John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Legendary Rock Interviews: This whole situation and court battle over QUEENSRŸCHE is something most of us could never have forseen back in the ’90s, but yet here we are talking about it, sadly enough. Is there ever a day where the whole drama just doesn’t even enter your head?
Geoff Tate: Oh yeah, quite often. [laughs] Yeah, yeah….You know, initially, the first few months that this all started happening was a very difficult time but I’ve kind of gotten past that now and am in a much better place now where things seem a lot more brighter. I had my new solo album, “Kings Thieves” and the tour supporting that and that helped, just playing shows and supporting that. I never even think about the former lineup at this point. Of course, they launched a lawsuit against me that I won, basically, and from then on, I really haven’t thought about it too much. Our court date isn’t until November 2013, so I basically have until then until all of that is officially decided, which is quite aways from now. A lot of water is going to go under the bridge before then, definitely.
Legendary Rock Interviews: You surprised more than a few fans in recent months with your statements that you wouldn’t be opposed to sitting down in a room and just trying to talk rationally with those guys. On an obviously much less important note I have noticed that those guys are often not that accessible from a publicity end. We have reached out numerous times to both Michael Wilton and were actually scheduled to talk to Scott Rockenfield, but both times have come up empty-handed. Have you also found a series of unending emails or found them pretty difficult to reach directly? [laughs]
Geoff: [laughs] Yeah, that’s pretty much been my experience over the years. That doesn’t surprise me. You, John, you’ve probably recognized the fact that I have probably done 99 percent of the interviews over the course of QUEENSRŸCHE‘s career. There’s a reason for that, there was a reason for that when I talked to you for the last album and there’s been a reason for that our entire career; I’ve been incredibly careful and diligent about presenting our image in a certain way. I’m recognized, pretty universally, as the spokesperson for the band and there’s a reason for that. [laughs] I can reliably do my interviews and put a sentence together and I think I have a very good handle on what it is that I am trying to do within the band as the band leader. I have always thought that we were collectively on the same page about this over the years, so when they fired me, it came as a complete shock. It was like a kick upside the head that I wasn’t expecting at all, especially at this point in our career where we’ve been a successful band for 30-plus years and have a very respected name around the world. Why in the world would any sane people launch this whole shakeup and fire everybody who is your support system and everyone who’s involved with you, cancel all your income for the year and cut your head off by firing the face and voice of your band. They have basically sliced their own throat and rubbed the name of the band in the dirt in this quest of theirs and have no sane reason why such madness was necessary. It doesn’t make any sense. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what their whole plan is, what is their plan after the court date, it just doesn’t make any sense.
Legendary Rock Interviews: I have heard you say that you think the whole lawsuit really has a lot to do with money and they have mentioned it was also creative differences. Your wife and daughter worked for the organization and were also fired. Did they just get the feeling there were too many Tates in the kitchen?
Geoff: You know, when you have a group of people, you need a leadership in place and set up efficiently. Somebody has to do it.
Legendary Rock Interviews: So they were comfortable with it for a number of years and then at some point it just started messing with them?
Geoff: Yeah, yeah, I think so. Again, some of that verbiage from them is just down to “created perceptions” or the picture they want to present. The fact is that they wanted to fire me and then split up my shares of the corporation, and typically, true to form for them, they went about it totally half-cocked, unprepared and shortsighted. You can’t just do that so easily, you can’t just fire a corporate member of your company — it’s illegal to do that — but, of course, true to fashion, they didn’t research any of that or look into it or talk about it with us they just did it. The fallout of all of that is that we have a lawsuit. It’s not like a bunch of guys got together and formed a band and play a bit on the weekends. It’s a business, it’s a very successful business, and it involves corporate and legal procedures. There’s a way you have to conduct yourself business-wise and you have to follow the rules and the law is very explicit in that. That’s why we have a court date and a lawsuit. They can’t just fire me; it doesn’t work that way in corporations or in the business world.
Read the entire interview from Legendary Rock Interviews.
Pictured below: The new lineup of the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE