During a recent appearance on the "Trunk Nation" show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), original QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate spoke about his current tour on which he is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band's landmark concept album "Operation: Mindcrime" by performing the LP in its entirety.
"I've been out on the road with it since January," he said. "All the dates have been incredible. [I'm] playing the entire album with a very enthusiastic band. And my daughter joins me on stage to sing the part of Sister Mary. It's quite a cool presentation; I'm really, really pleased with it. And the audiences seem to really love it.
"Realistically, I don't know if I'll be able to sing this material when I'm 70 — 10 years from now — on the 40th anniversary [laughs], 'cause it's pretty strenous material," he admitted. "Maybe I will — maybe I'll be in good health — but this might be the last time I get to do this, so I'm really, really enjoying it and trying to savor every moment."
Asked whether the "Operation: Mindcrime" material is a challenge for him to sing now, Tate said: "Oh, every night's a challenge, yeah; when you're a singer, it's especially a challenge. But I'm pretty strong; at 60 years old, I'm still pretty strong. So I'm just crossing my fingers and trying to live right and hopefully I can stay healthy. 'Cause it seems like a lot of musicians are kicking it in their mid-60s, and gosh, I just wanna get past that. [Laughs]"
According to Tate, he is still able to sing the "Operation: Mindcrime" songs in a way that does the original material justice. "I have a lot of ability still," he said. "It's really about presenting the song in a good way that gets the idea and the spirit of the song across in a live format. You can't do a record or an album just like the record and perform it live; it's nearly impossible in most people's music. There's variations and things that you do, and that's what makes it special. Otherwise, why don't you just get out there and play the song on a CD live for people? [Laughs] The live performance is what makes it cool and makes it worth going to see, I think.
"I've noticed it in the last couple of years, seeing different bands and artists play, people vary their music to fit their abilities at certain ages," he continued. "I don't think there's anything wrong with it; I kind of like it. I remember seeing Sting perform 'Roxanne', and I think the new version he's doing is cooler than the original one. And that's what's kind of fun about doing this for so long — you do get to change your music up and present it in a different way. And if you don't, I think people kind of stop coming to see you, if you don't make it different each time you go out. And nowadays, I still tour, I still tour regularly every year, I go out, and I hope to keep doing that until I'm unable to. [Laughs] And I hope I realize I'm unable to before I go out. You know what I'm saying? [Laughs]"
Tate will celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Operation: Mindcrime" on a U.S. tour beginning on June 7 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
His band features Kieran Robertson from Scotland on guitar, Bruno Sa from Brazil on keyboards, Jack Ross from Scotland on bass, Scott Moughton from Canada on guitar, Josh Watts from England on drums and Geoff Tate's daughter Emily, who is singing the parts of Sister Mary. She's also in the band TIL DEATH DO US PART, who are special guests on this tour.
In April 2014, Tate and QUEENSRŸCHE announced that a settlement had been reached after a nearly two-year legal battle where the singer sued over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being fired in 2012. Original QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton (guitar), Scott Rockenfield (drums) and Eddie Jackson (bass) responded with a countersuit. The settlement included an agreement that Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson would continue as QUEENSRŸCHE, while Tate would have the sole right to perform the albums "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Operation: Mindcrime II" in their entirety live.
Tate has been replaced in QUEENSRŸCHE by former CRIMSON GLORY singer Todd La Torre.