David Boyle of Target Audience Magazine recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Target Audience Magazine: Over the years, you’ve repeatedly said that you no longer feel inspired to sing selections from the earliest QUEENSRŸCHE albums, especially the most obscure tracks which have not been played on recent tours. Even if you had the inspiration to sing such QUEENSRŸCHE classics now — “Deliverance”, “Child Of Fire”, “Blinded” and “Roads To Madness”, to cite some examples — would you be able to sing them up to the level you once did, or would those notes and style of singing put too much strain on your voice?
Tate: Wow! This misconception is puzzling to me. If one starts at the beginning, my life and my interests can be traced through my music. I do admit, some of those early songs from the EP and the “Warning” album hold different meaning for me now, much like the “dungeons and dragons” of early adolescence now hold a different meaning for most adults. There are several gems on those early records that I still feel strongly about and, as most people who have attended a QUEENSRŸCHE show lately, we as a band picked every song on the set list to reflect our individual favorites and our audience’s favorites. In fact, over the years, we have conducted polls of our fans to get an accurate idea of what people wanted to hear live. I have very fond memories of playing “Rage For Order” in its entirety last year and also “Operation: Mindcrime” in its entirety at the end of our thirty-year-anniversary tour in December of 2011. In fact, the entire anniversary tour setlist was comprised of songs from all our albums.
Target Audience Magazine: You have sung the national anthem on many occasions. That’s a tough song to perform live, even for a seasoned professional who’s confident and comfortable in his abilities. Does that gig come with extreme pressure? Have you ever been nervous about singing the anthem, knowing the public has very high expectations?
Tate: I love singing the national anthem. It’s a very inspiring lyric and the melody is engrained in our collective conscious. It always gives me goose bumps when I perform it. It’s really not that difficult to sing. What is difficult is the environment in which one is performing. It’s typically not set up properly for the singer. In the past, the equipment was antiquated and underpowered. Now many stadiums have in-ear monitoring set up so the singer doesn’t have to suffer with a 2-to-4-second delay bouncing back at you and throwing you off.
Target Audience Magazine: How do the themes on your new/solo release differ from your work with QUEENSRŸCHE? How does the process feel for you as a songwriter?
Tate: How the themes differ is a judgment call and best left for the audience to decide for themselves. I believe people experience art in their own way and I would never presume that my, or anyone’s, opinion mattered regarding differences. Making “Kings Thieves” was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had working on a record. I really was able for the first time in years to work at my own pace, which shows how quickly the album came together and is now ready to be released in just over one year after the last QUEENSRŸCHE album. It was also invigorating to work with positive, happy people who were enthusiastic about creating music.
Read the entire interview from Target Audience Magazine.