Queen Japanese Interview Translations Dec 23, 2020 4:40:40 GMT The Real Wizard, saintjiub, and 10 more like this
Post by deathtoming on Dec 23, 2020 4:40:40 GMT
An Exclusive Interview With Queen!
Music Life September 1975 issue
By Kaoruko Togo and Keiko Miyasaka
[Original text in Japanese, translation by me]
Around noon on July 14th, we left the hotel by car, and around two hours later we arrived at the beautiful Ridge Farm, surrounded by trees. We were blessed with clear skies on this day, and the blue sky and the greenery of the farm were almost blindingly beautiful. It was a bit past 2 o’clock. When we arrived in the main building, we were first greeted by a large dog, followed by a familiar voice from a room in the back. It was a large food hall, with Freddie, Brian, Roger, and John present.
When they see us, the four of them say, “Hello! You’re from Music Life, right? Welcome!” and greet us with handshakes. The four of them rented this Ridge Farm to focus solely on rehearsing for their next album. “We’re about to have lunch. Want to join us?” We knew we couldn’t work while hungry, so we accepted their offer with thanks. When the meal finished, we could begin our interview at last….
Music Life (ML): Are you in the middle of recording now?
Roger: No, we’re not recording yet. We’re all practising our new songs together. Once we practise them, we get an idea of how we should record them, I think.
ML: When do you think you’ll start recording?
Roger Maybe in about 3 weeks…
John: We might use Rockfield Studios in Wales.
ML: Do you always record there?
Roger: No, not really, although we did a bit of recording there for our third album, Sheer Heart Attack.
Freddie. We used around five studios to record that one. We’ll probably use several studios this time around, too.
ML: You’ll do a bit of recording in London, too, right?
Roger: Probably a little bit, yeah. We usually do our mixing in London.
Brian: But when we first record the backing track, it’s better to do it somewhere where we’re nice and settled, so it’s good to do it while we’re holed out in the studio. By doing that, we’re able to relax and do the recording.
ML: Can you tell us something about your upcoming album?
Freddie: Yeah, well we only have the rough framework at this point, but I think it will be our best work so far. We’re in the middle of creating the songs now.
Roger: Nothing has really come together yet, so it’s difficult to explain.
John: When we first came here we presented what songs we had written so far to each other, and we had about two albums’ worth, haha.
ML: I hear you’re heading to the US on tour soon.
John: Probably. Our manager is in the US now, and he’s apparently in talks with a bunch of people.
Freddie: We have to decide whether to record the album or go on tour in the US like we had decided during our previous tour.
ML: How long have you been working with your producer?
Freddie: His name is Roy Thomas Baker, and he’s been with us since our debut album.
Roger: We’re co-producing the album with him. Our next album will be with him, too.
ML: This Ridge Farm is such a beautiful place. How did you find it?
Roger: Our mixer, John Harris, found it. The owner often rents out this place to rock groups, apparently.
<At this point, an airplane flies overhead, making an extremely loud noise! Everyone shouts “Quiet!”>
ML: When you write your songs, do you do it individually?
Freddie: Yes, that’s right. Everyone writes their own songs in their own homes, and then brings it to places like this and we all work on it.
ML: How many songs will be on this album?
Freddie: I don’t know yet. Maybe around 12.
ML: When will it be released?
Freddie: That depends on a lot of things. But I want it out some time this year. It will probably be by the end of this year.
ML: What have you been up to since you came back from Japan?
Freddie: For several weeks, we kept on talking about our time in Japan, haha. We’d unwrap the presents we got from Japan. Please pass along our thanks to our fans in Japan, because we were really treated so kindly.
<An airplane makes another appearance. The four look up and protest again.>
ML: Is there anything that stands out in particular from your time in Japan?
Roger: Aside from the people we met, probably our final show in Tokyo. Something felt special. It was also our final show in Japan. The atmosphere was wonderful.
John: I also remember appearing in a kimono on stage for the first time in that concert.
ML: What about Japanese food?
Freddie: Like, tempura, haha. We went to a Japanese restaurant with our bodyguards in Japan. Oh that’s right, please send our regards to those bodyguards; we owe them a lot.
ML: What do you want to do the most the next time you’re in Japan?
Roger: I’m going to go shopping for sure, haha! Things like tape recorders and other things. Last time, Freddie bought lots of ceramics, and Brian and John bought cameras.
ML: Brian, you like cameras, don’t you?
Brian: Yeah, I do photography sometimes, and I have lots of other hobbies. Right now I’m really into audio.
ML: Since when have you been taking pictures?
Brian: Since quite a long time ago. But I only recently got a good camera. In England, cameras are so expensive.
ML: This is especially the case in Japan, but you have a lot of young girls for fans. What do you think about that?
Roger: It’s outstanding, haha! Japanese fans in particular give us lots of presents. We don’t get too many gifts from other countries, but it seems to be a part of the Japanese tradition.
ML: Among your young, female Japanese fans, there are some who say that Queen is their first encounter with rock music.
Freddie: That’s a good thing. It was really exciting when we were in Japan, and I think it was probably the same kind of atmosphere as it was for the Beatles in the ‘60s.
<The others chime in with comments like, “That’s really good!”>
ML: Were there any interesting gifts from Japan?
Brian: I received a lot of birthday gifts, so thank you very much to all of you for those presents. I received many works of art, and also things like dolls and traditional balls wrapped with beautiful string. We got lots of toys, too.
Roger: That ball with the string was hand-made, right? I got one, too.
<The plane flies by again, distressing the band.>
ML: In your free time, what kind of music do you listen to?
Roger: I’ve been listening to Led Zeppelin's first album.
Freddie: Lately, classical. Like, Chopin. Also things like Led Zeppelin and John Lennon.
ML: Freddie, you have a broad range of interests.
Freddie: Of course. I’ll listen to anything that I like. That said, there’s no artist whose album I’d buy as soon as it was released.
ML: Brian, what about you?
Brian: Pretty much the same as everyone else. I often listen to Led Zeppelin.
ML: There’s a place called “Rhye” in the lyrics for Lily of the Valley, but is that a real place in England?
Freddie: No, it’s a land from my imagination. It’s also mentioned in Seven Seas of Rhye, and I guess it’s like a fairy tale.
Roger: There is a place called “Rye” in England, although the spelling is different.
ML: Your songs’ lyrics seem to be influenced by classical poets.
Freddie: You’re referring to lyric poetry. I don’t think we’re influenced by that too much. Truthfully, I don’t have time to read. I just like expressing myself in that way. Those kinds of expressions are easier.
ML: Do the really passionate lyrics for love songs come from your personal experiences?
Roger: Ahhhh--!! Haha, yeah right! But I guess there’s, uh, a little bit of something in there.<Grinning> But Brian sometimes writes really passionate ones.
ML: She Makes Me is quite the song, isn’t it?
Brian: No, it’s not like that at all. <Acting quite bashfully> Although there are times when my personal experiences are expressed in song lyrics.
<The rest of the band hoot and holler at this!>
ML: The band does a good job recreating the sound from your records live on stage, don’t you?
Roger: We’re not trying to reproduce what you hear on the record exactly, though. Of course we want to produce a good sound, but on stage we also need to add an exciting mood to the quality of the sound. So that’s why it needs to be a little different from the album.
ML: Which do you like better, recording or performing live?
Freddie: I like both. They’re both interesting in their own ways.
ML: Do you use any special equipment on stage?
Roger: No, although Brian uses echo machines and such.
ML: Do you have a lighting technician?
Freddie: We do have one, but the band comes up with the idea, and our lighting guy -- his name is James Dann -- takes care of the rest. We’ve already come up with our next stage design and it’s going to be interesting.
<The plane flies by again. Everyone looks defeated.>
ML: Killer Queen was a big hit single; are hit singles important to you?
Roger: It’s not absolutely necessary. But we’ll keep on releasing singles. Of course we’ll only release ones we like, though.
ML: Which do you like better, singles or albums?
Freddie: Definitely albums! I think our music is geared more towards albums rather than singles.
Roger: Rather than releasing single after single, it’s better if there happens to be a song in the album that works well as a single, and we release it if the timing is right. It’s not good if we start thinking we need to release a single every 3 months.
John: On this upcoming album as well, we will record everything first, and then release something if it works well as a single. But we don’t particularly record only songs that would work as singles.
ML: Does it seem like you’ll have another song like Killer Queen?
Freddie: No, when Seven Seas of Rhye became a hit in England, the people at the record company wanted our next song to be like that, but we couldn’t do it. We go in the studio and record what we’re feeling at that time, and only after everything is finished do we decide as a group what to release as a single.
ML: So, you’re always looking for a new sound?
Freddie: It’s more interesting that way.
Roger: That’s why we come to places like this, and while we’re rehearsing we make a bunch of noise and form songs from that.
ML: Did someone serve as an inspiration for Killer Queen?
Roger: Freddie’s mom.
<Everyone bursts out laughing>
ML: Do you have plans for a British tour?
Roger: Yeah. Probably by the end of this year.
John: But first we need to record our album, and we don’t know what will come after.
ML: Which country’s fans do you like?
John: Japan’s, of course, haha!
Brian: <Speaking seriously> We were really surprised by the reaction of our Japanese fans. Honestly speaking, we didn’t realize it was at that level.
Roger: We thought there would be difficulties because of the language difference, but rock fans are the same around the world, in the end.
ML: Did you have a break after you came back from Japan?
John: Just a little. But we had lots of preparation to do, so it’s like we didn’t have a break.
ML: And uhh… now I’d like to ask about things outside of the music. It’s something Japanese fans want to know: when did you fall in love for the first time? What kind of person were they?
<Everyone reacts in horror, and they point at each other, with no one answering the question. Finally, Freddie speaks for the group.>
Freddie: Err… our first love is, of course, music, haha.
ML: Do you have any memories from when you were going to school?
Roger: I haaaaated school!
ML: What about you, Brian?
Brian: I went to an all boys school. I had no idea what girls were like, right up to when I graduated when I was 18. It was really a shock when I first got to know girls. But that’s the British school system for you. I was raised away from girls for so long that I was afraid to meet them.
Freddie: You’re still afraid of them, aren’t you? Haha. <This was a tough joke>
ML: Freddie, what subjects did you like in school?
Roger Oh, I know! ”Needlework”! <Everyone bursts out laughing>
Freddie: Art. I studied graphics and illustration at an art school for 3 years.
ML: What about sports?
Freddie: I did everything. Cricket, tennis…
ML: Do you still meet up with your friends from school?
Freddie: I often meet with around two of them.
ML: And, finally, are you married?
Roger: Japanese fans often want to know things like that, but I won’t say. <Roger winks mischievously.>
Freddie: We’re all single! But the Japanese girls have to find that out for themselves.
ML: Let’s get a message from each one of you to our readers…
[The messages were translated in print, but a recording of the messages was also put on a flexi disc that came with a special Queen edition of Music Life in October 1975, so I've included the audio instead.]
And with that, the friendly interview came to an end. We were fortunate that the band talked to us in a relaxed mood while bathing in the bright sun.
[Photographer Watal Asanuma took tons of pictures during this visit. You've probably seen them, with the band rehearsing in the barn, playing tennis, having tea, hanging around outside, etc.]
[Here are the two Music Life journalists with the band at Ridge Farm]