Queen’s Roger Taylor says band have ‘big tour’ plans for 2022
It is possible that Roger Taylor wrote his last song. If so, he’s okay with it. “Journey’s End” floats lightly, but there’s a dark vibe that’s woven throughout the track, which was first released in 2017 as a standalone song and mini-movie.
“His [about] The end is approaching, ”the Queen drummer said of the song that serves as the closing song on his new solo album, Outsider. “But in an optimistic way. You know, there’s nothing to fear. Don’t be afraid, basically. That’s it, really.”
Taylor grapples with feelings of mortality on Outsider, which is balanced by moments of light reflection, like in the rocker “More Kicks”, on the loud moments he shared with his bandmates in the 70s.
Recorded at home in Cornwall during the lockdown, the album is truly a solo affair. Taylor did most of the instruments himself, as he did in most of his solo work. He will play songs from the disc, as well as selected Queen favorites, during a brief date of 14 solo tour this month.
Taylor tells UCR how the album took shape and shares some updates from the “mothership” as he refers to his main concert.
What’s the latest on the Queen front?
After [my solo] tour, I will rest. Then we’ll have a big Queen tour next year. The mothership comes out, and I can’t wait. This is Europe. We would love to come back to the US because it’s so awesome. It works so well there, and everything is easier to organize. We release in May, June and July all over Europe. We’re going to do 10 big parties in London. Maybe 11. We look forward to it. Brian [May] and I can’t wait. I know Adam [Lambert] is also. It’s our next big outing. But we would love to come to America.
What is the general theme of these upcoming Queen dates?
We have some great new production that we’ve taken to Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. I think we’ll continue with this actual production, although the set list may change. In light of what happened, we’re definitely going to rethink the set list. But the old monumental hymns will be there.
Why do you think your solo material resonates so much with fans?
I wish I could answer it. If I had this recipe, I don’t know. Hope this resonates to some extent. Anything solo outside of what we call the ‘mothership’ has always been just my own individual chance to express myself individually. You can never really give an opinion within a group structure, because everyone has to think exactly the same thing about something. We always try to be non-partisan in the group, but you can say what you really like, as an individual.
You play guitar on Outsider. How did you first start playing it?
I tried to play guitar when I was about eight years old. My God, it’s hard, isn’t it? [Laughs] There was no tuition available, really. Then I found it easier on the drums. Like many others, I started with my mom’s pots and pans upside down and found the drums to be much easier. But I continued to play guitar because I love guitars. I collect guitars. These are wonderful things.
How did you connect with KT Tunstall for ‘We’re all trying to get by’?
He’s such a cool person too. I saw her a few years ago, about 15 years ago, live. She pioneered this curling technique that Ed Sheeran made very famous. He’s really good at it, but boy, she was doing that all those years ago, so he’s kind of a trailblazer. She is a good singer with a bold voice. So it was really a joy to see her sing with me on this song.
Watch the video “We are all trying to get by” by Roger Taylor and KT Tunstall
This track is completed by two different versions of “Gangsters Are Running the World”. Why did you split the song into two versions?
It’s a good description of how I actually saw it. With mermaids … for some reason we called it the “purple” version. I had the Detroit Purple gang in my head, although it really has nothing to do with the track. I just like the feel of the title. There is the more melodic version with slightly different lyrics, which precedes the [Tunstall] Track. I just thought, “Yeah, why not have two songs with the same title, but they’re very different songs.”
How does your cover of “The Clapping Song” by Shirley Ellis fit into the context of this overall album? It’s a lockdown record in a way, but it’s not fully anchored to it.
Yeah, I mean, I think you can’t keep moaning about a lockdown. That’s why I have things like “The Clapping Song”, which is very light, then “More Kicks”, which is a simple, heavy rock song in the old blues format, with a kind of panic. end. It’s a funny thing. Then I got some kind of miserable excuse, “” I know, I know, I know. “I was bad.
Which songs from the Queen catalog have you not had the opportunity to play live, solo or with Queen that you would like to discover?
I have to understand that when I start rehearsals! I have to see what works best for this awesome new band that we have formed. I would probably do “Radio Ga-Ga”. “I’m in love with my car” maybe. “Tenement Funster. There is a song on my last album called “Up” that kind of got skipped. We’ll take a look. I have to see what works. I want this to be a really fun tour and a very rock and roll tour.
Watch the UCR interview with Roger Taylor