In a brand new interview with Australia's Heavy, former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate was asked if he thinks heavy rock music has become more popular or accepted in the nearly four decades since he first launched his career.
"Well, when I first started back in the early, early '80s — '81 [or] '82 — metal especially was really the revolutionary music at the time," Geoff responded (hear audio below). "It was really extreme compared to what was popular, what was playing on the radio — that kind of thing. And for many years, record companies wouldn't play metal on the radio — it was thought to be way too over the top. But in time, it got to be very popular, accepted, genrefied to the point where it's almost ridiculous now the type of subgenres there are to describe it. And it's become so accepted that there are clothing styles and they're called lifestyle stores now that you can go into and completely deck yourself out in all the gear that you need to be a fan of the music. [Laughs] So it's gone from being an outcast, revolutionary, dangerous sort of music to completely accepted and watered down and genrified to the point where it's now a lifestyle choice. [Laughs]"
He continued: "When I started out, my generation was all about the art. It wasn't about being a rock star. In fact, the term 'rock star' was an insult. A 'rock star' was somebody that didn't have any real talent. They were just sort of a poser who dressed the part and maybe had a skill at fashion that they really weren't a musician — they were a rock-star poser. But now 'rock star' is a completely changed term. The new generation, the younger generation is completely into the exploitation of the brand that they've created now, which my generation found completely distasteful. You'd never align yourself with Nike or Adidas or some company like that — you'd never do that; that was just completely wrong for my generation. But that's all changed now. Bands have bobbleheads and merchandising and their name on everything possible, from make-up to tennis shoes to sporting wear — you name it. It's on everything. And it's a completely different mindset."
Tate's next release will be the debut album from SWEET OBLIVION, which will arrive on June 14 via Frontiers Music Srl. The project sees Tate teaming up with a stellar cast of Italian musicians led by Simone Mularoni, the mastermind of prog metal masters DGM.
For most of 2018 and the first couple of months of 2019, Tate celebrated the 30th anniversary of QUEENSRŸCHE's "Operation: Mindcrime" by playing the iconic concept album live in its entirety.
Tate is currently on on the road with EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA project, which is touring in support of its latest album, "Moonglow".