Exclusive Interview: Geoff Tate, singer of Queensrÿche

Geoff Tate talks about the touring, heading back into the studio, and an update on the legal battle over the band's name. Photo: Queensrÿche/photo by Peter Ellenby

LOS ANGELES, October 15, 2013 — Queensrÿche is a rock band that started in 1982 near Seattle in the city of Bellevue, Wash. The band released twelve studio albums and sold over 20 million records worldwide before the band and singer, Geoff Tate, parted ways in 2012. Both Tate and the band continue to operate under the Queensrÿche name until a judge rules on the issue. Geoff Tate took some time to speak with The Washington Times Communities about going back into the studio, touring, and an update on the legal battle over the Queensrÿche name.

Kevin Wells: Queensrÿche will be playing the Monsters of Rock festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil as well as five shows in California. What can people expect to see at those shows?


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Geoff Tate: Very different things, of course, because they’re different shows. It’s really about set time and that sort of thing is really the difference and what music we play at the shows is different depending on the audience or where we’re at. In Brazil, I think we only play an hour. So we have kind of limited time to perform. We try to fit as much as we can into that hour presentation, you know? We’re playing kind of a selection from all the different records. At our shows in California, those are our own shows, so we play about two hours and you know, more stuff, more songs, more audience interaction and that sort of thing. We’re actually doing a complete acoustic performance on one of those California dates [Hermosa Beach on November 7], which is going to be pretty fun to do. I love playing acoustic and giving the songs a return to their original form, you know? Most songs are composed acoustically. After you get your basic song structure down, then you start producing it and adding different things, playing on different instruments, that sort of thing.

KW: What kind of response have you gotten from Frequency Unknown, which was released last April?

GT: I don’t know. I don’t typically pay attention unless I’m talking with somebody and they bring up something specific.


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KW: You also celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Operation: Mindcrime earlier this year by performing the album in its entirety. What was it like playing that album again?

GT: It’s great, yeah. I love that album. I love performing it. It’s challenging because you’re playing an entire record, so it’s challenging live to present it in a way that keeps the flow of the record, which I think is really important. When you’re presenting music live, you have to think a lot about how to present it, the pacing of it, the song order that sort of thing. So that album brings its own set of challenges to a live performance. It had some really great shows. We didn’t play the southeast yet and we’re playing there in January. So we’re gonna be presenting the Mindcrime show to the southeast in January.

KW: Did you feel when you were writing that album that it would end up being so well received by fans and critics alike?

GT: No. Never do, really. That album was really critiqued heavily when it came out [laughs], as all our records are, I guess. It takes people a while to, I guess, understand our music. That’s the thing with most music. You have to live with it a while. You have to have it playing and part of your life, you know? For it to truly affect you, you have to spend some time with it. In our kind of pop world we’ve constructed in our society, we don’t give music much of a chance to sit with us. We kind of judge it immediately and music isn’t like that. It’s something that is a personal experience that kind of accompanies you on your own personal experience.


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Queensrÿche/Photo by Peter Ellenby

KW: Has the legal battle over the Queensrÿche name been resolved?

GT: No. we have a court date that was set for November originally, but recently got pushed out to January. So, by January, we should have it all wrapped up.

KW: Do you have any feeling on what the outcome will be?

GT: Well, it will be resolved [laughs], so that’s good. I’ll be looking forward to that.

KW: Have you noticed any sort of fan backlash due to the split with the other original members of Queensrÿche?

GT: I hardly have noticed a difference, really. It’s been really kind of smooth sailing. The shows have been well-attended and the energy at the shows is really intense with the band and the interaction with the audience. It’s probably actually a little more emotional now than it has been. I think change is probably a good thing.

KW: Have you spoken recently with any of the other original members?

GT: Uh, no. No.

KW: Is it strange playing Queensrÿche without the other guys?

GT: Oh, not at all, no. Actually, it’s a lot more organic now and there’s a real camaraderie in the band now. This group of people, we have a real positive kind of energy surrounding the band now that I find really very pleasing. I think that translates to an audience when you’re up on stage together and everyone in the band is happy and excited to be there. That translates to the audience. They pick up on that energy too, you know?

KW: Will you be going back into the studio?

GT: We’ve been in the studio for the last couple months working on a new record. I don’t know when it’s going to come out yet, probably after the first of the year sometime. I’m not sure yet. [It’s] going great though. A lot of the music’s cool [laughs]. I’m enjoying it.

KW: Is there anything else that you are working on that you’d like to talk about?

GT: No, not really. This is kind of a transition time, where we are going from shows into more studio work. So, there is not a lot to report at the moment other than hours and hours in the studio.

Queensrÿche can be seen the Monsters of Rock festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil on October 20 and five select California dates beginning on November 7 in Hermosa Beach, Calif. at St. Rocke.

Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for The Washington Times Communities and also writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

 


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Kevin Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR.

 

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