Former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate spoke to SeattleSoundLive about his decision to name his new band after QUEENSRŸCHE's epic concept album from 1988, "Operation: Mindcrime". He said: "Well, I chose that name for two reasons. The first and foremost reason is that I needed a name that will be recognizable to my fans and a name that they were familiar with."
He continued: "You know, I spent 35 years finding everything that I did and created, spoke about and thought about under the name of QUEENSRŸCHE. So, not having that name anymore left me kind of adrift in the 21st century where it is very difficult to let people know who you are, where you are at, if there is a new album out or appearing in their city. It is not like it used to be where there was one magazine or one newspaper that covered entertainment, you know? Now, our news is so selective and we program our own news and we select our own channels of information and topics etc. In a way, we are cut off, in a sense; we have all these possibilities, but we customize our playlist and our information playlist, you know? So, I needed a name that people recognized, and reason number two, I wanted to continue making conceptual music, conceptual albums, story albums and the words OPERATION: MINDCRIME say that. It lets people know that this is going to be a project like the album of 'Operation: Mindcrime'."
Tate also talked about OPERATION: MINDCRIME's rotating lineup, which has included John Moyer (DISTURBED), drummers Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO) and Brian Tichy (WHITESNAKE, OZZY OSBOURNE), keyboardist Randy Gane (MYTH), and guitarists Kelly Gray (QUEENSRYCHE 1998 - 2001, 2012 - 2014) and Scott Moughton. He said: "I wanted to create an environment where the musicians felt like they weren't tied to the project, so to speak, where they could go and do other projects, tour with other bands and write on other people's records, and they weren't locked down to my project, and I wanted to have the same feeling too. It's kind of like the approach the jazz musicians took in the '30s and '40s, where you had all these great players that would get together and do different things and go off and do other things, you know? It is a really nice environment, because the type of players that I want to play with are of the same mind — they want to do other projects and be involved with other things and play with as many people they can play with. It's a wonderful thing to be able to launch yourself into a different group of musicians and to graph what it is that they are doing and to adapt to that. You know? It's a wonderful, wonderful thing to do that. [It's something] I never had the chance [to do], being in a band for so many years, being tied to the same people. So this way it works for everyone involved, and we are all free to go do other things and come together when we can and want to… It keeps it interesting, definitely. I will give you a great example; Brian Tichy, one of my drummers that has been playing with me, he will go do a tour with somebody and come back doing drum tracks with me and say, 'Check this out.' I learned this with so and so, and he brings in this new information that maybe I have never been exposed to before and I find it inspiring to take the music in different directions. Which is what I am all about: variety."
OPERATION: MINDCRIME will release its debut album, "The Key", on September 18 via Frontiers Music Srl.
"The Key" will be the first part of OPERATION: MINDCRIME's trilogy project which Tate began recording in 2014.