Celebrating the anniversary of epic album ‘Operation Mindcrime’ Geoff Tate has assembled a line up of fantastic talent to form 2013’s Queensryche! The band consists of Geoff Tate, Kelly Gray, Randy Gane, Robert Sarzo, Rudy Sarzo & Simon Wright and they are currently touring & promoting their newest album ‘Frequency Unknown’.
Showcasing killer tracks such as Cold, In the Hands of God, Dare, Fallen and one of my favorites Weight of the World, Queensryche is on the road to shower it’s legions of fans with a concert that will etch a memory in the “MindCrimes” worldwide!
The new album rocks harder than ever yet will entice you an several emotional levels, a true art form that only Geoff Tate can accomplish with Queensryche. It will shake your rock & roll world up and leave you wanting more.
As always, Geoff Tate was kind enough to take some time and talk with me about the new album, the band, the tour and the love of his art we call Queensryche.
TFL: Love the new album Frequency Unknown, simply fantastic Geoff.
GT: Thank you!
TFL: It has been quite the 12 month for you hasn’t it.
GT: It has! It’s been very interesting, a lot of changes & different momentum, you know. I’m liking it, I’m very comfortable now in my new position. I’ve ripped off the rear view mirror and moving forward.
TFL: Any plans on coming to Canada with your Queensryche tour?
GT: Yeah, well we have a pretty intensive tour schedule that’s happening now. We’re going to be in Toronto & Montreal in June, then we drop back into the States for the East Coast. We’re booking shows up to November right now so I’m pretty certain we’re going to be coming back to Western Canada.
TFL: I sure hope you come to Saskatoon Geoff, I would just love to see you guys. Rudy Sarzo is one of my all time favorite bass players.
GT: Me too!
TFL: I had the pleasure of meeting him in Calgary when he came through with Blue Osyter Cult. Super great guy, SO down to earth.
GT: Yes, very, very…he’s a sweetheart.
TFL: I can see the love for the music with you two just in the photos that you’re posting from your shows. You look so happy Geoff.
GT: I really am Tracy. The performances have been going really well, then we really started to gel after the first few shows. It took us about a week to get things sorted out, then after the first week it started steam rolling & the band was playing incredibly well & really feeding of each other. It’s very, very satisfying to play this music with people that are enthusiastic about it.
TFL: We you sort of sole proprietor about the writing of the new songs or was it a group collaboration?
GT: Well we got together the four of us; Randy my keyboard player, and Jason Slater & a new guy that I just began working with Lucas Rossi. The 4 of us came up with all of the songs. We thought in the process of recording them wouldn’t it be fun to have a lot of different people contributing to it & give the songs…give them something interesting & different about them. That would be the performances of these various people. We start making phone calls seeing who could do it, who was interested in doing it that kind of thing. Everybody that we contacted was interested, it was just a matter of scheduling them.We made all of the deadlines a& we’re very happy with it.
TFL: What were you feeling redoing the 4 songs? Was it a bit of mixed emotions?
GT: Well honestly I was wishing I wasn’t doing it, I didn’t want to do it but the record company wanted them. I said well OK if I have to do them I’d like to do them in a different way because they’ve already been done this way. “No no no no do them exactly as close as you can get to the original.” So that was difficult to do! Especially those tracks, they were recorded a completely different way then they are nowadays, completely different equipment, different sounding gear – oh my gosh it was painstaking to do it.
TFL : Do you have a favorite song from this album? I know each one of them has a piece of your heart, but do you have a favorite that you look forward to playing live?
GT: What do you think, what would you play?
TFL: What would I play? definitely Cold, aw man they’re all so good…Weight of the World is one of those songs where your vocals are almost haunting, they are so clear. This track catches me every time, Life Without You, Running Backwards…tell me about In The Hands of God – where did that come from?
GT: Well, Operation Mindcrime is a story of a terrorist and I have a fascination with people who are engaged in that sort of endeavor. In the Hands of God was sort of getting into the head of a terrorist, and trying to put myself in that position. Based upon accounts I have read from interviews done by knowing terrorists and hearing their perspective on things, their belief system how it moves them. It had a desperateness to it that I feel is probably a good setting for somebody that is engaged in that. That’s how I would feel if I was waiting there with a gun in my hand waiting to take people out.
TFL I would definitely play Cold, I would play Dare.
GT: I really like that, I like Dare quite a bit. I like the feel that one has.
TFL: I think it would be really funky live.
GT: I’m glad you said that about Weight of the World, I really like that track. That’s a track that had an interesting origin. You know Randy, our keyboard player, he suffered a heart attack back in December and that’s the first thing he wrote when he came back from the hospital. he heard this melody in his head and this chord progression I felt very fortunate and grateful to be part of that song & how it grew and became what it is. Randy & I are really good friends & this is kind of a bit of a recovery for him…to get this song out of him.
TFL: I really relate to what you write, it’s almost like a parallel universe sometimes when you find an artist you can really relate to, you’re one of those Geoff & I think that’s why I am drawn to your music. Your lyrical content and how you compose the music it really does drawn me in not just intellectually but emotionally that’s hard to find in an artist.
GT: Well you know Tracy I’ve always thought that art is a very subjective thing. As a musician, composer a writer what ever you want to call it you…that’s how you communicate best you know is through your music. I always looked at music that I was a part of as a chronicle of my life you know it reflects my interests, my passions, my hopes, my fears, my challenges, my observations & I don’t understand how people can look at it in any other way. For me it is all very personal and it’s not something that I necessarily control every aspect of it just kind of comes out. I don’t write with an intent to capitalize on what the subject matter is if that makes any sense. I’m a firm believer that the songs reflect where you are at any given moment. I write what I feel, I write what I know and I write what I’m interested in, I’m not writing for an audience and I get criticized a lot for that. I don’t know how you can write for an audience because I don’t know who my audience is, I couldn’t put them in a category nor would I want to because I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe in ‘genrefication’. That’s not life.
Such an honest and driven man who for decades has given us unforgettable concerts, stellar albums ans lyrics that tantalize every mind. Currently touring and bringing Frequency Unknown to you live this year, fans find find tour dates by going to the band’s official website: http://www.queensryche.com/
Many thanks to the one and only Geoff Tate for taking the time to speak with me & his fantastic media team for all of their hard work! You are truly a kind man and it is always a pleasure to spend some time with you.
Run out and be sure to buy yourself a copy of Frequency Unknown, another must have from legendary band Queensryche!