Mark Dean of MyGlobalMind webzine recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
MyGlobalMind: Is the new lineup [of your version of QUEENSRŸCHE] a permanent fixture or can fans expect a rotating lineup? Because you have actually indicated that you’d rather collaborate with different groups of people.
Geoff: Oh, I would, yeah. At this point in my life, I would really like to work with people that I admire and people that are great players. And people that I share a creative bond with. And that’s very, very important to me. I spent 30 years with a group of people that didn’t share that. And so, it’s really a pleasure to play with enthusiastic, happy people who are really good players.
MyGlobalMind: So the current lineup won’t stay? Or is it open to a little bit flexibility?
Geoff: Oh, yeah, it’s all open. When you play with really great players, they’re typically in demand and they typically have all kinds of projects they’re involved with. So, you know, you have to work around people’s schedules and around making the record ’cause we had all these different guest players playing on it and it is challenging, I have to tell ya, to schedule everybody, but it’s really worth it in the long run to be able to have that experience and to create music and play music with these incredible, incredible musicians.
MyGlobalMind: Just touching on the [upcoming QUEENSRŸCHE] court case, have you ever considered what happens if things don’t go in your favor or are you just generally a positive person?
Geoff: Well, there is really no situation like that. It’s a really simple case — it’s a corporate dissolvement. It’s all about exchanging money, you know, who gets compensated for what. So if I lose, I win; if I win, I win.
MyGlobalMind: Again, just personally from an old QUEENSRŸCHE fan of the former lineup, that relationship with your former bandmates, it’s irrecoverable? There no hope of personal reconciliation? Has anybody from either side held out a hand and said, “Let’s sit down and talk it through,” or it is past that stage?
Geoff: Yeah, well, I tried several times and met with hostility each time. So, yeah, I’m basically waiting for November to come around and be done with it all.
MyGlobalMind: You’ve attracted your fair share of controversy over the years. Is controversy something that angers you or amuses you when you read about these things that you’ve supposedly done or said or behaved in a certain manner?
Geoff: Well, actually, you know, it’s a strange thing, but the controversy has only been over the last year, really, and that’s because we’re in a court case, which is really counterproductive and actually kinda ridiculous, because the court case has nothing to do [with the music or anything else], it’s with monetary compensation. It doesn’t have anything to do with music, it’s just a corporate dissolvement, you know, money exchanging hands. We’re all corporate officers and we all get compensated for the dissolvement, the breakup of the corporation; so “he said, she said, he did this,” whatever, it doesn’t matter. But, I have to say, the publicity has been incredible. On this run that I just completed, on both legs of my tour, we had more sell-outs on this tour than formerly QUEENSRŸCHE has had in 10 years. So I guess there’s something to the idea that Gene Simmons came up with: any publicity is good publicity.
MyGlobalMind: Who came up with the idea on the on the video-rant competition? Was that your own personal idea?
Geoff: Well, that was an idea that Tim Yasui came up with from my record company, which I thought was really pretty funny.
MyGlobalMind: Basically, you’re taking on the critics, through a video medium, but still face to face. Do you generally welcome an opportunity to engage in healthy debate or discussion with critics?
Geoff: Well, I would love to but the chances are few and far between. I didn’t see any form of criticism in the big picture. I mean, how can you critique art? You can’t. You’d look like an imbecile, critiquing art. Even art critics don’t critique art in that fashion. They never say, “This sucks.” That’s not a critique, but that’s an idiot speaking. It’s either, when it comes to music and art, it’s either you relate to it, or you don’t. It speaks to you or it doesn’t speak to you. It doesn’t mean that the art is bad or that the art is good. Art is just art. It’s people’s impressions.
MyGlobalMind: It’s just a different perception.
Geoff: Yeah. How on earth can… my life is pretty darn big, the things I’ve done and things I’ve seen and experienced, places I’ve been — and not everyone can relate to what I’m interested in. And I don’t expect them to. It’s not my job to expect them to understand what I’m talking about or even to accept it. My job is to comment and to create and it’s the audience’s job to understand it and to try to relate to it or find something interesting in it. If they don’t, peace! Doesn’t bother me at all.
Read the entire interview at MyGlobalMind.