David Garlow of the Syracuse Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with singer Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Syracuse Music Examiner: That was a cool performance of "Lola" [on the March 4 edition of "New Day Northwest" on King 5 TV to promote Tate's show "Rock And Vaudeville"]; loved the wig and the dancers, very cool!
Tate: Oh, thank you! It's going to be a fun show where we try and impersonate our favorite performers. That's the best Ray Davies that I could do! [Laughs]
Syracuse Music Examiner: You will be here next week on the "25th Anniversary Of 'Operation: Mindcrime'" tour, can you talk about this tour and what we can expect at the show?
Tate: It's a real honor and a pleasure to play "Operation: Mindcrime" in its entirety. It's a fan favorite! I have some really excellent musicians playing it with me. We get to play the whole thing! "Mindcrime" is almost exactly an hour long, so we play it and hopefully the fans appreciate it and asks us out for an encore and we'll rip into some of their favorite QUEENSRŸCHE songs!
Syracuse Music Examiner: I finally got a chance to listen to "Frequency Unknown". Great album. Can you talk about it and will you be playing some of this next week?
Tate: Yeah, we'll probably play some songs off of that. It was a very fun record to make. Over the years, I've tried to make each record very different from the previous one. Tried to put the band or the people writing and playing with me in a situation where it is conducive to a creative environment. We had a lot of people joining and collaborating on this one. It was really great hearing all of these great musicians' interpretation and input on a song. I'm a firm believer in collaboration; I like other people's input and really to see where a song can go, you know? I really like the record.
Syracuse Music Examiner: You also remade four iconic QUEENSRŸCHE tunes which sound awesome. Can you tell me about the decision to do those and how did you choose from so many?
Tate: Well, that was a record company deal, really. They wanted four specific QUEENSRŸCHE tracks on the record and they wanted them made as close to the original as possible. So, there wasn't much thought process to it; it was looking back at those songs and trying to recreate them, which was difficult to do on a number of levels. Technically utilizing old recording equipment is getting harder to accomplish as it's harder to find. [Laughs] And then performance mode as well. I didn't realize how much I had changed the delivery of certain songs over the years, which you just kind of naturally do — at least I do, and I think probably most singers do. You change your phrasing around, you change your note choice here and there, and you augment the melody over time because typically when you write a song, you spend about a month total between writing and recording and you're done with it. For me, I don't typically look back too much I'm just going off memory every time I perform a song, so it just naturally starts changing and evolving. Like "Silent Lucidity", for example, I changed the phrasing on that all around live. Listening back to the original, I had to put both tracks up and work at creating the same phrasing I did for the record. Over years of performing a song live, you just do different things to it — you know, add notes here, subtract notes there. It's an interesting evolution that I had never really been cognizant of it before we did that record, and we had to go back and listen to the original tracks again.