Mitch Lafon of PureGrainAudio.com recently conducted an interview with Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE). A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
PureGrainAudio.com: Is there any benefit or anything positive about leaving the band? Has it re-energized you as an artist whereas you can create your own vision (by yourself)?
Geoff: Yeah, absolutely, I feel reborn. I feel free and very positive... Very up. Not having to work with limitations. I'm free to call my own shots and make my own decisions. I'm free to work with who I want to work with and at what time I want to work and for how long. I don't have to compromise. The list is endless.
PureGrainAudio.com: In your vocation it becomes difficult because when you go out and play live; you have to play what you wrote twenty years ago. How do you approach a song that's twenty years old and make it fresh from today's perspective?
Geoff: There's a huge amount of pressure to be a nostalgia act... Just play "Empire" songs. No! I don't just want to keep playing "Empire" songs. I want to write new music. I want to keep stretching and growing as a musician and an artist. I'm going to do that no matter how much people tell me I can't.
PureGrainAudio.com: But you still have to deliver it with conviction when you step on that stage...
Geoff: And I want to and that's what I don't do some songs from the past because I can't deliver them with any kind of conviction. I can't get behind those lyrics. I gave up dungeons and dragons when I was thirty, you know what I'm saying?
PureGrainAudio.com: What songs in particular?
Geoff: The first two albums. That stuff. I can't... I understand and appreciate that some people really like it, but I liked it at the time I wrote it. But I'm in my fifties now and I don't look at it the same way now. I don't want to do a song that I can't throw down with complete conviction because it'll come across as fake.
PureGrainAudio.com: A lot has been made about your wife, Susan, being QUEENSRŸCHE's manager. Are there any regrets that she managed the band? Was it the right thing to do?
Geoff: Regret on my part? Absolutely not.
PureGrainAudio.com: What do you say to those who say, "You can't have your wife manage the band"?
Geoff: Fuck you. That's what I say. Fuck you. You don't know what you're talking about. You are talking out of your ass. That's the thing about "people" — are they in our organization? No. Have they spent ten years doing it? No. Have they spent one minute doing it? No. Then they have no fucking opinion.
PureGrainAudio.com: What has she brought to the table for you as an artist?
Geoff: Susan is incredibly good at "spinning plates" and keeping people on the same page and putting them into a scenario in which they can accomplish things. You deal with artists and people in the music business and they tend to generally have a character that would be defined as "flaky." You need to have someone there that is constantly following up with people going, "You're going to call them at what time?" Then following up to make sure they placed that call... The policeman. Susan does that very well. Plus, she's very business-savvy and has steered the band through incredibly difficult times. You know what the music industry is or what's left of it. It's horrible and there's no money in it. She managed to create opportunities for the band for the whole time that she was managing them. We call it pulling a rabbit out of the hat. It's creative management and it's what's needed. Giving the band work, keeping them on the road, keeping them making records and keeping them making a living.
Read the entire interview at PureGrainAudio.com.