The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Looking back, say, 20 years ago, has technology surpassed where you thought it would be for the better or even for the worst?
Geoff: Well, for me, technology means specifically computer-based technology and the communications that it opened up was always incredibly interesting to me. When I first became aware of computers and what they could do, it just astounded me. My imagination went crazy and I saw all these different possibilities for utilizing these tools. Over time, I think that all of those things have come to a realization and now everything we do is based around computer technology. It's become more of a standard as much as it can be in our capitalistic society. It's where we've taken it as far as communication goes that's really the mind-blowing thing for me and how people have adapted to it so easily and completely. We're always plugged in now and in fact it now takes effort to become unplugged. [laughs] The discipline to pull yourself away from the social sites and the shopping and the information that is found on the Internet you actually have to discipline yourself not to partake in it. The whole idea has now changed. Instead of indulging in it 24/7, now I find myself pulling away from it as much as I can. [laughs]
The Great Southern Brainfart: You said earlier that you enjoyed going out on your solo tour and doing those songs. Why go out as QUEENSRŸCHE now as opposed to going out there as Geoff Tate and diving more into that solo side of your conscious and creative side?
Geoff: Honestly, I feel like I'm in an incredible position right now where I can do both. I used to think, and this was my way of operating and my way of looking at the world, that QUEENSRŸCHE has no limits. We can create anything that we can imagine and we define what we are by what we create. There shouldn't be any kind of limitations set upon us, especially limitations that are thought of by outside people. We shouldn't be influenced by what other people think we should be. I think I've come to the realization that this isn't possible anymore. The world has changed and the world doesn't want non-conformity. They want black-and-white art. If they fall in love with an artist or band, they want that artist or band to continue creating exactly the same thing over and over again. We've created genre upon genre of sub genres now by breaking everything down into tiny boxes to digest and to sell. That's a difficult thing to swallow as an artist, because I've always felt that art is something that reflects your life and your life isn't a static thing. It's constantly moving and changing. You're experiencing different things and those things should be talked about in your art. The solo work gives me the chance to branch out from things that are QUEENSRŸCHE. When I have material that I feel fits within the confines of what QUEENSRŸCHE is, I can release that material in that format. Other material that doesn't fit into that I can release as my solo work. I feel like I'm in the right place to do both things.
The Great Southern Brainfart: Is this also why you've said that you don't really want to be in a band anymore and that you'd rather work with a revolving door of musicians? Do you feel this will allow you more freedom as opposed to having to conform to normalcy, I guess you could say?
Geoff: Well, having the ability to collaborate with a number of different people gives you the freedom to create in a much more open way without being limited to the abilities of a given group of people, so yeah, it gives you a lot more freedom to express yourself and to experiment. Also, having spent 30 years with the same people was an endeavor that started out with the best intentions. It was a band of guys getting together as friends and creating music — one for all and all for one. I honestly never thought that we would deviate from that, and unfortunately, I was proven wrong. I don't ever want to be in that position again, of putting my heart and soul into something, and having the good of the group in mind with every decision I make, only to have one or two people within that group turn against me and betray me. I can't live with that anymore so I don't want to put myself in that position. I don't, honestly, feel like I need to be in that position anymore.
The Great Southern Brainfart: At some point that can also prove to be detrimental to your creativity.
Geoff: Absolutely. I know we didn't want to talk about the [lawsuit over the QUEENSRŸCHE band name].
The Great Southern Brainfart: Geoff, this is your floor man so talk about whatever you want.
Geoff: Well, I won't get too into it but I have to say that I am really looking forward to this whole thing winding down and coming to an end so I can get on. I want to live in that creative life that I've been used to and I can't do that right now. I can't put myself into that frame of mind with this situation still looming over my head. It's just not conducive to a positive, creative experience. I'm just waiting for the end of January to be done with. [laughs]
Read the entire interview at The Great Southern Brainfart.