Interviewer: Cameron Edney - http://insideout666.mysite.freeserve.com
For almost twenty-five years now Seattleís hard hitting rockers Queensryche have been entertaining audiences across the globe. The band recently released their sequel to the ever so popular smash hit album ëOperation Mindcrimeí, which no doubt put Queensryche on the metal map during the eighties. Almost twenty years on ëOperation Mindcrime IIí has finally been released and Queensryche have once again found themselves on top with another fantastic concept album that has been praised by fans and critics worldwide. For many fans this album has long been anticipated and no doubt it was worth the wait. The band recently made their first ever trek to Australia to perform sold out shows for fans who have waited far too long to see their idols, playing a selection of track from both Mindcrime albums among other hit Queensryche classics. I recently caught up with legendary vocalist Geoff Tate to discuss the bands time in Australia, the latest Mindcrime album, the North American Tour, working with Ronnie James Dio again and much more. Here is my verbal evolution with Geoff Tate.
Metal Fanatix: Hi Geoff how’s
Geoff Tate: Hey Cameron, it’s
just slammin' right now, we’ve got the north American tour beginning
in a couple of days and there’s tons of stuff to do and not
enough time in the day to do it all [laughs]. Things have been really
good though, we are moving gear today down into a theatre so we can
continue our rehearsals down there.
Metal Fanatix: Mate, I want to thank
you for putting some time aside this afternoon to speak with me, let’s
jump straight into it mate. Congratulations on the success you guys
have had already with Operation Mindcrime II. Both fans and critics
around the world have praised the album since its release. No doubt
you guys were happy with the outcome?
Geoff Tate: Yeah, well it’s been
a labor of love doin' that record. Its got a long history, originally
we were going to release it after the ‘Empire’ album back
in 1993-94 but the project got put on the backburner and we released
a few albums in place of that and its good to finally get into it,
get it done and get it out of our systems finally [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]. Listening to
the album a few months on now from its release is their anything you
would have liked to have done differently?
Geoff Tate: No, I don’t think
I would have changed too much about it, I’m really happy with
the way it turned out. It was an eighteen month long recording process
in itself so we thought a lot about all the aspects of it and all
the music was really planned out and very inspired too. We were all
operating on a full engine.
Metal Fanatix: You guys produced the
new album along side Jason Slater, you guys could have done the album
yourselves or you could have worked with any producer in the world,
why was Jason the right choice?
Geoff Tate: Well, he was just there
at the right time. He was in a band that opened up for us on a tour
we were on and he and I just hit it off and we started writing songs
together and talking about music and we really shared a lot of similar
attitudes towards music that we all loved and he just fit in well
with the organization. Everybody liked him and that’s a big
plus right there, to be able to fit in to an organization that’s
been a round as long as Queensryche. He actually kind of planted the
bug in my ear and said at one point when we were on tour “when
are you gonna finish the sequel to Mindcrime”? That got me thinking
about it and before I knew it we were into it.
Metal Fanatix: Geoff, tell us, what
was the atmosphere like entering the studio for the first time knowing
you guys were walking in to record the send up to such an iconic concept
Geoff Tate: Well it was definitely a
challenge, it had to be good. It had to be intense. First and foremost
it had to fit the story. The music had to really get the story across
and be reminiscent that the first Mindcrime stuff fitted. Everybody
was taking it very seriously there were lots of times spent sitting
in the studios just talking about ideas and mapping out how we were
going to do it, comparing notes. Something’s coming back to
the drawing boards and other things just fell into place. It was really
a challenging record to make.
Metal Fanatix: I would imagine writing
for a concept album would be much more difficult then just penning
10 – 15 songs, After all these years of writing and recording
how do you constantly come up with new fresh sounding material without
falling into the trap a lot of other bands do by repeating themselves?
Geoff Tate: We’re very critical
[laughs]. Yeah, it’s gotta be inspired music for us to continue
with an idea. We have a huge library of various ideas and pieces of
music that we’ve never used and some pieces we have come back
and used and other things are just sitting there. Something’s
just get tossed aside and never get worked on again. And it’s
kinda good though because you need to be very critical about what
you do I think, to a point and then you have to let it go. That’s
always a ritualistic moment when we listen back to the playback to
the record and there’s nothing we can add to it and nothing
we can take away. Everybody looks at each other and says ok is that
it? Is that the record? And sometimes it takes weeks to go through
that process [laughs]. Someone will come back in and say “ya
know I’m not really happy with that bass part”.
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: So then we will go back
in and cut the bass again get what we like and sometimes it really
does take a while to get it so that everybody is happy, because once
you make a recording it’s there forever and you can of course
augment it live and change some things around but the record is there
forever and you want to make sure that it represents you in the best
way possible as a musician.
Metal Fanatix: With the writing process
how does it work with you guys, do you come up with the music first,
or it is based around lyrics, do you all sit around a table screaming
at each other [laughs]?
Geoff Tate: Well yeah it’s kind
of all of the above [laughs]. For this particular record being that
it’s a story we started with the story and I set the story into
an outline form and mapped out each scene that represented the songs.
For instance we’d all be sitting in the studio and I’d
say during this chase scene we need to have a real up tempo track
and it needs to have a lot of excitement to it and it needs to build
to a climax, there’s a car crash and we need to take the listener
on the ride. So I’d paint the picture for them and then everybody
tossed around ideas and something’s would stick and we’d
record those and other pieces we would toss to the side. It’s
a pain staking process trying to find the right combination of riffs
and melodies and rhythms.
Metal Fanatix: I actually read in a
recent interview that you said you would like to see the Mindcrime
concept in a movie form, has there been any updates on that situation,
has anyone jumped on board?
Geoff Tate: Funny you should mention
that, what really got the ball rolling on this record is I met a guy
named Jeff who represents screenwriters in Hollywood and he cornered
me backstage at a show and said “I’d really like to do
a screenplay of Mindcrime, what do you think about writing it”?
I turned to him and said “I think that’s out of my skills,
I’d really need some help, do you know anybody”? Jeff
gave me a list of different screenwriters and I read there work and
out of that list I picked three guys that I sat down with individually.
We talked about the project and I chose the one that I felt the best
about, and his name is Mark Sheppard.
Mark and I spent about six or eight months developing the screenplay
for Mindcrime and it was finished around Christmas time. Jeff has
taken it and passed it around Hollywood, and now we have the green
light on the development of it. It’s in that stage right now
that in movie terms means that it could be next year, it could be
three years, it could be five years you never know.
Metal Fanatix: That’s awesome
news. I wanted to talk to you about Ronnie James Dio’s involvement
on Operation Mindcrime II, from all the people you have worked with
over the years why did you want Ronnie to be apart of the album?
Geoff Tate: Ronnie Dio is a legend amongst
singers. I had written the song ‘Chased’ which is the
point in the story where Dr. X and Nikki meet each other after many
years and Nikki is chasing him through the streets to the city riding
a motorcycle and Dr. X is in a limo, and they are having a conversation
via cell phone back and forth. I’d written the song and after
I’d finished it I was patting myself on the back for being cleaver
and then the horror struck me, “Who am I going to get to play
this part”? I was thinking that there are not many guys that
can sing that and out of those guys there even less who could deliver
it with intensity and the authority that the character required and
Ronnie’s name just popped into my head. I had his cell number
so I called him up and told him I was doing the Mindcrime II.
I explained the whole story to Ronnie then I played him the song over
the phone. He was very intrigued with it and he said “Well Geoff,
I’d like to say yes right off the bat, but I really need to
hear it in my studio and see if it’s something I can really
wrap my head around”. About a week later he called me back and
said “I’m in, I really wanna do this, let’s set
So Ronnie came up to San Francisco a couple of weeks later where we
were recording and man what a pleasure it was working with the guy.
He’s just a professional musician, he’s not just a great
singer he’s a player to, Ronnie plays bass and he understands
music, you don’t have to dumb down to deal with him, he’s
really fast and quick to work with. The only really tough part was
on my end, I had to record him and produce him and how do you ask
a legend to do this and that [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] That’s
a good point, Ronnie is one of a handful of guys that is looked up
to by most metal bands and fans and to be his boss for a day would
be surreal to say the least.
Geoff Tate: After he gave us several
takes, and he was very gracious about it. It was really difficult
to pick which was the best one because there were so many great ones.
It was really great working with him and we have made plans to work
together again in the future so hopefully that will happen.
Metal Fanatix: Geoff I want to talk
to you about life on the road, only a matter of weeks ago you guys
played your first ever Australian shows, how did the Aussie crowds
compare to the rest of the world?
Geoff Tate: It was very pleasing to
play in Australia, the fans were incredible. It’s always a pleasure
after many years of touring to go to someplace new. To discover a
new city, to meet the people, learn the culture and the habit, all
the little things you have no idea of until you go there. We were
all just amazed with the generosity of the fans and how they really
help you as a performer to perform at your best. Sometimes you go
to a venue and the audience is just like a spectator audience where
they’re not really involved and they kinda sit back like they’re
watching a TV Program. The Australian audience give you back so much
passion and energy when you play that you find yourself performing
above your normal capacity, which makes for a much better show all
around. I’m really looking forward to coming back, I fell in
love with the country and the landscape and the environment and the
general attitude of the people in Australia. Everyone I met seemed
very happy to be there, happy to be alive, happy to be Australian.
There are a lot of places I have been to where people are just walking
around in a bad mood but not in Australia it’s like everyone’s
Metal Fanatix: Yeah we all have that
she’ll be right attitude!
Geoff Tate: [Laughs] yeah!
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] Why did it take
you guys so long to finally play here?
Geoff Tate: Ya know, there are a lot
of places that we have never played! It’s not really a big decision
on the bands part, its more finding a promoter who is willing to put
in the money to bring you down and who feels they can sell your show.
You have to find somebody who is in the right mind or is interested
in the type of music you do. So it’s really more about building
business relationships. Over the years we could never come into contact
with any promoters that we felt understood what we were doing and
who was willing to bring us down until recently and now that we’re
there, we’re definitely coming back.
Metal Fanatix: That is fantastic news
Geoff; it’s unfortunate that you guys didn’t get to spend
a little more time down here. Did you get to see many of the sites?
Geoff Tate: Very little because of the
time that we were there, our front of house soundman is actually Australian.
His names Matt West and he’s from Perth. Matt was showing us
around the various cities and he was giving us a lot of insight, we
definitely want to come back and explore, we met some people that
want to take us in next time and do a few side trips. Next time we
come down we will stay a little longer and have some days off so we
Metal Fanatix: I recently read in the
news section of your official site that the band was arrested at Amsterdam’s
airport for smuggling illegal firearms, can you tell us what happened?
Geoff Tate: No comment [laughs]
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: I should say that nothing
bad happened which is good. We use firearms in our show they’re
replica handguns. We were booking our fights at the ticket counter
and I said to our tour manager “Adam, remember we’ve got
this gun in our suitcase, you might want to tell them about that because
it’s gonna be checked”. He said “Oh yeah”
and he turned to the girl at the counter and said “um, not to
worry but in the suitcase we have a gun”
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: Before he could explain
that it was a replica, she had hit an alarm and all the cops in the
airport came running down. Adam knew that we were on our way to a
gig and he didn’t want us to miss it so he said “o.k.
well it’s my gun, I’ll take responsibility for it”.
The police handcuffed him and as they were hauling him off to what
I suspect was a jail cell he yells over his shoulder “I’ll
meet you in Onslow probably in a day” [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: They lifted the gun and
realized it was a replica but they confiscated it and said in Holland
if you’ve got a bunch of dope it would have been o.k. but a
hand gun is different.
Metal Fanatix: Have you guys had many
problems with customs in the past?
Geoff Tate: Not really, once years and
years ago when we first started touring our bass player was arrested
at Heathrow airport in London. He was actually taken off to Scotland
Yard because he had a bicycle chain wrapped in some tape. He was moving
out of his apartment and he had stuck it in his bag during the move
and forgot to take it out. They arrested him for that but he wasn’t
charged or anything.
Metal Fanatix: I have heard that you
guys will be filming shows during October for a DVD release what can
you tell us about that?
Geoff Tate: It’s a very cool DVD;
it’s based on the North American tour which is going to be a
very extensive theatrical production. It’s going to be presented
in a musical form kinda like you would see a stage play or an opera
or something like that. There are two sets that change through-out
the show an interior set and an exterior set cause some of the action
takes place in a warehouse and some of it takes place in an ally way
in the city we have video screens that help tell the story, we have
actors that join us onstage to play the various parts. It’s
very cool it’s a very unique kind of show
Metal Fanatix: Will there be much extra
backstage, rehearsal footage etc?
Geoff Tate: Oh yeah, there’s all
kinds of stuff.
Metal Fanatix: Tell us, when you look
back at the very first Queensryche tour. What fond/horrific memories
come to mind?
Geoff Tate: From the first tour, let
me see if I can go back that far. I would say that was for our breakthrough
album the one where most people had heard about us at that point,
when the album came out it sold the same amount that all our other
records had sold, it was 250,000 records we were on tour with Metallica
and that helped to expose us to a bigger audience at that time, but
still it didn’t climb up the charts or really do anything, but
a year later somebody at MTV in new York was a fan of the band and
had said to our manager “Have the band make a video and I’ll
play it”. So we did that and then the video for ‘Eyes
Of A Stranger’ just took off. It was really impressive watching
the power of television at the time and watching how many people it
reached, that put us on the road for about a year and a half and that
was really interesting. We went to a lot of places that we had never
been before and saw a lot of the world at that point. I’ve got
nothing but great memories from that point.
Metal Fanatix: Speaking of MTV, during
the eighties I can remember seeing so many different hard rock and
metal videos on our televisions but these days they are few and far
between, do you feel it is still important to spend so much money
making film clips that don’t get anywhere near the airplay they
deserve I mean it seems MTV among others are more concerned with reality
shows rather then showcasing any musical talent?
Geoff Tate: Yeah, MTV have definitely
changed. So I think to really live in the world of music nowadays
I think you have to adapt to new frontiers. It’s easier for
us to make videos now we do a lot of the production ourselves. Over
the years we have invested in cameras and studio sets so we have our
own visual factory, so it’s easier and less expensive for us
to make videos nowadays and there’s quite other video channels
now not just MTV but there’s a lot of things on the internet.
I think it’s still beneficial to let people know what it is
you do and give people a visual of the band.
Metal Fanatix: No doubt you are a fantastic
vocalist. Do you do anything specific to warm up and prepare for a
Geoff Tate: I start warming up early
in the day and getting ready for the show. I try to stay healthy and
take care of myself. As a singer on tour you can’t have as much
fun as the other guys, you have to keep decent hours and get plenty
of sleep, keep your body in shape because your body is your instrument.
I exercise a lot and go to the gym, run things like that, just try
to stay healthy.
Metal Fanatix: Over the years you have
shared the stage with so many great bands. Who have you enjoyed touring
with the most and could you share a funny road story with us from
Geoff Tate: There’s lot’s
of them some are rather embarrassing [laughs]. In the early days I
think we probably much more lived the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, that
was what people did then and when we were younger we could endure
it [laughs]. When we toured with Metallica we had a great time, they
were young and wild and so were we.
There was lots of liquor involved [laughs]. We all had gotten out
of high school when we started the band and our education past high
school has been the rock ‘n’ roll world, we’ve really
been fortunate to tour with great bands like AC/DC, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne,
Judas Priest And Iron Maiden. We’ve shared the stage with some
great players. We always watched how people did things, watched how
they protected their band and their business and tried to learn from
their mistakes so that we didn’t make them. And we just tried
to keep the band together which is really the toughest thing to do.
Metal Fanatix: Oh no doubt, especially
when you’re on the road and there are so many temptations and
people pulling you aside saying this and that!
Geoff Tate: Yeah! It really is. Just
the stress of being away from your families and your loved ones for
months on end, it really takes its toll on ya, if you’re not
prepared and don’t have a handle on things, it can really destroy
a band. We’ve been a band for going on thirty years now so we’ve
been there for each other is all different situations, we’ve
had children together, divorces, family members pass away, and it’s
something that we really don’t take for granted.
Metal Fanatix: I wanted to ask you about
family life too. I know you’re married and have five daughters,
how do you find a constant balance between touring, being a husband
and a dad?
Geoff Tate: I’m still workin’
on that [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: It’s been difficult
to keep the balance there. Luckily I have a really strong wife, she’s
very together and very organized. She also managers the band so that
tells ya what kind of person she is. She keeps things running really
smoothly and that really helps. If I had to do it all myself I’d
Metal Fanatix: Well obviously your wife
comes out on tour with you guys quite a bit how about your daughters
do they hit the road with you too?
Geoff Tate: Yes they come out on tour
as well, actually all of us bring our kids out on tour mostly in the
summer time when there not in school, we have big family get-togethers,
barbeques, we take the kids to Disneyland when we’re in Florida.
Just all fun things, its great to be able to share the lifestyle together.
Metal Fanatix: Is there one band that
you have always wanted to hit the road with but for some reason it
just hasn’t happened?
Geoff Tate: Ya know, I’ve always
wanted to tour with Alice Cooper. We’ve never actually done
a tour together. We have done many festival dates together but never
a full scale tour. A really good friend of mine was the drummer in
his band for quite a while and Scott our drummer plays in a band with
Alice’s new guitarist Damon Johnson they have a side project
together [Slave to The System]. Alice and I talk quite a lot about
stage shows and were both fans of Broadway and we golf. But we have
never been able to tour together.
Metal Fanatix: You guys should try to
double bill the next Australian tour with Alice. That would be great!
Geoff Tate: Yeah, that would be fun!
Metal Fanatix: Geoff, I have read that
you guys are already in writing mode for the next Queensryche album,
what can you tell us about it, are there any working titles yet? Will
it be another concept album?
Geoff Tate: It’s just in the beginning
stages right now, so I cant say too much other then we’ve started
it, hopefully over the next year we will put this together, I’ll
know more in six months.
Metal Fanatix: What other projects are
ahead for yourself and the band?
Geoff Tate: Well, I have a solo project
in the works which is pretty close to being finished, and I have another
project that I am doing with some other people which is kind of a
team based story record, I cant really talk about that much yet either
but it’s hopefully the next thing that will be coming out in
the spring I hope!
Metal Fanatix: It’s been almost
twenty five years since you guys released the first Queensryche E.P.,
why do you think you guys have lasted so long in an industry that
see so many artists come and go?
Geoff Tate: Well I credit it to tenacity,
we like it, we love making records and we love touring so that glove
fits really well. Honestly I think that what we do connects with people
in some way, which is really hard to explain, but as long as the music
connects we’ll keep doin' it.
Metal Fanatix: Who have you been surprised
to learn is a fan of the band?
Geoff Tate: I guess we have appealed
to people from all walks of life, from the clerk at the convenience
store or an attorney there’s a big representative here in Washington
State who is a huge fan. Eric Buell who designs motorcycles for Harley
Davidson is a fan, there’s a whole bunch
Metal Fanatix: Tell us something about
the other guys in the band that we may not know?
Geoff Tate: Well Eddie our bass player
is an incredible chef, in fact I think he should open up a restaurant,
he really gets into it. He’s always looking’ for an opportunity
to cook, we rehearse at Eddie’s house, he has a big studio there,
so we’re always there. He’s always looking’ for
excuses to go in the kitchen rather then play bass [laughs]. But you
can’t really turn him down cause’ what he makes you tastes
so good. He’s always making incredible sandwiches or an Italian
diner or a barbeque, you name it he can do it. Everybody has there
own thing they do outside the band, Scott has his own line of custom
made drums which is very cool. Michael, he’s really into coffee.
He has a coffee company that imports coffee from Nicaragua or some
place like that and me, I like to sail boats I have an old vintage
yacht which I have spent the last couple of years restoring and I’d
like to do some ocean crossing in the near future
Metal Fanatix: Awesome, I have heard
that you are quite a fan of classical music?
Geoff Tate: Oh yeah, another thing I’d
like to do hopefully in my retirement years is sing some opera professionally.
I have been working and leaning in that direction the last couple
of years. Opera is very demanding and you have to approach it from
a different perspective cause’ you’re not using a microphone
to get your voice across. Yeah I’d like to do that later on
Metal Fanatix: Being a member of such
a successful band I would imagine you get asked some pretty weird
questions from time to time. What’s the strangest/scariest question
you have ever been asked?
Geoff Tate: Well a guy from Estonia,
which is in the Russian area asked me the other day in all seriousness,
in my best Estonian accent “Geoff, I have a question for you”
and I said “yes what is it”? “I wonder, why do you
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: I really didn’t know
how to answer that so I just said “well I was born to”
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs] yeah man that
is a little out there, how about rumors, what’s the craziest
rumor you had ever heard about yourself and or the band?
Geoff Tate: Well, I’ve heard I
Metal Fanatix: That really seems to
be a popular rumor amongst many of the different bands I have spoken
to, so many have said they have heard that themselves or another member
of the band was dead!
Geoff Tate: I know, I don’t know
why people say it. It’s strange what people will do, human beings
are just so bizarre. Are you familiar with that internet phenomenon
Metal Fanatix: Yeah mate, I actually
have a page on there
Geoff Tate: Well somebody just sent
me a link to the Geoff Tate myspace which is supposedly my myspace
site, but I don’t run it, I don’t own it, I don’t
do anything with it. I went and looked at it and somebody is posing
as me! That’s kind of weird.
Metal Fanatix: I have heard a few different
artists come out now saying that people are on there making out they
are them on myspace in particular, for example Nikki Sixx has said
there are 40+ Nikki Sixx’s on myspace and none of them are him!
These days it is so easy to have your name dragged through the mud
on sites like that I guess because of other people!
Geoff Tate: That’s right. The
disturbing thing is that they’re representing themselves as
me! They’re answering people and talking to people as me and
that’s just wrong!
Metal Fanatix: The worst part is there
isn’t really too much you can do about it either, I mean once
they shut down the one page someone else just starts up a new one!
Geoff Tate: I really don’t know
what to do about it, if I could do anything I’d just ignore
it and put out some message saying no this isn’t me, I don’t
Metal Fanatix: It’s funny that
we are talking about the internet. Look at how much technology has
changed from those early days when you guys were first starting out.
Technology has really come along way not just in the form of the internet
but also it’s use in the studio. What other differences have
you noticed in the industry since you guys started out?
Geoff Tate: Oh it’s night and
day to what it used to be, it’s lost a lot of the magic and
I think it’s because so many people can access so much information
now that there isn’t any mystic to what we do anymore. So many
people talk and rumors get spread at a frantic pace. Even the AP Wire,
[the Associated Press Wire] they just run with things now there’s
no investigative journalism. They just run with a story, people read
it and they think it’s truth. there are these rumors that are
perceived as truth when there’s nothing to substantiate it at
Metal Fanatix: What's your take on downloading
and file sharing? Do you think it hurts artist like yourself or do
you look at it as a great way to get your music out to so many more
people around the world?
Geoff Tate: Well, it’s one of
those things that’s a new frontier and it’s defiantly
changed the way in which we make our income. Record sales not just
ours but everybody’s has dropped 40 – 50% which is staggering.
There’s really nothing you can do about it, it’s just
the way the world is now so you have to learn to adapt and find other
ways to making what it is you do happen. I don’t agree with
file sharing and downloading and things like that, it’s illegal,
it’s piracy but people just don’t seem to get that or
don’t want to get that! It’s like trying to fight the
wave in the ocean you just have to roll with it and learn how to adapt.
Metal Fanatix: I am one person who does
download a lot of music and in this field of work it really is the
fastest way for me to get reviews done or prepare to do an interview
on a new album etc. But when it comes to the general public, the fans
who I have personally spoken to who download music most of them still
go out and buy the albums anyway to have the artwork and lyrics. I
personally have never really thought of it so much as a bad thing
for so many people to download as long as attendance at the concerts
are going up, do you guys find that even though your album sales may
have dropped you are getting more people attend the shows?
Geoff Tate: No actually it’s the
opposite, there’s less attendance at the shows and less record
sales. It’s completely devastated the industry. That’s
to the band who has made a living out of the industry for a long time,
but for a new band just starting out, downloading’s great because
it’s promotion. It’s letting people know that you have
something out there, where for an established artist, someone who
collects royalties and things like that it’s a massive hit to
Metal Fanatix: So how the hell do you
guys make an income these days?
Geoff Tate: We still make an income,
but we just make a lot less [laughs]. You just have to adjust your
lifestyle and goals around it.
Metal Fanatix: It really makes you wonder
where the industry will be in another 10 – 15 years!
Geoff Tate: Oh yeah, I think in the
next five years you will see the end of record companies as we know
them. They’re really all breaking up and going there own ways
literally because they can’t make enough money to support there
network that thy need to do business. The industry is in a real growth
pattern right now and it’s changing and going into something
else and I’m not quite sure where, I can’t predict where
it’s going but it’s defiantly changing.
Metal Fanatix: Geoff, there has been
so many highlights in your career, what would you say have been your
greatest achievements to date?
Geoff Tate: Probably still being here,
still making records and still touring, that’s a massive achievement
for any band to last as long as we have, and to be able to go to work
everyday and rehearse with people that you really like and that you
have fun with. It’s a great way to make a living.
Metal Fanatix: Geoff, we were talking
about Ronnie earlier, I wanted to ask you about the Hear n aid project.
‘We are stars’ is still one of my favorite metal songs
to date and is the song that introduced me to Queensryche. Working
with so many iconic musicians on that song must have been a blast.
Even though you only got a few lines in the song what do you recall
from the sessions?
Geoff Tate: I recall being incredibly
self aware, and sub conscious and very scared
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: No really, Ronnie was great
to work with, he set me at ease, he was very professional and just
a really cool producer. It was funny when we were doin' that they
gathered all of the musicians into this hotel suite; we kind of took
over the whole floor of this hotel in Hollywood.
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: We were all sitting around
and chatting and somebody popped there head into the room and said
“O.k. the busses are here to take everybody down to the studio,
so everyone come down to the lobby”. We were all “yeah,
yeah will do that”. So we all made our way out into the hallway
there by the elevators standing around talking and talking and the
door to the elevator opens up, I guess it had been about fifteen minutes
that had gone by. When the elevator door opened the same guy who had
told us about the busses was there and he said “Guys they have
been waiting for you down in the lobby”. It was really funny
because here are all these rock stars all combined in one small area
and nobody had pushed the down button [Laughs].
Metal Fanatix: [Laughs]
Geoff Tate: [Laughs] yeah kinda funny
but pathetic huh! [Laughs].
Metal Fanatix: Oh [laughs] nuh that’s
a good story mate, going back to you being self conscious laying down
your vocals on the tracks, I guess it would have been a surreal experience
with Ronnie there and rob Halford…
Geoff Tate: Oh well Cameron, let me
just paint the picture. You’ve got I had to do the solo part
right, so I walked into the studio and Ronnie’s tryin' to make
me feel comfortable “Here’s the microphone, here’s
some tea, be comfortable”, “Do you want the lighting different”?
“Do you want it low”? we were runnin' the track so I could
familiarize myself with it and I’m looking back at the control
room through the glass window and there’s the legend Ronnie
Dio standing there looking at me, there’s Halford, there’s
Ted Nugent all these guys are standing there watching [laughs] . Here
I am thinking to myself they’re probably thinking ok kid show
us what you’ve got [laughs].
Metal Fanatix: In your honest opinion
what do you think about the direction that hard rock and heavy metal
music has taken over the last few years?
Geoff Tate: It’s kind of gone
underground again, it’s not commercial music anymore and that’s
kinda cool I think! I can’t see rap and hip hop lasting forever
Metal Fanatix: Let’s hope not!
Geoff Tate: Yeah let’s hope not
Metal Fanatix: What advice would you
give to up and coming rock/metal bands trying to break into the industry?
Geoff Tate: Always follow your heart.
Be true to your music and true to your beliefs, don’t get sidetracked
by what all these other people think you.
Metal Fanatix: Geoff I know you have
a lot to do today so I will let you go, I want to thank you again
for putting time aside to speak with us today, it’s been a true
pleasure. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Geoff Tate: Thanks so much to everybody
who came out to the shows recently we had a great time and it made
a real impact on us as a band, we really truly felt very close to
people in Australia, we met a lot of great people and can’t
wait to come back and play again. Cameron it’s been nice talking
to you to. Thanks so much.
Queensryche’s latest album ‘Operation
Mindcrime II’ is out now. Grab your copy where all kick ass
albums are sold.
To keep up with all the latest Queensryche news go to the following
- Official Queensryche Site
- Dedicated to 40 years of hard rock & metal music
Don’t miss Queensryche on tour ripping
it up at the following venues.
All dates are subject to change
Sun 09/17/06 Mount Clemens, MI Emerald Theatre
Tue 09/19/06 Verona, NY Turning Stone Casino
Thu 09/21/06 New York, NY Nokia Theatre Times Square
Fri 09/22/06 New York, NY Nokia Theatre Times Square
Sat 09/23/06 Atlantic City, NJ House Of Blues
Mon 09/25/06 San Antonio, TX Majestic Theatre
Tue 09/26/06 Houston, TX Verizon Wireless Theater
Wed 09/27/06 Grand Prairie, TX Nokia Theatre
Fri 09/29/06 Denver, CO Fillmore Auditorium
Sat 09/30/06 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
Sun 10/01/06 Albuquerque, NM Kiva Auditorium
Mon 10/02/06 Phoenix, AZ Dodge Theatre
Wed 10/04/06 San Diego, CA Humphrey's By The Bay
Thu 10/05/06 Universal City, CA Gibson Amphitheatre
Fri 10/06/06 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
Sat 10/07/06 Temecula, CA Pechanga Resort & Casino
Sun 10/08/06 Kelseyville, CA Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa
Tue 10/10/06 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues
Wed 10/11/06 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre
Thu 10/12/06 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
Fri 10/13/06 Seattle, WA Moore Theatre
Sat 10/14/06 Seattle, WA Moore Theatre
Sun 10/15/06 Seattle, WA Moore Theatre
Tue 10/17/06 Reno, NV Grand Sierra Resort
Wed 10/18/06 Boise, ID Big Easy
Thu 10/19/06 Spokane, WA Big Easy
Fri 10/20/06 Missoula, MT Wilma Theatre
Sat 10/21/06 Billings, MT Shrine Auditorium
Wed 11/01/06 Toronto, ON Kool Haus
Thu 11/02/06 Albany, NY Palace Theatre
Fri 11/03/06 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
Sat 11/04/06 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
Sun 11/05/06 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
Tue 11/07/06 Greensburg, PA Palace Theatre
Wed 11/08/06 New Brunswick, NJ State Theatre
Thu 11/09/06 Boston, MA Avalon
Fri 11/10/06 Wallingford, CT Chevrolet Theatre
Sat 11/11/06 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Sun 11/12/06 Montreal, QC Metropolis
Tue 11/14/06 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
Wed 11/15/06 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Fri 11/17/06 Saginaw, MI The Dow Event Center
Sat 11/18/06 Covington, KY Madison Theatre
Sun 11/19/06 Knoxville, TN Tennessee Theatre
Tue 11/21/06 New Orleans, LA House Of Blues
Wed 11/22/06 Corpus Christi, TX Selena Auditorium
Fri 11/24/06 Austin, TX Hogg Memorial Auditorium
Sat 11/25/06 El Paso, TX Abraham Chavez Theatre
Sun 11/26/06 Tucson, AZ Music Hall
Tue 11/28/06 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
Thu 11/30/06 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
Fri 12/01/06 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues
Sat 12/02/06 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues
Tix from the usual outlets
© Cameron Edney September 2006 Not to be re-printed in any form
without written permission.