Sonic Abuse recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Sonic Abuse: The first thing I’d like to ask is: “Kings Thieves”, for me, is an album that is very varied and has a lot of depth to it. How long does the writing process for the record take from scratch to the finished piece?
Tate: It came together incredibly quickly; probably the quickest record I’ve ever made — which I was loving because I tend to work pretty steadily, once I get an idea going, and I didn’t have to wait around for people on this one, I just got to work at my own pace. So I began this record on January 2nd and finished it around July 15th and it just fell into place. I worked with my long-time friend Kelly Gray, Randy Gane and Jason Ames writing the record and we all sat in a room and knocked it out. And one thing I think I really like about the record is that it’s a very raw kind of record, very immediate. It’s not like a super produced; and over-produced kind of record, it’s very… almost live feeling. I think it’s because we didn’t sit around and overthink everything , we just let it all flow out and what you hear on the record is a lot of first, second or third takes of performances, so it’s very raw and immediate and I really like that about the record — it’s the first time I’ve ever accomplished that.
Sonic Abuse: This is your second solo album and on both records you’ve experimented with form and genre. Was that the appeal of working on a solo record for you — the possibility to do something very different to what you had down with QUEENSRŸCHE?
Tate: Yeah. You know, when Chris [DeGarmo] and I started writing and recording QUEENSRŸCHE music years ago, our motto, our catchphrase that we always stuck to and lived by was “no limits,” and what we were trying to always achieve was to not impose any limitations on our ability to write and create music and to be able and open to creating anything that we could imagine. As time goes on — when you create a body of work — you have records that are a success, for whatever reason, whether you have a solid record company behind you or whatever, or the timing’s just right. But the public tends to want to box you up with that success and have you remain the same. There’s constant pressure to recreate what you’ve done over and over again which is in direct opposition to what my philosophy is and what Chris‘ philosophy was in QUEENSRŸCHE way back when we started. So a solo record really gives you the ability to stretch out because it’s not QUEENSRŸCHE, it doesn’t have any expectations by anybody else. It can be whatever you want it to be — so, yeah, there’s a great sense of freedom in the creativity that goes in to making a solo record that I love. I love that feeling of no boundaries, no boxes, no expectations.
Sonic Abuse: One of the issues you dealt with on “Dedicated To Chaos” was the proliferation of the Internet and it seems that with the recent split, you’ve been a victim of this 24-hour availability of artists to the public. It must be frustrating to deal with these issues in the public domain.
Tate: Well, it’s definitely a different world these days, isn’t it?! With the Internet being so dominant, it’s where everything is done now. It’s changed everything — from retail to sales to how we buy what we eat and how we get our information. The Internet has changed all that. But also it’s given rise to a lot of people making statements and having opinions about things and they comment without really being cognizant of the higher situation is. A lot of people jump the gun and comment on stuff they really don’t know anything about, which is pretty frustrating, because, of course, nowadays if you really exist a lot in the music world you exist upon people’s perception of you. You try to shape that perception and try to keep a handle on how you’re coming across and that kind of thing and, for me at least, I’ve always been pretty… It’s always been in the back of my mind to try to communicate my ideas well with the press and answering questions in a way that comes across in a way that I feel comfortable with. But the Internet now — there’s so much that can be said and so much damage that can be done by a real small group of people who are out to shape public opinion in their way, so yeah — it’s a slippery slope.
Sonic Abuse: …and a difficult one because it seems to strip responsibility from opinion…
Tate: Well, that’s another thing that’s so disheartening — when people just anonymously state opinion as fact and there’s nothing to back it up. They don’t even have a real name and they don’t have to stand by their opinion — they’re anonymous.
Read the entire interview from Sonic Abuse.