Freddie Mercury - On inspiration and its source
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Freddie Mercury – His Life in his own Words [compiled by Greg Brooks and Simon Lupton]
I'm always thinking about the new songs I'm writing. I can't stop writing new songs. I have a lot of ideas bursting to get out. It comes instinctively. I just like to write nice little catchy tunes. It's just something that I have to keep doing, but I do enjoy it too. It's a kind of hobby in a funny way. It’s so rewarding in the end that you just want to keep doing it and explore different aspects of it to see how they turn out. It's like painting a picture. You have to step away from it to see what it's like.
As far as lyrics go, they’re difficult. I find them quite a task. My strongest point is melody content. I concentrate on that first, then the song structure, then the lyrics come after.
I write a song the way I feel it, and I'm always willing to learn. It's so much more interesting to write different types of songs rather than repeat the same formula. I seem to write songs that I don't think about much at the time, but which seem to sort of catch up on me, if you know what I mean, afterwards.
So I guess without knowing it, it's a sort of subconscious thing. I think most people write songs that are inside them.
No, I can get inspiration just sitting in the bath. I am one of those people. I don't need wildlife for inspiration. I'm not the kind of person who is generally inspired by a particular scene, or by art, as such although there was one example on Queen 11, with the song The Fairy Feller’s Masterstroke, where I was inspired by a painting I saw. That is very, very unusual for me. Being arty, or whatever, I go to art galleries a lot and I saw in the Tate Gallery this picture by Richard Dadd, who was a Victorian artist I liked. I was thoroughly inspired. I did a lot of research on it and what I tried to do was to put the words into my own kind of rhyme, but I was using his text, as it were, to depict the painting - what I thought I saw in it.
Inspiration strikes anywhere. It strikes when I'm least expecting it and it plays havoc with my sex life. Some of my songs have even come to me in bed. But I have to write it down there and then otherwise it's gone by morning. One night, when Mary [Austin) and I lived together, I woke up in the middle of the night and a song just wouldn't go away. I just had to sit down and write it, so I got up and dragged my piano over to the bedside so I could reach the keyboard. That didn't last long - she wouldn't put up with it. And I can't say I'm surprised.