Martin Popoff of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Classic Rock Revisited: Have you come to terms with [your former bandmates in QUEENSRŸCHE] continuing as QUEENSRŸCHE? Are you fine with it now?
Geoff: Well, yeah, yeah. It’s all settled. They compensated me for my work and my involvement in all that, so we’re all square on the legality end of things.
Classic Rock Revisited: Do you find that a band sort of earns the right to call themselves… let’s use QUEENSRŸCHE as an example, like this idea of, you know, the lead singer, leader, the main writer, the front man leaves, and someone else comes in. And maybe there’s a period where there’s not a legitimacy there… Do you feel like looking at bands you grew up with as a kid, five records in, Jon Davison with YES or Todd La Torre or whoever it might be, will earn the right to call this band QUEENSRŸCHE?
Geoff: Well, I honestly don’t look at it that way. The name QUEENSRŸCHE is a brand. You know, it’s a company, and it’s something that whoever owns the name can use. I don’t own it anymore. I sold it, so, I’m out of that.
Classic Rock Revisited: One record you and I never see talked about very much is [QUEENSRŸCHE’s 1994 album] “Promised Land”. What are your thoughts on that record after all these years?
Geoff: My thoughts on “Promised Land”… Well, I quite liked that record. It’s one of my favourite records that I’ve done. I just think there’s a lot of really interesting music on it. And I think of all the albums that we made up until “Promised Land”, it was the first one to capture a certain mood, overall, with the album, and stay in that mood, and not deviate a lot from song to song. It seemed to me at the time that the records we did previously, they were kind of sporadic in the… not sporadic — I don’t mean that to be negative, but just varied song choices and flow to the record, that kind of thing. Where “Promised Land” had a certain feel to it. It’s kind of hard to define, but I would say that on it, we found a space, and we stayed there through the entire record, not deviating from that space too much. Which I liked; I like that kind of thing. It’s quite challenging to make something like that.
Martin: Those whole three years or whatever, between all that massive touring and success with “Empire”, leading up to “Promised Land”, do you feel that it brought you guys more together, or tore you apart? Were you tired, or were you enthusiastic going into “Promised Land”?
Geoff: Well, we never were like a really close group of people. But leading up to “Promised Land”, it was a tumultuous time with a lot of… well, like you said, a lot of touring, a lot of media attention, that kind of thing, which is a direct influence… it was actually what really influenced “Promised Land”. It was the whole premise of the record. The whole premise of the record was that as Americans, we’re really tuned into and trained to compete, and to win, and to accumulate things and goods, an accumulative position. Success is very important to Americans. And so I felt like we, as a band, had reached that pinnacle of success, that we had done and achieved all of the things that are sort of associated with being a musician. And so “Promised Land” was a reflection on that. You know, “What does it all mean? Is it really that important? Is it very important? Is it something that… where do you go from there?” It’s almost like people think that success is this platform that you reach — and it really isn’t. It’s a never-ending ladder. It just keeps going and going and going; the ladder keeps going and you keep climbing and climbing. There’s never an end to it, you know? [Laughs]
Read the entire interview at Classic Rock Revisited.