What happens when you mix a really gay rock star’s musical anthems and love of unitards with a traditional Swedish pastime? The Freddie Mercury Choir! But this isn't nutless little angels doing high-range octave renditions of fruity songs about riding bicycles, this is somewhat tone-deaf adults warbling in front of an Army museum for fans who're old enough to have heard these tunes live the first time around. We caught up with Linnea Hansander, one of the ensemble’s masterminds, after the choir’s coming-out performance.
Vice: There are a lot of good dead singers in the world—a certain child-loving pop star comes to mind—so why did you choose to cover a guy whose real name was actually Farrokh?
Linnea Hansander: Freddie is such an icon and a symbol of something that we need in the world. He had a great rock star presence in the world and at the same time, sensitivity. Everything clashed. We just like him and he’s our role model.
What’s with the costumes?
The idea was for everyone to be his or her own section of Freddie, the embodiment of what each sees in him. Some people were part of his entourage and some tried to actually be him.
There were several Freddies performing at once.
Yeah, another part of why we made his music into a choir is because he’s so solo. We think it’s a great idea to turn a solo artist into a choir. We wanted everyone to have his or her own show going on.
Does the choir practice in a church?
We practice twice a week. Our public performance was actually the first time everyone was able to sing together, though, since everyone has jobs and stuff. We practice in parks and cellars.
In high and low places, just as Freddie would've liked it. He's great.
He was so good at singing—his vocal range was four octaves and he had no formal voice training. He was a gifted genius like Mozart. Plus his singing matched his presence and style so well.
He very well may have been the sexiest man in the world. Would you agree?
Definitely. He’s the one because he’s where everything meets. Where super gay meets super sensitive meets super rock star. He’s the center of everything a person could be.