My Hero: Caleb Shomo on Freddie Mercury

© PR Brown

Caleb Shomo, of punk rockers Beartooth, waxes lyrical about his own favourite frontman.


If you’ve ever seen Beartooth mainman Caleb Shomo in full flight, you’ll know he’s a showman. Possibly even the kind who honed his chops landing scissor-kicks in front of a bedroom mirror… listening to flamboyant UK rockers Queen.

Before Beartooth hit the road in Europe from September 10-20 (followed by an extensive US tour in October) to plug their debut album Disgusting (Red Bull Records), Caleb tells us just why Queen’s Freddie Mercury was the ultimate frontman.

Beartooth frontman, Caleb Shomo.
Beartooth frontman, Caleb Shomo.

“When I was a kid – I think I was about nine or ten – I went on a family vacation. Someone brought a Queen DVD with them and put it on. It was a compilation of all their big live performances and videos. I remember watching and thinking it was some of the coolest music I’d ever heard. Things were a little different for me after that.

More than anything, Freddie’s voice stood out. The fact that he had such a range and could control it as well as he did is something few other singers could do. He almost used it as a weapon in the way he made people sing with him during shows. His voice was part of his stage presence. He could make people do almost anything with it. He got everyone involved – it’s what makes the performances at Wembley so fun to watch even now. I’ve tried to copy as much as I can but he’s on another level.”

“I know it seems obvious, but Bohemian Rhapsody really spoke to me. In terms of songwriting, it should make no sense at all but it flows really well. It’s their flagship song for a good reason. The audacity is still something to admire.

I think Queen are a great greatest-hits band. You forget how many huge songs they had until you hear them back to back. As a band, they were awesome, but it’s Freddie’s more personal, solo tracks I really adore. Like on Queen II, the song Nevermore shows his songwriting skills close-up. It’s only a minute long, but Freddie owns every second of it.”

“I know they’re going on tour again with Adam Lambert. Some people have an issue with that because it seems absurd to replace Freddie. But more power to them. I think people should think about it with a different mindset. It’s not Queen. It can’t be Queen without Freddie. It’s a couple of the guys who were in Queen with another dude playing the songs of Queen.

It could definitely get younger people into Queen, though. They’re a crucial band in music history so if that’s something that interests you, you should learn about them.”

Watch an exclusive clip of Beartooth recording the video of latest single, The Lines.

Beartooth's European tour in full

September 10 – Club Kamikaze, Mechelen, Belgium

September 11 – Comet, Berlin, Germany

September 12 – Elfer, Frankfurt, Germany

September 13 – Keller Klub, Stuttgart, Germany

September 14 – Batofar, Paris, France Batofar

September 16 – The Borderline, London, UK

September 17 – O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK

September 18 – The Cathouse, Glasgow, UK

September 19 – The Roadhouse, Manchester, UK

September 20 – The Cockpit, Leeds, UK

Want to experience the best of on the move? Get the app at