On June 15, five days before Seattle progressive rockers QUEENSRŸCHE announced that they were officially parting ways with vocalist Geoff Tate and replacing him with CRIMSON GLORY singer Todd La Torre, Ruben Mosqueda of the Oregon Music News conducted an interview with Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Oregon Music News: QUEENSRŸCHE played Rocklahoma this past Memorial Day weekend. At one point you said to the audience that they "sucked." Were you being sarcastic? Do you think that backfired?
Tate: That audience really needed to be pumped up. I don't think that backfired because they got really riled up after that. They really started getting into the show — it worked. I was trying to get them involved; that's my job.
Oregon Music News: There was après release issued that you'd be doing solo dates and the rest of the guys were doing RISING WEST; you'd get together for QUEENSRŸCHE dates that are have been booked for 2012. What do you think of Scott [Rockenfield], Eddie [Jackson] and Michael [Wilton] doing RISING WEST? Have you seen any of the clips of the shows [RISING WEST played] from [June 8-9]?
Tate: I haven't seen anything or heard that band. I don't know anything about that. We took 2012 to do side projects and solo projects, so that's what we're all doing at the moment. We're planning on regrouping next year. I wish them luck. I hope they're having a great time doing what they are doing this year. I'm happy for them I hope they have success doing it. These guys are my brothers, we've been playing together for about 30 years now — I just wish them the best of luck.
Oregon Music News: QUEENSRŸCHE had a gig opening for SCORPIONS on June 11th and the rest of the guys were a "no-show." Is it accurate that they left you essentially high and dry?
Tate: (pause) That was a situation where it was unfortunate that the rest of the guys in the band couldn't make it — I can't really talk about why. I was very happy to be able to step in and do the show. I'm grateful to the SCORPIONS to have invited me to do it and it was a very successful show. The audience loved us and we even got a standing ovation at the end of our performance. It was a beautiful summer evening outside playing in an amphitheater — it was one of those shows are very memorable. I'll always remember that show.
Oregon Music News: Were you in a panic when you found out the rest of QUEENSRŸCHE wasn't going to make the show? This was a huge show for QUEENSRŸCHE opening for SCORPIONS.
Tate: I wasn't panicking at all. I've done thousands of shows at this point. I'm ready to perform in just about any situation. I was more concerned for the audience. I didn't want them to be disappointed since QUEENSRŸCHE wasn't able to play; I didn't want to let people down. There was a possibility that I could do the show and I said, "Absolutely, I'll do it." The fans in Salt Lake City, the promoter and the radio station have all been incredibly supportive of QUEENSRŸCHE and my career over the years. I didn't want to leave them high and dry or holding the bag. I didn't want to disappoint people and it was the right thing to do — to play the show. The SCORPIONS were very supportive and were watching the show; they gave us the thumbs up and high fives after our set.
Oregon Music News: From a fan's point of view things look bleak for QUEENSRŸCHE — you're saying that's inaccurate?
Tate: When a band takes a little bit of a hiatus and members start doing solo stuff or side projects — the rumors begin to fly. These days with the Internet, there's so much that gets speculated and talked about. People will go online and make a statement without having knowledge of the situation to back it up. They'll say a lot of things and they keep saying it as if it's true. So to answer your question — it's far from the truth. The rumor mill has just gone crazy. I have to say, Ruben, this is some of the best publicity QUEENSRŸCHE has had in years! (laughs)
Oregon Music News: When it rains it pours as they say, no?
Tate: Well it can if you believe everything you read. I think if someone believes what they read on forums and stuff like that — then they're an even bigger fool than the person saying it! (laughs)
Oregon Music News: That is why I wanted to ask you personally and get from the singer's mouth.
Tate: You could have said "the horse's mouth." I would have been with you! (laughs)
Read the entire interview from Oregon Music News.