Brian May

In a new interview with Guitar World, Brian May spoke about the experience of having legendary singer Paul Rodgers front QUEEN between 2004 and 2009 and how it compares to working with Adam Lambert.

He said: “They’re both great, of course. We had a fantastic time with Paul. He has his own style, which we integrated into the band. But what happened was, there was a meeting point where we wanted to go deeply into his music — we were influenced by it in the first place. For me, it was a joy to play ‘All Right Now’‘Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love’ and all those things.

May continued: “It became difficult as time went on, though. We would play South America, where people didn’t know that music, so we played more QUEEN songs. Paul dealt with it well, but I think it was hard for him to abandon a lot of his material. We really enjoyed it as an experiment, but as an experiment it had… limits. Eventually, we thought, ‘It’s probably gone as far as it can. Paul needs to get back to his own career.’ Because he couldn’t just go on being the frontman of QUEEN. By mutual agreement, we thought, ‘That’s it.’

He added: “Now, with Adam, it’s a different story, because Adam can do all the stuff that Freddie [Mercury] did and more. It doesn’t matter what you throw at Adam — he can do it. He can do ‘Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy’ [from 1976’s ‘A Day At The Races’], which we wouldn’t dream of throwing at Paul Rodgers, because it just wouldn’t work. With Adam, it’s a different kettle of fish.

“He’s a born exhibitionist. He’s not Freddie, and he’s not pretending to be him, but he has a parallel set of equipment. He knows how to deal with an audience. He teases and taunts an audience quite naturally, without thinking about it. He loves to dress up. Although Paul did dress up a bit for us. We got a lot of sequins on him. [Laughs]

Adam lives and breathes that stuff,” Brian added. “Adam is style, and that’s not to say he’s not content as well. He’s a born rock star and frontman, so it’s a very vibrant relationship we have with him. We treat Adam exactly the same as we treated Freddie in almost every way.”