Peter Hodgson of the I Heart Guitar Blog recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On his saxophone playing, which is featured prominently on QUEENSRŸCHE‘s new album, “Dedicated To Chaos”:
“I just love it. I started out in school band playing brass instruments and my preference for instrumentation is usually horns. They’re very similar to singing. They’re a melody instrument and very expressive. You can do a lot of things on it like you would when you are singing. And they’re kind of a sexy instrument. You can get really soulful and haunting with it, and you can also get really nasty as well. It’s very much like a voice: there’s a lot of breathing that goes into it.”
“I primarily play tenor saxes. That seems to be the one that I go to first, the one I can play the best and that I get the most expression out of. But I also play alto and soprano. I haven’t jumped over to the baritone yet. I want to get one because I love the sound of it, but I haven’t found one that I want to buy yet, and they’re very expensive, so I have to justify it.”
On his legendary four-octave vocal range:
“I’m pretty fortunate — I have a very strong voice, and I started out very early in my teens taking voice training. I started using opera techniques, and it really helped me maintain my voice throughout a performance. When I first started singing I could only sing for half an hour before I’d start losing my voice, so with the training it gave me a lot of stamina. I can sing for three hours now and not have a problem. I think that’s really the key: doing the breath exercises and staying healthy. That’s a big part of it. Exercising every day, getting lots of sleep, which is paramount when you are on the road. My body needs eight hours every day, and if I can get the proper rest I can do shows continuously with no break. In fact, I don’t like to take a break. I like to just power through a tour and not have a day off. But that’s just me. I’m fortunate in the fact that I’ve got a lot of strength in my voice.”
On the follow-up to his 2002 solo album:
“I’ve got quite a few tracks recorded for it. I’ve just got to find the time to finish it, really. QUEENSRŸCHE takes up a lot of my time, recording, and, of course, touring is a big part of our livelihood these days. So it becomes really an issue of time. But as a composer I’m always writing. It’s just that a lot of what I write ends up being on a QUEENSRŸCHE record. So I have to kind of juggle that. Economically, it makes more sense for me to put out a QUEENSRŸCHE album, so I customize the songs to fit a QUEENSRŸCHE record.”
Read the entire interview from I Heart Guitar Blog.