview. The late singer’s words about his band’s live shows included some points about the Punk movement’s approach to crowded audiences.

Mercury first explained his relationship with the audience by saying:

“I have to win them over. Otherwise, it’s not a successful gig. It’s my job to make sure that I win them over and make them feel that they’ve had a good time. That’s part of my role. That’s part of my duty that I have to do. This sort of cliché of saying that, ‘You have them eating from the palm of your hand’ – I just feel the quicker I do that, the better because then I feel that I can manipulate them or whatever, but it’s all to do with me feeling in control so that I know that it’s all going well.”

During some shows, the late Queen vocalist directly interacted with his audience by getting their attention with tricks like ‘Ay-Oh!’ and even got 80,000 people to join his performance at Live Aid in 1985. While Mercury said he preferred that kind of a show to ‘sitting on a stool,’ he also didn’t believe in Punk bands’ wish for smaller crowds:

“I think everybody that wants to be successful and is successful; I don’t care what they say, they’re not going to say – I know there was a fashion, there was a trend earlier, a few years ago, with the punk movement or whatever. They said, ‘We want to play to the small audiences because we’re being intimate and all that.’ A load of rubbish!”

The singer went on to explain his taste for bigger audiences:

“Everybody who wants to be a star wants to play the biggest audience inside them, and I’m not afraid to speak that out. Everybody wants to play to the biggest audiences ever. I want to play it to as many people as I can. The more the merrier, you know. Because my music is not channeled into any category, I want everybody to listen to it. I don’t write music for just the Japanese or the Germans. It’s for everybody. Music is limitless.”

Saying he wanted his music to be heard by many people, he added:

“And I’m not an elitist or whatever. They say, ‘I only want my songs to be heard by a certain intelligent quota.’ I just want everybody because music is for everybody. It’s an international language, and that’s where it is. So, as far as I’m concerned, I’d like the whole world to listen to my music. I want anybody and everybody to come and listen to me and look at me when I’m playing.”

You can watch Freddie Mercury’s interview in the video below.