IN A BRAND NEW INTERVIEW in the latest issue of MOJO magazine, Queen drummer Roger Taylor addresses the troubled pre-production of the much-delayed Freddie Mercury biopic. “I thought the music business was slow,” Taylor tells MOJO’s Mark Blake, “but this has been like swimming in treacle.”
Outstanding issues include the casting of a Freddie, since Borat/Ali G actor Sacha Baron Cohen quit the project in July, citing “creative differences”.
“We felt Sacha probably wasn’t right in the end.”
“I don’t want to talk about the Sacha thing,” says Taylor, before having his arm twisted a bit. “We felt Sacha probably wasn’t right in the end. We didn’t want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved.”
Elsewhere, in an extensive and entertaining interview heralding the October 28 release of Taylor’s fifth solo album – Fun On Earth – he reveals his mixed feelings about the long–running Queen musical We Will Rock You.
“The story is... (long pause) slightly crass,” he concedes. “But I think it has its good points. I do have an aversion to musical theatre, so it hasn’t been easy.”
Finally, Taylor warns fans that they shouldn’t wait up for the long-mooted release of collaborative material featuring Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson.
“Freddie and Michael never finished the songs, because Queen had to leave LA to go on tour. Brian [May] and I had worked on them, which means they’ll come out as Queen And Michael Jackson – hopefully… If the Michael Jackson estate can get its arse into gear.”
Read more loose-lipped disclosures from the Queen drummer in the latest issue of MOJO, on UK shelves Tuesday.