FAST TRACKS: Louis XIV pays homage to Queen

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

WHEN glammy scuzz-rockers Louis XIV needed to accurately capture the sound of Brian May's guitar for their version of Queen's theme to "Flash Gordon," they went straight to the source: They used the actual Eventide phaser pedal that May played on the original version.

"We will definitely be overusing it on our future recordings," said singer-guitarist Brian Karscig. "Anything that has to do with Queen, our band would jump on."

Louis XIV's recording is the theme music to the Sci Fi Channel's redux of the "Flash Gordon" series, and shows up on their new EP "The Distances From Everyone to You." It stays pretty true to the original's massive falsettos and lead-foot stereo panning.

Rock bands are growing ever more ambitious about recapturing Queen's arena-ready bombast. But even Karscig, whose band plays the Troubadour on Sept. 22, wonders what younger fans will make of the exceptionally tawdry Louis XIV playing such a devoted ode to a dude.

"When I was arranging it on piano, my girlfriend asked me if it was a gay love song," Karscig said. "I got made fun of in high school for my super-high voice, but now it's cool to sound like Freddie Mercury."

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