After performing at the recent Stonedeaf festival in Coddington, United Kingdom, former QUEENSRŸCHE and current OPERATION: MINDCRIME vocalist Geoff Tate spoke with Tony Heare of Midlands Metalheads Radio. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the difficulty of choosing a setlist:
Geoff: "It's a difficult process. I have a lot of songs to choose from. It's difficult to compress all your work into 55 minutes. You just kind of feel it out — 'Oh, maybe we'll play this one tonight. The band's playing well. [We'll] slip that one in.'"
On catching the music bug as a child:
Geoff: "I grew up in the '60s and the '70s, which was an amazing time for music. They had it everywhere. It was radio, mostly, that got me into music. We also had music around the house, but hearing pop music on the radio was kind of an eye-opening event for me. I heard JEFFERSON AIRPLANE — my first track I really became aware of. This cool guitar thing that they were doing — 'Somebody To Love' — caught me. I said, 'Mom, I want to do that'... I think that it's one of those things you just pick up on as you develop. You find records you really like [and] that move you, and then you start noticing the details about them – how the singer sings, or the way that keyboard player [plays]."
On his involvement in AVANTASIA:
Geoff: "[Tobias Sammet] is a wonderful man — a really good guy, and an incredible musician. I have a lot of respect for him as a singer. He has amazing endurance. To perform a three-and-a-half hour show every night, it blows me away. How does he do that? That's a lot of energy... It's a great show — a really great show."
On the upcoming 30th anniversary of QUEENSRYCHE's "Empire":
Geoff: "I'm going to be celebrating it like you wouldn't believe. It's going to be quite a year. I'm playing the whole album in its entirety, because I always wanted to. There's songs on that album that I've never played live, so I'm looking forward to that. If that's not enough, we're doing a set of the 'Rage For Order' album too — a one-two punch."
On SWEET OBLIVION, his progressive metal collaboration with DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni:
Geoff: "We were introduced online [by] Mario [de Riso] of Frontiers Records. He thought in his wisdom that the combination would be a good one — [he] had a gut instinct, I guess — so we got together virtually and created the record, which was really enjoyable, and unique because we never have actually met in person. It's all been in the Internet."
On the status of his former QUEENSRŸCHE bandmate, drummer Scott Rockenfield:
Geoff: "I don't know. I have not heard. I haven't heard a thing. Incommunicado.
On whether he still has any interest in acting:
Geoff: "No. I did my acting bit in a film a few years ago [2010's 'The Burningmoore Incident']. I was reaching to play a psycho killer. It was tough. I'm done now. I got it out of my [system]."
Tate has spent much of 2019 touring with AVANTASIA. His solo band OPERATION: MINDCRIME, which has spent recent years celebrating the 30th anniversary of the legendary QUEENSRŸCHE concept album from which the group derives its name by performing it in its entirety, will kick off a West Coast tour on September 26 in Ramona, California.