Dan MacIntosh of Songfacts recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Songfacts: I guess the most popular QUEENSRŸCHE song is "Silent Lucidity".
Geoff: Well, it's a song that was a Top Ten radio hit, so it has a lot of popularity, yeah.
Songfacts: You weren't a writer on that one, were you?
Geoff: Correct. I didn't write that song.
Songfacts: So what does it mean to you?
Geoff: That song to me? I love that song. I think it's a beautiful, beautiful piece. And although I didn't write it, I had a lot to do with shaping the destiny of that track through my melodic contributions and the way I sang it, and also in the mixing of the song and that kind of thing. It had a strange beginning. It started out as simply just acoustic guitar and voice. And it wasn't until we were almost finished with the record, just in the last week of working on the record, that we added all the other instrumentation to it. In fact, our producer didn't really want to put it on the record because he didn't think it was that well-developed as an idea. He was actually putting his foot down at one point saying, "No, I think you should come up with another song. You only have so many songs for the record, I don't think you should put that on the record." I think it's a good idea that he said that because it inspired Chris DeGarmo and I to really buckle down and finish the song and actually make it into what it is.
Songfacts: Do you need that as songwriters sometimes, somebody to give you a kick in the butt to get something done?
Geoff: Yeah, you do. That's why you have that objective opinion or that person that you bring on board to be that objective opinion. Because as a writer, you do get really close to stuff. And you know what you mean when you say something or you play something. But oftentimes it might not translate that way to other people, so the producer's job is to recognize when something isn't translating or be able to recognize that the artist hasn't quite nailed it yet. And that's their job. So yeah, Peter Collins did a great job on that record with us, and I love his work, and the way he handled that whole project was brilliant. He did a really fine job at organizing everything and corralling all the different personalities within the band together to make something happen.
Songfacts: Well, I wanted to wind things up by asking about "Operation: Mindcrime". I've read that you have considered turning that into a movie.
Geoff: Many times, yeah.
Songfacts: Well, because I just saw a great old movie called "The Manchurian Candidate", the original movie, and it has to do with brainwashing and manipulating people. I was kind of thinking about that as I was listening to your music and getting prepared for this, and it just seems to lend itself to a movie. Is that process moving forward at all?
Geoff: Yeah, sure. Actually, we've been approached many, many times over the years to make "Mindcrime" into a film. And anyone that's ever been part of that experience of bringing an album or a screenplay or a story to film knows that it's a really long process that takes years and years and years. So because there are so many different variables, and most of it has to do with two areas: the artistic, creative end — getting the right people involved so that the screenplay is something that is recognizable, or at least as good of a quality as the original work — and secondly, money, and getting the thing funded. So we've been close several times over the years to bringing this thing to fruition. But always in the last minute something falls through. And most of the time it's been funding. Raising the multi millions of dollars it takes to make a film is no easy task. It's kind of a shame. I wish it could happen sooner, because I see films that have come out over the last 20 years that have taken bits and pieces of "Mindcrime" and woven those elements into their own presentations. So it's a bit disheartening at times to see that happen. But that's what happens with art. All artists are inspired by other artists, and we take little things from everyone else and weave them into our presentation.
Read the entire interview from Songfacts.