Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Classic Rock Revisited: I like the fact that you have been around for decades but you are still very interested in doing things differently, trying new things and experimenting.
Geoff: What brought QUEENSRŸCHE together, in the first place, was our love of music. We all came from musical backgrounds and we all had a lot of different musical styles that we appreciated. If you had looked at our record collections then you would have seen that we probably owned every record that was ever made. We had thousands and thousands of records. The first time we ever met to discuss things we brought records in with us to reference things. We were referencing everything from BLUE CHEER to BLACK SABBATH to LIBERACE to JOHN COLTRANE; we had it all in there. We all fell in love with each other’s taste in music. That is what really has held us together all of these years. The pure joy of creating music is what drives the band. We couldn’t stay together if we played the same style and just regurgitated our greatest hits and all that stuff. I don’t think that would be very satisfying, creatively.
Classic Rock Revisited: You are still on a label and making CDs. What do you think the future will hold?
Geoff: This is a very exciting time, as everything is filled with change and transition. I am not just talking about the music business. Industry to politics to business, we are in a global transition. On one hand, it is frightening and scary because we have to figure out how to make it work. On the other hand, it is exciting and challenging. The world is your oyster now as nothing is defined. I think you can reinvent yourself and be anything you want to be and not have to adhere to the old ways of doing things, which in our case was the record industry way. They put you in a box and called you a “genre” in order to market and sell you. You can market and sell yourself now. The idea of genres is changing. I think the end of all record companies will come in a few years. They just can’t make money. It will be a good thing for the artist, because we can reinvent ourselves, but it will be a bad thing because it will put a lot of people out of work.
Classic Rock Revisited: Do you find Loud Proud Records [a Roadrunner Records imprint focusing on established artists] is a good label to be with? I think they do some cool things and have the right idea about bands like QUEENSRŸCHE in today’s marketplace.
Geoff: We went with them because of Tom [Lipsky]. We have known him for years. We were with him at Sanctuary. Tom said he could do this and that and then he waved a lot of money in front of us — that never hurts.
Classic Rock Revisited: Your sales are good for today’s age. Do you ever worry about album sales?
Geoff: I don’t really think in terms of numbers. I’m not a math guy; I’m a musician. Record sales have dried up for everyone. I remember days where if you didn’t sell a million records, then you were a failure. I have now seen record company guys jumping up and down and high-fiving each other if they sell 2,000 records. It’s kind of a weird thing to think about. The whole industry is going to fold and there will no record sales. There will be some type of new technology out there that will come about; we just don’t know what it is yet.
Read the entire interview from Classic Rock Revisited.
Photo by Andy Batt