Vinny Cecolini of JAM Magazine recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Geoff Tate about the events of the past year, what his current plans are and what might or might not happen once a judge rule this November in his legal conflict with his former bandmates. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
JAM Magazine: For you, what would be the best possible outcome and what would be the worst possible outcome?
Geoff Tate: Legally, I can’t say a lot, but what I think would be helpful for people to understand is that this is strictly a corporate dispute. There is no “winning the name QUEENSRŸCHE” or anything like that. It’s just about who can afford to pay the name. Corporate disputes have rules of engagement that you have to follow that are dictated by the state and the federal government. You cannot fire a corporate member without compensation and proper protocol, which happened in this case. I have to be compensated for my part in the corporation. If they can’t pay me, I will get compensated in some other way. We have to figure out what that is. It is strictly nuts and bolts dollars.
JAM Magazine: It is like a divorce.
Geoff Tate: There is no adultery. [laughs] It is just simple nuts and bolts. There is a formula.
JAM Magazine: For longtime fans, unfortunately, it has been difficult to deal with.
Geoff Tate: I wish it happened differently. I wish it would have been handled with a lot more privacy and decorum. I wish we could have settled it like gentlemen and moved on with our lives without stretching it out for a year and playing it out on the Internet like some sick drama.
JAM Magazine: During your time in QUEENSRŸCHE, could you have ever imagined the brotherhood ending on such a sour note?
Geoff Tate: It never was a brotherhood. It was a bunch of kids that got together and achieved success at an early age. We got used to that success and continued doing the things we did to get that success. We found comfort in our way of working. It’s just that simple. We were never close. We never hung out doing stuff and sharing life. It was always just, “Hey, we have another record to make. Anyone have any ideas? Let’s try to make a record. Here we go.”
JAM Magazine: Obviously, you’re now in a more comfortable space.
Geoff Tate: I’m in a comfortable space where I can feel creative; where I am not trying to operate with my hands tied behind my back.
JAM Magazine: This coming November, should you be awarded the QUEENSRŸCHE name, will the music you’ve written be released under the QUEENSRŸCHE name? Will you maintain your solo career?
Geoff Tate: I don’t know. I don’t have an answer on that just yet. I think maybe after November I’ll have a clear picture on that. I just want to be able to write what I feel. And I don’t want to be dictated to by anyone. I don’t want anyone to say, “You can’t do that because, fill in the blank!” I don’t believe in categorization or genre-fication. I think that ruins art. I think that is elitist. Art is not meant to be confined or put in a box. It’s an uphill climb, because so many people want you to conform. They want you to be what they think you should be.
JAM Magazine: One of the benefits of being on a record label like Deadline Music is you have creative freedom.
Geoff Tate: I never had that issue with record labels. The only time I ever experienced that was during the recording of QUEENSRŸCHE‘s first album, “The Warning”. We went $300,000 dollars over budget and the label (EMI) took the record out of our hands and gave it to someone else to mix.
JAM Magazine: And critics complained it was overproduced.
Geoff Tate: The guy that mixed the album had no clue what QUEENSRŸCHE was. He never listened to hard rock music and didn’t take input from anyone in the band. He just mixed it according to how he thought it should sound. No one in the band could listen to that record. We all hated it.
Read the entire interview from JAM Magazine.