The Metal Voice recently conducted an interview with former QUEENSRŸCHE and current OPERATION: MINDCRIME singer Geoff Tate. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the process of writing a concept album:
Geoff: “When you write a concept record, it definitely gives you the opportunity to do some different things than you normally would with a record with standalone songs. ‘Cause you’re telling a story, so stories aren’t static — they’re very dynamic and there’s lots of different moods you can explore with any given story. So, yeah, I like that. I like variance and variety in the musical direction.”
On whether he had any trepidation about writing another concept album more than 25 years after the release of QUEENSRŸCHE’s classic “Operation: Mindcrime” effort:
Geoff: “I go into it with a single purpose of writing an entertaining story that’s interesting, and then the challenge of matching music to that story, so that the listeners are transported on a route — a musical route, an emotional route.”
On the storyline of his OPERATION: MINDCRIME trilogy of albums:
Geoff: “It’s a three-album story, a story that takes three albums to tell. And the first album, ‘The Key’, is an introduction to the story. It’s where we meet the four characters that are involved with the storyline. And it develops a bit of the story in the first album. And then, of course, the second and the third [albums], it takes it and runs with the storyline and you find out more as you go along.”
On the musical direction of “The Key”:
Geoff: “It’s always difficult to categorize music and describe. It’s best experienced on one’s own, I think. I can tell you what the mindset, going into it, was. [It was] really to concentrate and focus on what our collective musical influences are and what we’re interested in exploring together, the group of writers who wrote this with me. We all come from, I guess, what would be classified more as a ‘prog rock’ background, and so we were really interested in exploring the musicality of what that offers. And, to me, what that means is interesting inversions on chord progressions that we’ve heard before, a concentration on melody. And it’s very fun with this type of presentation, because you can really get outside and explore different rhythm structures and expand on that, if you have the players that can play that kind of stuff. So, we really just focused on telling the story musically, and then kind of getting into the musicality of that and what that could mean if we kept our minds open to exploring song structure and melody.”
On QUEENSRŸCHE’s classic debut album, 1984’s “The Warning”:
Geoff: “It was a real disappointment to everybody in the band at the time, ‘cause it was taken out of our hands and mixed by somebody who didn’t care about it and didn’t want the input of the band in mixing. So that was quite a shocking experience. But, yeah, I think the mix of that record definitely could be… Well, I hate to terms ‘better’ or ‘worse’ when describing music, but the mix could have been more in line with what the collective vision was at the time rather than an outsider coming in and just hearing it for the first time and throwing it down and putting the faders up and saying, ‘Okay, it’s done.’ But that’s one of those lessons you learn as a young band that’s on a tight ship.”
OPERATION: MINDCRIME’s debut album, “The Key”, will be released on September 18 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Joining Tate on “The Key” are a hard-hitting cast of familiar faces and new collaborators: bass players David Ellefson (MEGADETH) and John Moyer (DISTURBED, ADRENALINE MOB), drummers Simon Wright (AC/DC), Scott Mercado (CANDLEBOX) and Brian Tichy (BILLY IDOL, OZZY OSBOURNE), guitarists Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE) and Scott Moughton (Geoff Tate’s solo band), keyboardist Randy Gane (MYTH) and vocalist Mark Daly (THE VOODOOS).