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Exclusive interview with Geoff Tate

Frontman Geoff Tate has assembled a new cast of incredible musicians and is touring the country celebrating the 25th anniversary of Operation: Mindcrime, playing the album in its entirety. Queensryche starring Geoff Tate features Tate, bassist Rudy Sarzo and his brother guitarist Robert Sarzo, guitarist Kelly Gray, keyboardist Randy Gane, and drummer Simon Wright.

Geoff Tate and Queensryche
Geoff Tate and Queensryche
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Geoff Tate live with Queensryche
Ron Dukeshire Power Chord

The band hits The Palace Theater here in Syracuse tomorrow evening and Tate sounded like a new man, energized, and excited over the new lineup, playing the full album again, and hopefully coming out and playing other fan favorite Queensryche cuts. Last we spoke in 2012 about his solo album and the well-known split with his former bandmates was really just hitting the courts, it weighed on him as it would anyone that deals with all the negativity that comes with it. He optimistically looks ahead to that finally being over with and getting on with what he does best, making music.

With a lineup as potent as this one and a charged up Tate manning the vocals, the show promises to be an enjoyable evening of some of the best hard rock ever written. I spoke with Geoff at length about everything Queensryche, his solo work, their last album, and the show itself. Take a minute and get up to speed with Geoff Tate. Check out their album “Frequency Unknown” to get a feel of the band and it includes some classics that they re-recorded.

Frequency Unknown

1. Cold
2. Dare
3. Give It To You
4. Slave
5. In The Hands Of God
6. Running Backwards
7. Life Without You
8. Everything
9. Fallen
10. The Weight Of The World

BONUS TRACKS:
11. I Don’t Believe In Love
12. Empire
13. Jet City Woman
14. Silent Lucidity

Queensrÿche

Wednesday Mar 12, 2014

Doors: 6:00 PM

Show: 7:00 PM

All Ages

$38 - $60

Tickets

The Palace Theater - Syracuse

2384 James St.
Syracuse, NY

Interview with Geoff Tate

It’s a pleasure to talk with you again, I saw you on ‘King 5’ where you said you hoped not to see snow, I hate to break it to you about here but…

I heard you guys are still experiencing the cold and snow. Traveling across the country in the snow is a bit of a burden but we’ve don’t it before and it can be done. (We laugh)

Now that was a cool performance of ‘Lola’; loved the wig and the dancers, very cool!

Oh, thank you! It’s going to be a fun show where we try and impersonate our favorite performers, that’s the best Ray Davies that I could do! (More laughs)

You will be here next week on the ‘25th Anniversary of Operation:Mindcrime’ tour, can you talk about this tour and what we can expect at the show?

It’s a real honor and a pleasure to play Operation:Mindcrime in it’s entirety. It’s a fan favorite! I have some really excellent musicians playing it with me. We get to play the whole thing! Mindcrime is almost exactly an hour long, so we play it and hopefully the fans appreciate it and asks us out for an encore and we’ll rip into some of their favorite Queensryche songs!

You have a stellar line-up of musicians! I hope to interview Rudy soon and I have interviewed Simon Wright as part of “Dio: The Very Beast of Vol. 2” right around when I spoke with you in Oct. of 2012 for ‘Kings and Thieves’.

Yes they are all really great guys!

I finally got a chance to listen to “Frequency Unknown” great album, can you talk about it and will you be playing some of this next week?

Yeah, we’ll probably play some songs off of that. It was a very fun record to make. Over the years I’ve tried to make each record very different from the previous one. Tried to put the band or the people writing and playing with me in a situation where it is conducive to a creative environment. We had a lot of people joining and collaborating on this one. It was really great hearing all of these great musicians interpretation and input on a song. I’m a firm believer in collaboration; I like other peoples input and really to see where a song can go, you know? I really like the record!

There is! I mean “Dare” is one song that got me grinning; it is you at your best with a little bit of attitude and all the vocalizations that you are known for, what is the song about?

I think it’s a song about confrontation, you know? I tend to try and pick a subject and write from that perspective. Confrontation for example, the song just had a swagger to it!

You also remade four iconic Queensryche tunes which sound awesome, can you tell me about the decision to do those and how did you choose from so many?

Well, that was a record company deal really. They wanted four specific Queensryche tracks on the record and they wanted them made as close to the original as possible. So, there wasn’t much thought process to it; it was looking back at those songs and trying to recreate them which was difficult to do on a number of levels. Technically utilizing old recording equipment is getting harder to accomplish as it’s harder to find (Laughs) And then performance mode as well, I didn’t realize how much I had changed the delivery of certain songs over the years which you just kind of naturally do, at least I do and I think probably most singers do. You change your phrasing around, you change your note choice here and there, and you augment the melody over time because typically when you write a song, you spend about a month total between writing and recording and you’re done with it. For me, I don’t typically look back too much I’m just going off memory every time I perform a song, so it just naturally starts changing and evolving. Like “Silent Lucidity” for example, I changed the phrasing on that all around live. Listening back to the original I had to put both tracks up and work at creating the same phrasing I did for the record. Over years of performing a song live, you just do different things to it, you know add notes here, subtract notes there, it’s an interesting evolution that I had never really been cognizant of it before we did that record and we had to go back and listen to the original tracks again.

Well it’s natural, I mean you sing something 10,000 times you want to try and keep it fresh for yourself while you are performing it.

Yeah I guess so, you know?

And I think, any new song, fans especially don’t understand is it’s a brand new song and you are in that mindset coming out with it initially and ten years later it’s an entirely different thing.

Yes! It really is, and I think that’s the beauty of music is that it’s a changing thing, it’s always evolving and you change your delivery and change your intent.

Absolutely! I know you have the string of dates for the ‘Rock and Vaudeville’ shows in Seattle; what is next for you? Any new records coming?

Kind of in a holding pattern on that end until our court case is settled. We’re kind of in the last stages of that now. In the next month or so I hope to have some news for everybody.

Well, I hope it all works out and everyone remains friends. I know Pamela Moore when we talked, she loves all of you guys, and we are really pulling for everybody to make it happen, you know?

Yeah! Me too! (He was very sincere)

I hope to meet you and the band at the show next week; it would be a thrill.

Yes, I hope so!

Lastly, what would you like to say to the readers and the fans?

Thanks for listening to the music, I appreciate it, and I hope to see you at the show!