Queen’s Brian May said he and Roger Taylor interact with Adam Lambert almost exactly the same way as they did with Freddie Mercury.

He also explained why their four-year stint with Paul Rodgers was an “experiment” that had to end.

Free and Bad Company singer Rodgers worked together from 2004 until 2009, the year they made their first appearance with Lambert. That led to the Queen + Adam Lambert era, which appears to have no end in sight.

“We had a fantastic time with Paul,” May told Guitar World in a recent interview. “He has his own style, which we integrated into the band. 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’ and all those things.”

He noted that "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.”

May said it had been a “different story” with Lambert. “Adam can do all the stuff that Freddie did and more," he said. "It doesn’t matter what you throw at Adam – he can do it. He can do ‘Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy,’ 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.”

The guitarist noted that Lambert didn’t think he was Mercury and wasn’t pretending to be him either. “But he has a parallel set of equipment,” he explained. “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."

Describing Lambert as a strong blend of style and content, May added that "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.” Queen + Adam Lambert launch their new tour next month. You can find ticket information here.

 

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