QUEENSRŸCHE's Geoff Tate Talks To BraveWords.com - "We Existed Before There Was A Genre Called Progressive Metal"
July 12, 2011, 3 years ago
Seattle’s enduring prog-rock legends QUEENSRŸCHE have just released their twelfth studio album, Dedicated To Chaos. Once again, the band has pushed its musical boundaries and challenges the listener to follow along. Singer, Geoff Tate, sat down with BraveWords.com to discuss the band’s continued evolution.
BraveWords.com: Queensrÿche’s albums differ from one to the next. Why is there not an AC/DC consistency to them?
Geoff Tate: “It’s what we do. It’s our thing. AC/DC is the world’s biggest bar band, that’s what they do. We make each record different and we explore our musical chemistry and see where we can take the music each time.”
BraveWords.com: Dedicated To Chaos was made with ‘headphones’ and ‘iPods’ in mind. Was it difficult to record using those parameters?
Tate: “No, it wasn’t difficult to do, but it’s definitely a mindset. You have to go in with a plan and approach it that way. You have to stay true to it. Sometimes, you get caught up in the moment and the plan shifts, but you have to reel it back in.”
BraveWords.com: Queensrÿche was one of the first band’s to embrace recording digitally. You’ve always been keen to explore and record using new technologies…
Tate: “Yeah, we’re definitely into that. I think Mindcrime was one of the first digital records ever made. In fact, when we played it back to our record company at the time – they hated it! The said it sounded too brittle, harsh, and that the high-end was piercing. They were used to the warmer analog sound that kind of muddied things up and this was different to their ears. They wanted us to go back in and ‘tame’ it and ‘warm’ it up, but we didn’t want to do that. We wanted it to be cruel and harsh. That was one of the concepts within the concept. We wanted to paint the full audio picture of the surroundings… Downtown Manhattan and Hell’s Kitchen isn’t warm and fuzzy.”
BraveWords.com: As the technology evolves, it seems less and less of a necessity to make albums. Is it important for you to keep making them or, at some point, do you think you’ll stop and simply make ‘singles’?
Tate: “It’s not really and this album is not really an album. It’s more of a playlist. It’s some new tracks from us and you can put them in any order you want. If alphabetically works for you… It can be anything you want it to be. Order in a grouping of songs is important only if you’re trying to tell a story, but for the most part (as long as the keys sound good going from one song to the next) it doesn’t really matter. We are moving away (as a society) from the concept of an album. So many things in our society are in flux and change. Not just technological advances, but social issues, political situations and people’s viewpoints are changing radically. It’s a fascinating time to be alive.”
BraveWords.com: Is it a shame that we’re going to lose the album as a concept or it is more freeing (artistically) for you as a musician? You can literally wake up one morning, record a song and have it on iTunes later in the day.
Tate: “The whole music industry doesn’t resemble what it was, at all, when we started. It’s gone through massive changes and it’s on its way out. It’s a model that has out-lived its time. No disrespect to the record labels that are still struggling trying to stay in business, but their model is out-dated. Why on earth would people pay for music when they can get it for free? There’s no use in it. Writing CDs reviews – same thing. What use is it? Most people don’t read that stuff anyways. They are interested in what they are interested in.”
BraveWords.com: I agree. If I had listened to reviewers growing up, I wouldn’t like Queensrÿche, KISS, CHEAP TRICK… Yet those are the bands I live for. So, why should I write a review and tell somebody ‘don’t buy this album…’ It doesn’t make sense.
Tate: “It doesn’t make sense and as far as models that are out-dated, there’s no use for a record company anymore. There really isn’t. The distribution network that record companies had is gone. Retail outlets are gone and retail, in general, is on its way out. People are selling warehouses for dirt-cheap because they can’t afford to keep merchandise on the floor. The concept of retail buying and showrooms is going away. So, yes it’s incredibly freeing to be immediate with music… To be able to comment musically on an event, a situation or a thought and immediately have it out there in the world community is an incredibly artistic move and very satisfying.”
BraveWords.com: I know you like following current events and the news (in general). At some point, will you write and record a song a couple of days or a week after an event and put it out there?
Tate: “Oh, absolutely. We already have, but the only thing that keeps it from coming out is the record company. We’ve got stacks and stacks of songs and videos… You name it - that is waiting to be put out because they (the records companies) can’t move fast enough.”
BraveWords.com: Will there be a Queensrÿche box set or will you release them as ‘the single of the month’ (via iTunes)?
Tate: “It’ll be put out eventually, but there’s no money to be made selling music anymore. When the number one record sells 40 000 units worldwide…c’mon. There’s a shift in the paradigm…”
BraveWords.com: That’s a big shift. Back in the day if you didn’t sell two million copies, you were a failure. Now, if you sell twenty-seven thousand you’re a major success.
Tate: “The numbers have changed, but let’s look at that… Why base success on units sold? That’s a concept that’s going out too. In America, we base everything on sales, but it’s a concept that is changing radically and it’s exciting to watch. It’s really exciting to figure out, ‘how can you live’ in the world that is being shaped right now. We’re feeling it, economically, around the world right now.”
BraveWords.com: That’s made things especially difficult for bands. It seems the only way to make money is with the live show. Your tour is about to start…
Tate: “We’ve done some one-off dates warming up, and then we head to Europe to support JUDAS PRIEST.”
BraveWords.com: I think I’ve asked you this in every interview over the last ten years. Will you ever record with Rob Halford?
Tate: “I don’t know. We operate in different circles. It would be fun to see what we could come up with. He’s a very artistic guy and has a lot of good ideas. He’s a good man…”
BraveWords.com: We’ve also talked in the past about a treatment for a film project. Any update? Has that advanced at all?
Tate: “The Mindcrime story?”
Tate: “It’s definitely moving ahead. We’re in talks with several people about the project, but I can’t really say more about it.”
BraveWords.com: In more general terms, is the movie a story based around the album or is it Queensrÿche’s ‘A Hard Days Night” (a movie with you running around just being silly)?
Tate: “Absolutely… NOT! No, it’s a movie based on the story.”
BraveWords.com: Mindcrime – part I & II?
BraveWords.com: Is the story of Mindcrime done or is part three coming soon?
Tate: “No, it’s done.”
BraveWords.com: Mindcrime is your signature album, but does it get annoying that everything you do gets compared to it?
Tate: “Well Mitch, it’s just human nature. People grasp onto something that means a lot to them and it becomes very important to them. Music is an incredibly personal journey and not just for the artist, but also for the listener. They pick music that appeals to them because of their life and where they are in their life. That story (Mindcrime) is a classic story line about the downtrodden, people that get taken advantage of, manipulated and how they try to stay afloat. That story has been told for thousands of years.”
BraveWords.com: Very timeless…
Tate: “Very timeless and so people relate to it. So, there will always be a segment of people that latch on to it and hold it very dear and nothing will ever compare to that for them… As an artist, you just accept that. I’m glad you like something that we’ve done. But there are also a lot of people that are always ready for something new and find inspiration in newer material or a specific song from an album. I hear just as many stories about songs or other albums of ours as I do about Mindcrime.”
BraveWords.com: Well, I’m all about Promised Land.
Tate: “Well, there you go.”
BraveWords.com: Dedicated to Chaos seems more focused on the rhythm section (almost tribal) and less on the guitar whereas the first few Queensrÿche albums were very guitar driven…
Tate: “First off, there’s guitar on every song. It’s just playing a different role.”
BraveWords.com: True, but when you listen back to 'Deliverance', 'Queen Of The Reich' or any of the early tracks the guitars were up front…
Tate: “Things have changed a lot in thirty years and as a musician you’re always looking for different ways to write a song, express yourself, and you’re influenced by what’s going on around you. I feel that today’s world is very rhythmically driven. We plug into our iPods and we wear them all day doing what we do and rhythm is a very important part of the human experience. We’re built to move. So, the drums and the bass on a lot of the songs on the record are playing that role. They are moving the band and what we wanted to do on this record was have the guitar accent rather than play the same rhythm than the bass or the drums were playing. There’s less guitar following a rhythm. There are lots of syncopated and off-time guitar accents… There’s more ‘melody’ guitar, which is something we wanted to accomplish as well on this record. We wanted to treat the guitar as a melodic instrument rather than strictly a rhythm instrument. The guitar is a very expressive instrument. You can do a lot with it, but we just approached it in a different way on this record. Not on every song, of course, but on a select few.”
BraveWords.com: At some point, do you go back to making a more guitar driven album (with songs like 'Queen Of The Reich')?
Tate: “I’m sure we will. There are so many different ways to write a song. I think if you take apart any given song, you can play it on any instrument and it’s going to sound different. It’ll have a different feel to it. We just did a rendition of 'Jet City Woman' where we changed just one note in the progression and it gave the song a whole different feel. We, then, played it acoustically and that gave it a whole different vibe all together. It’s still the same song, but it’s approached in a different way and that’s the beauty of music. This particular record is just a collection of songs that we’ve done recently. We’ll continue to experiment and try different things with our music. It’s just what we do and that’s why we got together in the first place. Everybody was open to experimentation and a lot of different styles of music. Everyone in the band had giant record collections (in fact we still do). I had like 7,000 albums and we just like a lot of different things. We just work all of those influences into what we do.”
BraveWords.com: There’s a sort of irony to Queensrÿche. You’re supposed to be this ‘progressive’ band, but every time you ‘progress’ with your music fans go ‘wait a minute – we want you to stay the same’.
Tate: “We’ve never been a band that’s called ourselves anything other than Queensrÿche. Other people…”
BraveWords.com: But the label has always been ‘progressive metal’ and Operation: Mindcrime is considered to be a ‘progressive metal’ album, but when you progressed to Hear In The Now Frontier people were like ‘hey, wait a minute that’s not Operation: Mindcrime. What do you think you’re doing?’
Tate: “We existed before there was a genre called ‘progressive metal’. We never played that game. I’d rather have people think of us as just ‘Queensrÿche’ and leave off the labels. Labels are what keep you pinned down as an artist. You start believing what people think about you and that’s a dangerous point. Once you start trying to be what other people think you are supposed to be… then you might as well hang it up because you not speaking for yourself. You’re just catering to a sub-section of your audience.”
BraveWords.com: It’s also got to be freeing now that you don’t have to worry about record sales and worry about the bigger audience. You can really concentrate on making the music that you want and not cater to the demands of ‘MTV’.
Tate: “Oh, yeah and that fits with your earlier statement about things changing so much… The Internet has absolutely set us free as artists. We don’t have to bend or change or adhere to some box or label that some record company is trying to sell us as. We can do whatever we want to do and we don’t have to worry about sales because they (sales) don’t mean anything anymore.”
BraveWords.com: Over the years Queensrÿche has done a lot of radio shows and played songs like 'Eyes Of A Stranger', 'Sign Of The Times' and more acoustically. At some point, will you put out an acoustic album?
Tate: “Yes. We have quite a collection of tracks recorded acoustically and we have a bunch of new songs (that are acoustic as well) just waiting here to find a release. So, definitely.”
BraveWords.com: Are we talking ‘this Christmas’ or five years down the road?
Tate: “I don’t know, but I would definitely say ‘more closer’ to now than in five years.”
BraveWords.com: A few years ago, you released a Geoff Tate solo album. As an artist, are you putting together another collection of songs that expresses who Geoff Tate is or is Queensrÿche your focus for the foreseeable future?
Tate: “I have another solo record in the works right now. It’s pretty close to being finished. I still have to fill in some blanks. You know, I write everyday and I have tons of music… lots and lots of stuff. I’m just waiting for the right time to put it out. The reason why I did a solo record was simply because I wanted to work with some different people. I had been working with the same bunch of people for years and years. I needed ‘vacation time’ away from the usual. I needed to work with different people and get different energy involved. It really was a fun record to make and I got to make music that had been sitting there for a while… music I couldn’t make with Queensrÿche.”
BraveWords.com: It was very different…
Tate: “And since then, I think Queensrÿche has done (and everybody in the band) has done a lot to get outside of the box and their own limitations. We’ve done some really cool stuff (music wise) in the last few years. So, I don’t think I need to go outside Queensrÿche to do something different now, but I still would like to.”
BraveWords.com: Would the stuff you have for a second solo album be a complete departure from Queensrÿche or are they simply songs that for some reason couldn’t fit onto a Queensrÿche album?
Tate: “They’re just songs that I would like other people to play on in order to get their perspective. As a drummer, Scott (Rockenfield) can play anything I put in front of him, so it’s not a matter of ability. It’s just a different energy. Same with Eddie (Jackson), he’s very open to anything you throw in front of him and he’ll come up with something cool. Michael (Wilton), though, has very definite likes and dislikes and that’s not a negative. He’s a great guitar player, but he likes what he likes. Since Chris (DeGarmo) left the band, we’ve kept that second guitarist position open to work with different people and it’s been great for us because we get a different sense of collaboration with people. We have different energy within the group dynamic. We get to experiment a lot more, which is one thing (I think); you really need to do with a band. You need to experiment with your stuff. Otherwise, you just regurgitate the same thing and people within the band get dismayed with that and they don’t feel they’re moving ahead with their instrument. We tend to go to great lengths… We’ve gone to different places to do records. We sat in a cabin for six months to make a record. Scott, on this record, set up his drums completely different, so he’d be forced to play them differently. He’d be forced as a musician to expand what he’s already accomplished… to get out of his comfort zone. I did the same thing. I moved to a different location to write… looking for different inspiration. We sat down ahead of time (on this record) and said ‘what do we want to do’ and one of the things we wanted to do was play our instruments differently. You’re a writer, Mitch, and I’m sure you don’t want to write the same thing everyday. You probably have exercises you do to put yourself in the frame of mind to write. I do that – working on songs. I’ll take things to a certain point and I’ll leave things unfinished, so that I’ll have a place to start the next day because when you’re sitting there staring at a blank piece of paper that’s always the toughest.”
BraveWords.com: I was recently asked if Chris DeGarmo still played music or has he completely shut it off. Do you know?
Tate: “As far as I know, he isn’t playing anything and hasn’t picked up a guitar in years.”
BraveWords.com: What a shame. He’s one of the great ‘guitar Gods’ of the ‘80s.
Tate: “It is a shame and I don’t understand it. It’s not where I’m at at all, so it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around somebody’s decision to change their life around that radically.”
BraveWords.com: Do you think you might get to that point where you say, ‘I’m done’?
Tate: “I don’t see that happening. I can’t see that place.”
BraveWords.com: You wouldn’t want to just go sailing for the rest of your life?
Tate: “I’m obsessed with music. I was born to be a musician. It’s what I do and it’s how I define myself. It’s how I communicate the best. So, I can’t relate to people that just stop. I understand that you go through dry periods. Periods where you’re off on some different tangent, but most people bring it around and keep going. Some people stop all together and that’s what they need and you can’t fault them for that because they’re on their own life path.”
BraveWords.com: So, Queensrÿche is not plotting ahead to the ‘farewell tour’ and ‘let’s all go home and be house-husbands’.
Tate: “I’d shoot myself in the face. When I do retire, I’ll be one of those horrible retirees because I need to work and express myself. I need to do something that’s creative.”
BraveWords.com: So, it’ll be like OZZY OSBOURNE’s 1992 ‘No More Tours’ retirement tour.
Tate: “The whole idea of retirement hasn’t come up in my circle. Although, I am getting at an age where people around me are talking about it and, in some cases, to doing it. One of my daughter’s is having a baby any day now, so I’m getting ready to be a grandfather and that’s really screwing with my head. My idea of a grandpa is my grandpa and I’m not that guy at all. I don’t even want to be called grandpa. I’m going to have to think of a new title…”
BraveWords.com: And I’m not sure ‘Queensrÿche - the grandpa tour” would look good on a t-shirt…
Tate: “No, it wouldn’t, but it’s a fact of life.”
BraveWords.com: Congratulations – by the way.
Tate: “Time does go by fast when you think about it. Chris, for example, left in 1997.”
BraveWords.com: Fourteen years already…wow.
Tate: “I know. We’ve made so many records and tours without him. We’ve actually been a band longer now without him than with him. Mitch, you’re in Canada, right?”
BraveWords.com: Yes, in your old stomping grounds, Montreal.
Tate: “I love that city. That’s where the Mindcrime story was written.”
BraveWords.com: In a bar on St-Denis street…
Tate: “Yes, bar Saint-Sulpice (Lesaintsulpice.ca) on St-Denis.”
BraveWords.com: It’s a great city. You should move back.
Tate: “I was there a couple of years ago with my wife. We walked and drove around Montreal. We went to a lot of the different places we used to go and a lot of them are still there. A lot of the restaurants and bars I used to go to are still there. Sometimes, in cities you go to all that stuff is gone and a strip mall is put up…”
BraveWords.com: Montrealers seem to like something and stick with it. There’s no hurry to change for change’s sake.
Tate: “I like that about Montreal and cities in Europe tend to be like that too. You can go back to the same restaurant, you went to twenty years ago.”
BraveWords.com: When did you move out of Montreal?
Tate: “I only lived there a short period of time. I guess it was 1985-1986.”
BraveWords.com: So, around the Rage For Order era.
Tate: “Yes, absolutely.”
BraveWords.com: Do you still talk to DALBELLO?
Tate: “No, I haven’t spoken to her in years. I don’t know what’s happened to her. I hear her voice occasionally on commercials, but I don’t know what’s happening with her. She certainly was a creative person in terms of her music.”
BraveWords.com: 'Gonna Get Close To You' is a great song. Before Queensrÿche made it more popular, we’d see her version on Much Music all the time. Then you guys took it over and it was like ‘wow, Queensrÿche is covering a reasonably unknown Canadian artist’. How cool is that?
Tate: “It was cool. It’s definitely a great song, which is why we choose it. Plus, we knew her.”
BraveWords.com: Was she from Montreal?
Tate: “No, she was from Toronto.”
BraveWords.com: So, you didn’t meet her because you were living in Montreal…
Tate: “No, I first met her in London. She was working over there for awhile.”
BraveWords.com: How did the choosing to make her song come about? Did you simply hear it and think, ‘what a great song’ or did she submit it to you?
Tate: “Somebody I knew and worked with gave me her album and I fell in love with the record. I’ve always been a MICK RONSON fan and he had worked on that record. It’s a brilliant record and as it happened I ran into her at a club. We got to talking and she told me her name and I said, ‘are you Lisa Dalbello the singer?’ So, I said, ‘I have your album,’ and she said, ‘which one?’ I was embarrassed because I only knew of that one, but I got all of her stuff after that.”
BraveWords.com: Then you decided to give in the Queensrÿche treatment…
Tate: “I was listening to the song a lot around the band and everybody dug the song. We started playing around with it because that’s what we do when we hear people’s stuff… How’d they do that? How did they play that? What if we did this to it? Hey, that’s cool… turn the recorder on. So, it just happened like that. People love that song. It’s a hard song to play… it sounds simple, but it’s a workout to sing that song (and not just to sing it – to play it too). There’s a lot going on in it.”
BraveWords.com: I can imagine. I was listening to it last night with headphones on and there are just a lot of ambient sounds and backgrounds noises going on. There’s a lot of information to take in, so I can just imagine how difficult it must be to play live.
Tate: “Well, we had a definite idea about what we were trying to accomplish with the Rage For Order record. We were trying to create a really modern sounding record using industrial sounds (and sounds that were around us) and working them into a musical palette, so there are lots of sampled sound effects and things that we just recorded randomly and made music out of them. It was kind of a cutting edge record for the time. I remember when it came out that most people didn’t like it, which is kind of how it is with our stuff. People immediately compare it to the last thing we did and usually it’s different, so it takes them a while to get into it. Time always works on our side.”
BraveWords.com: It really does. I did not like Rage For Order when it came out, but I can’t imagine my musical landscape now without ‘Walk In Shadows’ or ‘I Will Remember’ in it. A lot of people didn’t like Promised Land when it came out, but I adored it and now twenty some years later a lot of people are ‘discovering’ it. It’s strange how Queensrÿche fans react to your music.
Tate: “Well, we challenge them a lot…”
BraveWords.com: The stages for liking a Queensrÿche record seems to be: pissed off, challenged, and finally appreciation.
Tate: “I kind of look at it like Van Gogh – nobody liked his shit until he died.”
BraveWords.com: And the same can be said for Dedicated To Chaos. I’ve heard some writers say that on the first listen ‘it sucked’, but on the second listen it ‘grew on me’ and by the third listen, ‘wow, what a great album.”
Tate: “That’s like that with me too. I’m a huge BOWIE fan. I like quite a bit of his material and there’s some I don’t like, but there’s a lot of it that I discovered at different points in my life. The songs may be twenty years old and I’m just now going, ‘oh, wow what an incredible song.’ You just have to be in the right headspace for a song to hit you. When Bowie put out that Earthling album, I bought it, put it on and thought, ‘oh, my God – I can’t relate to this at all’. So, I put it away. Six months later at was at the Virgin Megastore in Paris and they had it up on one of the listening stations and I figured, ‘what the hell – I’ll take a listen’ and it hit me. So, I bought another copy of it just so that I could have it with me. I simply can’t think of not having that record now. I like so much of that stuff on it, but at the time I wasn’t ready to hear it. You attach your life to music. It becomes the background music for a given time in your life. If there is an album by a band and you love the entire record (which is rare)… That record is very special to you and anything that comes out after that you compare it to the one that really hit you. So, it takes time for the new music to set in and to become the background music for your life at this given point and honestly some people just don’t progress musically. What they like is the Warning album and that’s all they like from Queensrÿche. That’s cool and I’m glad they like something that we do.”
BraveWords.com: Plus, that’s a great album…
Tate: “Well, I wouldn’t listen to it.”
BraveWords.com: You wouldn’t listen to the Warning album now?
Tate: “No. I never listen to that album. It’s not where I’m at musically.”
BraveWords.com: Is it because it sounds ‘dated’ or …
Tate: “No. It’s just not where I’m at… I’ve moved on and as the creator of the record I don’t think in those terms anymore. I’ve done that and I’ve moved passed that. I’m on to something else now. That was a stage in my musical development that I hold dear… I’m proud of every record we’ve done. It’s all a snapshot of my life. I’ve been a writer on almost every song we’ve written. So… that’s me you know. I can’t - not like it, but it’s just not something I’d put on to listen to.”
BraveWords.com: What about Tribe?
Tate: “That’s a good question. I’ve never been one of those people to look back. I’m focused on the ‘now’ and what I’m doing at the moment because I make music and write music… It’s different for me compared to a listener. People always ask me, ‘what are you listening to now?’ And the answer is always the same, ‘the music that is in my head’. I hardly ever listen to anybody else’s music because I work everyday writing music, so when I come home I don’t like to have any music on at all unless it’s music without vocals or lyrics. I’ll listen to a jazz record in the background for dinner, but I don’t put on a rock album in the morning.”
BraveWords.com: What? You don’t have Operation: Mindcrime on a 24-hour loop pumping through your house…
Tate: (laughs) “No! And I don’t listen to that record either.”
BraveWords.com: Many fans don’t seem to get that. Paul Stanley has often said he doesn’t sit around an listen to Love Gun…
Tate: “The only time I’ll listen to a Queensrÿche song is when I’m referencing it. For example, when you’re making a new album you’ll go back and listen certain tracks from past album to make sure you have a good drum sound or you liked a certain vocal effect that you had twenty years ago and you try to re-create that. So, you’ll listen back to the song to figure out how to match it or, at least, be in the same ballpark, but for casual listening… NO, I don’t listen to the records once they’re done.”
BraveWords.com: Fair enough, but you will ‘study’ the albums from time to time.
Tate: “Yes, and all of us in the band are like that. We were getting ready to go out on tour a couple of years ago and we were going to play a lot of the stuff from the Rage For Order. So, we said ‘ok, everybody come back to rehearsal tomorrow and be prepared to play these songs’. Of course, when we got to rehearsal the next day nobody had gone back and listened to the songs at all.”
BraveWords.com: So, rehearsal was a big giant mess…
Tate: “No. We played them almost perfectly.”
Tate: “Well, yes. If you write it, it’s in your head. It’s stuck there. It’s a weird thing. It’s like muscle memory and you can suddenly access when you need it.”
BraveWords.com: I can understand that. The other day, I heard the KISS song ‘Charisma’, which I probably haven’t heard since 1988 and I was able to sing all the words to it.
Tate: “Is that from The Elder?”
BraveWords.com: No, Dynasty…
Tate: “When did The Elder come out?”
Tate: “I love that album.”
BraveWords.com: That’s another album much like Promised Land that fans either really love or really love to hate.
Tate: “That’s the strange thing about human nature. Being a musician is really a dedicated study in human nature. You’re constantly in situations where you are having conversations with people with questions like, ‘why don’t you write another Operation: Mindcrime?” Well, because I did that already.”
BraveWords.com: Which is what I find interesting about Queensrÿche and why I asked the ‘AC/DC’ question before. When you speak to Brian or Angus, they’ll proudly say this is AC/DC music and it works for us, so why change it? Queensrÿche is the exact opposite – it’s more like that did work for us and what will work for us now. It’s really two successful bands with two very opposing philosophies about what music is.
Tate: “Absolutely. I think a lot of musicians… well, we all approach it differently. We all have different philosophies. I don’t like DREAM THEATER, for example. I don’t get that band at all and I’ve listened to a lot of their stuff. It’s just not something that connects with me at all musically, but I appreciate the fact that they’re really into it and there are a lot of people that like what they do and that’s cool. I don’t down them for anything. In fact, any band that can make a living writing music and creating art… there’s some talent there. One comment I can’t abide by is that one associate of yours that was listening to our record the first time and said ‘this sucks’. No album, to me, sucks. There is no ‘good’ music or ‘bad’ music. There’s just music and it’s up to the individual whether they can accept it or relate to it or not. It’s a purely personal journey. There’s no way you can say an album by Queensrÿche sucks. There’s no way. It doesn’t even make sense to make that statement. Queensrÿche, like you said, is an incredibly successful band. We’ve been together and making music for thirty years. There’s nothing that we write that sucks. It’s that you (the particular listener) don’t relate to that song or album.”
BraveWords.com: I agree with you. You look at artists like MADONNA, LADY GAGA or even DEAD CAN DANCE that are all successful in their own right, but if you play a Lady Gaga song for me… I’m ready to shoot myself. That doesn’t mean it sucks though. It just means that that isn’t for me. That’s what makes music fun – that we all like something different.
Tate: “Some people like sushi and others will never put it in their mouths.”
BraveWords.com: Any last words about Dedicated To Chaos?
Tate: “It’s a varied record. There are lots of different kinds of songs on it. If I had to compare it to any album we’ve done in the past, I would say it’s the closest to Empire. It’s a collection of songs like Empire was and it’s timely. Empire was a real rock album for the times and this is a real rock album for the times. It’s very timely.”
BraveWords.com: Well, thank you for your time…
Tate: “Pleasure talking to you Mitch.”
For more visit Queensrÿche.com.