'90s - Queensryche (2011)
‘Anybody Listening? Catching Up with Geoff Tate'
Geoff Tate, born in Stuttgart, Germany is an American singer and musician, who rose to fame in the 1980's with the progressive metal band, Queensr˙che.
Queensr˙che - Tate, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren - has been successful in the progressive scene, having sold over 20 million albums worldwide including over 6 million albums in the United States.
Late last year Queensr˙che's triple-platinum selling album, Empire, was remastered and expanded for a 20th Anniversary Edition. The new 2CD and digital packages both included the remastered album, featuring six hit singles, including the #1 smash 'Silent Lucidity,' as well as 13 bonus tracks. Among them 10 previously unreleased live performances recorded in 1990 at London's Hammersmith Odeon.
The heavy metal band formed in 1981 in Bellevue, Washington. The band has released tweleve studio albums and several EPs and DVDs and continues to tour and record. Indeed, this past June Queensr˙che released its brand new album, entitled Dedicated to Chaos on Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records.
Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with Geoff Tate and discussed his upcoming new Queensryche CD, the bands recent re-released remaster of 'Empire,' a cover of a Simon & Garfunkel song, and, of course, ... Penguins!
Whose idea was it to remaster and expand Queensryche's triple-platinum selling 'Empire' for its 20th Anniversary? Did EMI come to you with what they expected to do, or did you mull it over the year before and tell them what you wanted to do? "EMI came to us with the idea."
This new release features 2 CDs, with 13 bonus tracks, among them 10 previously-unreleased live performances recorded back in 1990 in the UK! Why were these tracks kept so undercover for 20 years? "We found the tapes in the closet of our warehouse when we were relocating. We asked EMI if they wanted them and they said yes and included them in the anniversary release of Empire."
And with regard those live tracks from 1990, recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon, what can you remember of those dates? What was going on with the band at that time - what state of mind were you all in performing in the UK? "Honestly, I don’t remember much about that."
The first 'side' of Empire created a miniature concept album, linked by audio effects that bring the listener from one audio background to another seamlessly, so why didn't the other 'side' follow musical suit? "Good Question. It’s just the way it turned out."
In reflection, did you anticipate the power ballad 'Silent Lucidity' being such a cross-over hit? "No. It was a complete surprise."
Also, one of the bonus tracks on the newly-remastered Empire is a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's 'Scarborough Fair.' When was this recorded and why was it chosen to be in the first place? "We recorded it while we were tracking other songs for the album just for fun. It was included because everyone seemed to like it."
Straying away from Empire, Queensryche just released a new album, their twelfth entitled Dedicated to Chaos. Termed as "Rage (for Order) through a time tunnel, bringing it into the now," why did you feel reflecting back was the way forward? "I don’t know where the quote came from but the new album has nothing to do with Rage For Order. It is a VERY modern album defiantly situated in the NOW."
It also features a lot more bass/drum work on it, that kinda hasn't featured on earlier albums. What made you decide to include these things this time? "The tracks that Ed and Scott wrote were the jumping off point for this record."
Is the title a wink to time spent at London Bridge recording drums, the rhythm guitars at Scott's studio, and the fact that you were, at times, seemingly "wrought with unfixable problems that only Kelly could fix"?! (But yet magically got fixed anyway!) "Chaos is the place where creativity begins. It’s a simple statement that the band is dedicated to musical creativity and experimentation."
Being a noted wine enthusiast, what is your perfect summer wine to drink and where can it be purchased? "My favorite summer wine is my own Insania white. It can be found at www.QUEENSRYCHE.com."
Being that you are ranked #14 on Hit Parader's list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time, I wondered if things like this were conversational pieces between you and your friends? "It is very flattering but the conversation never comes up."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, we here at Exclusive Magazine LOVE penguins ... do you?! "Actually I do! We have a brand new penguin habitat at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle where I live. I visit it often as I am a lifetime zoo supporter."
Interview: Russell A. Trunk