Roger Taylor reveals why Freddie Mercury would never let Queen write political songs

Roger Taylor of Queen
(Image credit: Dave Simpson/WireImage)

In a recent interview, Roger Taylor has spoken about the difference between the music he makes as part of Queen, and his newly-released solo album Outsider. Within the conversation, Taylor reveals that where Outsider contains more politically-minded songs, Queen's material would typically refrain from commenting on social affairs – as the late frontman Freddie Mercury would never allow it.

Speaking to MusicRadar, the drummer explains, "I suppose the big difference between Queen and this album is that I’ve written a couple of what you might call ‘political' songs.

"That wasn’t something we really did as a band. It was a conscious choice. Right at the start – and you’ve got to remember that there was a lot of hardcore political stuff going on in the ‘70s – Freddie said, ‘Look, I don’t want to get involved in all that. I want to go round the world playing songs that people can enjoy.

"I’m not there to deliver a message.’ I still think that’s a pretty good way to look at it. I don’t want to get too… preachy.”

Although his solo work has allowed him to finally explore social topics, Taylor reveals that he still keeps Mercury's words in mind. “But I hope I’ve been able to stay on the right side of the fine line between rock music and politics" he says. "I hope I never get to the point where I’m poncing around on stage, pontificating about what’s wrong with the world. Freddie would never forgive me.”

Detailing a little behind his songwriting process and on how he decides whether a song is better suited for Queen or his solo projects, Taylor explains, "I don’t get up in the morning and think, ‘I’ll write a Queen song today,’ or ‘I’ll write a song for the new solo album’. 

"It’s only when the thing’s finished that I start to think about where a song will end up. For instance, with A Kind Of Magic, it was an obvious Queen song. Same with Radio Ga Ga."

Elsewhere in the interview, Taylor stated that he believes Adam Lambert "deserves the chance to record a Queen song". Revealing that writing a new Queen album could very well be a future possibility, he says "Will we ever do another Queen album? I don’t see why not.

“Touring with Adam has certainly given me and Brian a new lease of life, but we will only carry on if we can do it properly. Live shows need that energy and that fire. I don’t want to get to the point where I’m being wheeled out to play the encore.”

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.