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University Radio Bath

Roger Taylor in conversation with Hayden Tenant Smith
backstage at Cardiff University.

Hayden Tenant Smith: I spoke to Roger Taylor, the drummer of Queen. Who has formed a new band called The Cross, in which he plays lead guitar and lead vocals. After the release of the debut album, he’s currently on tour and I spoke to him backstage at Cardiff. But first, the title track from their album – this is “Shove It!”

SHOVE IT!

Hayden Tenant Smith: Well first off, congratulations on the album. Are you pleased with it?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Erm, yes I think so. I’ve got a bit of a cold at the moment so erm…there’s this bug going around on the tour. But yes, I’m pleased with the album. I think it’s actually selling better in other countries than it is in England, but there you go. There’s a large mountain of scepticism we have to climb over, before The Cross is accepted as a band in its own right.

Hayden Tenant Smith: How much Roger Taylor is in the album and how much is aimed at the record buyer?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Well, obviously when you make a record you hope that lot’s of people are going to buy it I suppose. It wasn’t really aimed at any particular market, the fact was, and it was a band album. So that’s just the way it’s turned out. So it really wasn’t planned to be in any particular way.

Hayden Tenant Smith: When you’re writing a song, do you think ‘Oh that’s good – I’ll save it for Queen’, or do you write specifically for The Cross?

Roger Meddows Taylor: No, I’m not one of these people who’s got a million songs written. Really, if I come up with an idea for a song, I’ll use it on whatever I’m actually doing at the time. Whatever that happens to be, whether it’s The Cross or Queen – if it’s suitable for either. So I don’t specifically write for one or the other now. I don’t save all the good stuff for Queen neither [Laughs].

STAND UP FOR LOVE

Hayden Tenant Smith: Is there going to be another Cross album or another Roger Taylor album?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Oh I don’t think so. It depends if The Cross stay together for a long time, which I hope they will. I’m really proud of the band and they’re coming on great. Considering these are the first series of shows that we’ve ever done. I think the standard of the show and the musicianship is high and it works really well as a band. So no, we’ve actually started recording on new material, which will be on the second album.

Hayden Tenant Smith: I saw the gig in Manchester, which was superb…

Roger Meddows Taylor: Thanks very much.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Are you pleased with how it’s going?

Roger Meddows Taylor: I’m very pleased, this is the most enjoyable thing and very tiring and exhaustible thing I’ve done in a long time. It’s just as exhausting as touring with Queen in a way. Except this, there’s a lot of responsibility on my back I suppose. Yes it’s great fun.

Hayden Tenant Smith: How does it feel being at the front of the band, rather than hiding away behind a drum kit?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Well, I never really hid behind it anyway…

Hayden Tenant Smith: You were a long way back from the edge of the stage.

Roger Meddows Taylor: Yeah it was a long way back and it’s very different, I’ve sort of getting used to it now. It’s a bit odd at first I’ll admit.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Do you find it more nerve wracking?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Strange enough, I don’t. But I’m not as out going as Freddie.

Hayden Tenant Smith: When you practice your stage act, do you think ‘Oh I mustn’t do that, as it looks like something that Freddie would do’?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Not at all because I don’t think it looks like anything he’d do anyway. So, no, never ever – it never entered my head.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Have you been purposely making to look not like what he’d do?

Roger Meddows Taylor: No, not at all.

I’M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR

Hayden Tenant Smith: Do you mind if we talk about Queen for a moment?

Roger Meddows Taylor: No, not at all.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Have you started on a new album yet?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Yeah, we spent the whole of January in the studio and have been recording the first parts of the new album. So far there’s twenty two songs and it’ll be the best album that Queen have done in ten years, easily.

Hayden Tenant Smith: What sort of style?

Roger Meddows Taylor: It’s more back to the old style. I mean it’s almost like echoes of Led Zeppelin and everything in there. It’s great and it’s all live in the studio, which is great. It gives it more spark and energy I think. No machines…

Hayden Tenant Smith: Any synths on it?

Roger Meddows Taylor: No, not yet no. So far we haven’t time to do over dubs anyway, so there’s little synthesizer on it actually. It’s basically bass, guitar and drums with some piano.

Hayden Tenant Smith: When are people going to see that in the shops then?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Not before the end of the year, later on in the year definitely.

LOVE LIES BLEEDING

Hayden Tenant Smith: I then asked Roger, at the completion of the Queen album, would there be a mega Queen tour to follow it?

Roger Meddows Taylor: I don’t know, I really don’t know and that’s the truth.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Do you think Queen can top the previous tour? Or would they want to?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Very difficult, as it was the biggest tour we’ve ever done in Europe by far. I don’t think we’d want to top it, we’d just want to do a tour with a slightly different stage act. If we did play again, so… I dunno, I can’t really answer that.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Would you consider perhaps going back to the smaller venues again?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Maybe, it would depend on what time of year we went out. I like playing in large indoor venues, I quite like playing indoors really. But the outdoor ones are great, as it’s such an impressive spectacle.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Have you any news of the other members of the bands solo projects?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Brian is starting something of his own right now. John isn’t doing anything much at the moment, he’s writing for the new Queen album obviously. Freddie’s finishing his album with Montserrat Caballe.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Does it look like the Brian May and Anita Dobson album…is that ever going to appear?

Roger Meddows Taylor: Will it appear? I suppose it will at some point, yeah. [Laughs]

Hayden Tenant Smith: John was working on a soundtrack or something, wasn’t he?

Roger Meddows Taylor: No, I don’t think so.

Hayden Tenant Smith: It said in the fan club magazine something about him working on a soundtrack. But there was no more news about it.

Roger Meddows Taylor: Oh hang on, maybe he was… I dunno. He came up and saw The Cross the other night, we had a good night. But he didn’t mention it if he is. But you never know with John do you?

Hayden Tenant Smith: Are any of you going to the convention in April?

Roger Meddows Taylor: I won’t be there because The Cross are going to be touring in Germany. So I’m afraid I won’t be there, no.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Would you like to be there? Do you think you’d get mobbed?

Roger Meddows Taylor: I don’t know. I think it would get a little out of hand. It seems to go pretty well without us actually.

Hayden Tenant Smith: Well Roger Taylor, thank you very much.

Roger Meddows Taylor: It’s been a pleasure.

COWBOYS AND INDIANS

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