QUEENSRŸCHE Frontman Says The American Public 'Has Really Dumbed Down'

Jeff Kerby of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Geoff Tate. An excerpt from the chat follows:

KNAC.COM: Don't you have to have a certain expectation about your fans to even attempt a sequel to the record ["Operation: Mindcrime"] that in many ways has defined what QUEENSRŸCHE has been? Wouldn't the audience have to want to evolve from that point in order to make this successful?

Geoff Tate: "You're getting into a really big can of worms. [Laughs]"

KNAC.COM: In fact those were the exact words I was going to use when I was going to ask you how many times a day you go, "Man, I have really opened up a big can of worms here with this new 'Mindcrime' thing."

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Geoff Tate: "Oh, I never think that."

KNAC.COM: Never?

Geoff Tate: "No, not with the record. Any time you take into account the expectations of people, you are taking a wrong turn. I refuse to go down that path. I have taken it before in my life, and there is no end to the problems and issues that brings up. I want to live my life with no feeling of regret. What I have tried to do with my art is to act upon what moves me. If people like it or they don't, I don't give a shit about that. It isn't for them — it's for me. In that respect it is completely selfish, but that's self expression. That is how I've lived my life, and it has worked."

KNAC.COM: In your defense, in order for anything to be truly authentic, you would have to be focused and committed to the idea of your project rather than replicating a preexisting movement or merely copying a work that you've already produced.

Geoff Tate: "Yeah, I don't think anyone could be successful operating that way because you're constantly chasing public opinion which is so damn fickle. It's like you're constantly chasing a tail that's wagging in front of you. I just don't even think that way. It isn't like we're trying to capitalize on the original 'Operation: Mindcrime' either. If we were going to do that, we would have picked a more successful album. We're just looking to extend the story because it was left open ended. The timing just seems right to revisit the story now and tell the tale because the times we're in now are so similar. The time the original 'Mindcrime' was written was so similar to now — it's really weird. We have Bush in power now along with the conservative, religious right that are limiting freedoms for Americans. We are invested in a no win war overseas that we are putting millions and millions of dollars into while running up an enormous deficit. We are all back in debt again, and these similarities are so ironic that it would almost be a crime not to explore the idea again. In our minds it is time to do that. This record is really a continuation that takes place eighteen years later, and we drop in on Nikki's life and see what he has become.

KNAC.COM: I know you have been bandying around this idea of having a sequel to "Mindcrime" for awhile, and I also know you want to express yourself with this, but did you become more committed after this November's election or instead were you discouraged by the results?

Geoff Tate: "Well, I'm not really out to change anything or any person's mind with this album. It's more of a study of the human condition or a study of power — a kind of cause and effect. Regarding the election though, I don't think that at any given time in my life have I been so disappointed as in this one. I have never been so puzzled by the supposed polarization of the public — actually, I don't necessarily even believe there is a polarization of the public. I don't think the election was an honest election — why should it have been any different than the last one? I think the Bushes are just an incredibly powerful family, and their power extends back through American history. They have so much wealth and power and the ability to sway public policy that they can basically get away with murder. I actually believe that. I'm not talking about conspiracy theories or all of that kind of crap. I'm just talking about reality. The American public in the last ten to fifteen years has really dumbed down. We are just so programmed to accept commerciality and the idea of a consumer society. We have to purchase…stuff. Our culture is basically consumerism."

Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.

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