Gold Meets... Brian May: Queen legend on how new album helped with loss of Freddie Mercury

3 September 2021, 15:55 | Updated: 19 September 2023, 13:26

Gold Meets... Brian May

By Tom Eames

Brian May released his debut solo album Back to the Light nearly 30 years ago, and he's unleashing it to the world once more after a period where its message seems more poignant than ever.

In a special new interview with Gold, the Queen legend opened up about how the album helped him move on from the "darkest" period of his life.

Back to the Light was first released in 1992, a year after the death of Freddie Mercury. It was also released after a period which saw the demise of Queen, divorce from his first wife, and the loss of his father Harold.

The album - containing the singles 'Driven By You' and 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' - has now been remastered and re-released.

Watch the full interview above.

Speaking about the album, Brian told James Bassam: "It’s been a strange journey for me, revisiting, because I went back and immersed myself in it completely.

Queen's Brian May speaks to Gold's James Bassam
Queen's Brian May speaks to Gold's James Bassam. Picture: Gold/Global

"But I was prepared for an experience of detachment. I thought, 'Well, this is a long time ago, and I’m older now, and wiser. So this is going to be like looking at myself as a boy'. But I didn’t have that experience at all.

Read more: Watch the stunning remastered video for Brian May's 'Too Much Love Will Kill You'

"When I got into it, it was just like I was back there. And I thought, 'I haven’t changed, really'. Life has changed. My situation has changed, and I’ve moved on. But inside, I’m still the same. I still have those hopes and fears and dreams that you hear on the album. I still have the blackness.

"I still have that need to look for the light, and try to overcome the obstacles in my way. So the journey of the album is absolutely my journey today. This means I stand by the album. I stand by Back to the Light as a testament of me at my ripe old age of whatever I am."

Brian May - Driven By You (Official Video)

On how the album was recorded in a tough time, Brian said: "One of the worst times in my life, and I was in a very black place.

Read more: Queen’s Brian May giving a tutorial on how to play ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is so soothing

"Losing Freddie, losing the band, losing my Dad, losing my marriage, and seemingly losing my children, which was an awful thing to face, and thank God I didn’t in the end. But, yeah, it was a very black time.

"And the album is all about finding your way out of the blackness, and looking for the light.

" I don’t think I could sing it like that now, probably. Not quite in the same way. But I pushed myself really hard, because I didn’t have Freddie anymore. I had to be the vehicle. I had to sing it. I had to make myself bleed."