Sunday, June 25, 2023

Queen’s Brian May introduces Star Fleet Project band lineup

Queen guitarist Brian May introduces the band members behind his 1983 EP, “Star Fleet Project”, in the second episode of a new video series about the package ahead of its expanded 40th anniversary reissue next month.

Having acted on impulse during some downtime from Queen’s schedule, May recruited Edward Van Halen, bassist Phil Chen, drummer Alan Gratzer, and keyboardist Fred Mandel to join him in the studio for a couple of days at The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA.

“Ed Van Halen was a phenomenon and I guess that hardly needs saying,” explains May, while referring to Chen as “a great character. He’s Jamaican extraction. I think he was born in Britain – full of sunshine – full of life. And as a bass player full of kind of tautness, and humour. He played with great kind of panache.”

May recalls REO Speedwagon rocker Gratzer, as hitting the drums “pretty much harder than anyone I’ve ever known. He hits them with big, fat oak sticks. I think they’re oak, turned the wrong way around, so he’s hitting this… drums with a big part of the stick, as opposed to holding the fat part”, while describing Mandel as “a character. Fred is a one-off stand-up comedian who just happens to be a virtuoso keyboard player. You know, he’s never switched off. It’s kind of like the life and soul of a recording session – and he was.”

The five-piece appeared on the 3-track “mini-album” (aka an EP) under the banner of Brian May + Friends; the set’s title track was inspired by the Queen rocker’s hard rock re-imagining of the signature tune from the Japanese-made kid's science fiction series of the same name.

Due July 17, and billed as “Star Fleet Sessions”, the 40th anniversary reissue delivers an extensively revisited and expanded box set edition of the legendary sessions, with 2023 remixes of the original three songs and a new single version of the title track alongside interviews and live recordings from the era - plus 23 tracks of previously-unreleased material.

Pick up your copy of the single here.

See also:

Queen reimagine We Will Rock You on The Greatest Live
Queen’s Brian May reveals origins of Star Fleet Project ahead of 40th anniversary reissue
Queen adapt songs for the concert stage on The Greatest Live
Queen’s Brian May announces expanded Star Fleet Project reissue ft. Eddie Van Halen
Search Queen at hennemusic