Sara Escalante of VintageRock.com recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE vocalist Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
VintageRock.com: It's been about a decade since the release of your self-titled solo album, which you described as a very introspective project. I read recently that with the new album, "Kings & Thieves", you were "ready to rock" and were focused on making a "solid rock album." What drove that shift and how has the process of creating this album been different than the last?
Tate: One's first solo album is typically a drastic step away from what one is used to doing, because by the time you make a solo record you really want to make something different. You want to work with different people. You want to have a fresher approach. So my first solo album is definitely that. It's an exploration of my different musical influences — there's a lot of jazz and R&B influenced music on that record. And with this album I just really wanted to focus on my rock roots. The whole project was really fun to make, and actually really quick too. I started the record January 2, 2012, and finished it July 15, so it went really fast in comparison to other records I've done in my career — some of them took years to make.
VintageRock.com: You've attributed life as a big inspiration for your music — can you elaborate on that for our readers, perhaps give us a glimpse into your creative process?
Tate: Life is very inspirational. There's a lot going on, and I think if you just open up your mind and your heart and your eyes to what's happening around you, inspiration will translate into your writing. I just try and pay attention to what's going on; not only to myself, but also to the people around me, the people I love. And then I take a step further outside and make an observation of what's happening in the place I live or with the people I come in contact with. I take inspiration from all these different things so I'm really never at a loss for something to write about. And I think there is something to be said for writing about what you know, writing about what's important to you. Often times the best kinds of songs come from that.
VintageRock.com: Because you have been in the business for almost four decades, I'm wondering, how you feel about the impact the Internet has had on music — iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, etc — how have these entities affected the music industry and musicians in particular?
Tate: I think the music industry is in a state of rearrangement. It used to operate within certain parameters, it had a system set in place, and that whole system has changed now. The record industry, as it exists today, is nothing even close to the record industry that I started out in years ago. It's changed so drastically, and one of the things that are very challenging is actually communicating with people. We live in what they call "the communication age," but in a way it's a lot more difficult to communicate with people. They don't go to the same publications anymore, they don't go to the entertainment section of a newspaper to find out what's going on, in fact, most people don't even read newspapers nowadays because that's all been replaced with technology. And, unfortunately, a lot of the people that are in the industry, such as club owners and promoters, still cling onto this old way of doing things, but the old way doesn't work anymore. You have to find new ways of reaching people and letting them know you have an album out, for example, or that you're going on tour, and that is the biggest challenge — reaching people. So it's an interesting time, a time of change and opportunity for people with vision to set up a new way of doing things.
Read the entire interview from VintageRock.com.
Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral