Queen is almost unique as a band in that all four members individually wrote hit songs. In fact, all four were very distinct personalities with very strong creative drives and matching opinions. It made for a remarkable creative cauldron, but also provoked “terrible” fights. In a major new interview to promote the upcoming US stadium tour, May admitted it wasn’t just that notorious estrangement in the period before Live Aid, the band was “always” on the verge of breaking up.
May told Guitarworld: “The songs are the main pillar, but that’s a very complex area in itself. Those songs were generated during periods of stress.
“We were very fortunate to have a strong combination of personalities, but I think we were always on the verge of breaking up.
“Oddly enough, that’s where we got our strength, because we were pulling in different directions. We had four varied talents between us.”
Previously, May has described the band as “four painters with one canvas.”
In the new interview, he returns to the theme of the band as a “family” and says this what “made Freddie tick.”
Earlier this month in a major retrospective in Mojo Magazine, May expanded on the way the band had fought, even in their heyday.
May told Mojo: “There were lots of arguments about how much input everybody had. We were like four painters with a brush each but one canvas. There was conflict, but we got there.
“We had a family relationship. It wasn’t always nice, because families aren’t always nice. We sometimes said terrible things, but we got the best out of each other.”