OPERATION: MINDCRIME, the band led by former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate, has signed a worldwide deal with Frontiers Music Srl for the release of its forthcoming trilogy project.
Named after QUEENSRŸCHE's epic concept album from 1988, "Operation: Mindcrime", Tate's new band includes bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE), drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO), keyboardist Randy Gane (MYTH) and guitarist Kelly Gray (QUEENSRYCHE 1998 - 2001, 2012 - 2014) .
"All of us in OPERATION: MINDCRIME are looking forward to the new frontier with our new label, Frontiers Music Srl," states Tate. "They're giving us the creative freedom necessary to do the trilogy project I've envisioned for the past few years. It's going to be great fun for all of us involved and we hope our fans will enjoy listening to it as much as we plan to enjoy creating and recording it."
Ecstatic to have the band on his label, Frontiers Music Srl president Serafino Perugino comments, "As a long time fan of Geoff Tate and'Operation: Mindcrime' (the album), I am truly honored that he decided to sign with my label to give a home to his forthcoming trilogy. We look forward to release OPERATION: MINDCRIME's new music to the world!"
Tate, who has always enjoyed telling stories though his music, considers the creation of the forthcoming trilogy one of his biggest and most ambitious works to date.
"I tried to reduce the story and eventually got it down to 37 ideas that needed representing to complete the story," comments Geoff. "I knew that one record wouldn't cover it and that it would have to be a trilogy."
Speaking to the the "10songs" podcast, Tate said that he was approaching the songwriting sessions for the forthcoming debut album from his OPERATION: MINDCRIME project in a very different way to how he used to compose music for his former band.
"I'm doing a trilogy album," Tate told the "10songs" podcast. "And it's three records, and I'm recording all of it at once and then releasing it over a three-year period, one album per year."
He continued: "It's a story. It's a complete story in three parts. It's kind of a really unique story, and I'm sorry I can't really talk about it right now, but it's kind of set in an international location — different places around the world.
"What I'm trying to do is create music that kind of puts you in that place using instruments or melodies or sounds that are indigenous to the place where the story is taking place."
Asked if the OPERATION: MINDCRIME album will be a band situation or more of a solo release, Tate said: "I'm in kind of a unique position now where I can work with who I want to work with. And I'm not in that band situation where it all has to be democratic and that kind of thing anymore. I respect that and I was part of that for many years. But I'm really enjoying the freedom of having different players play with me and sit in. It's really inspiring."
According to Tate, the diminishing music sales in the streaming age have enabled him to throw out the rules book when it comes to songwriting and use his creativity to the fullest extent possible.
"This new album I'm working on, I'm approaching it very differently than I've ever approached any album before," Tate said.
"It's always been in my head to create music based on a commercial attangement — intro, verse, chorus, solo… that kind of thing. Just because my band always wrote music for radio, and [with] radio you had to conform to a format and a standard in order to get [the songs] on the radio. And I suddenly realized one day that, well, this album, it's not gonna be played on the radio. It won't be, because there's no money to promote it on the radio. So why am I following that same format? And all of a sudden, I just went, 'Oh my God. I don't have to follow the street signs anymore. I can do whatever I want.' And it was like this revelation. And I feel kind of ridiculous admitting it out loud, but it's true. It's like I saw God all of a sudden. So I've just been writing."
He added: "It's so refreshing to not have to follow this to-minute, three-minute commercial format, arrangement, you know?! So I've been having a great time with it and just exploring melody. Which, I've always loved melody and figuring out variations on melody and I've tried to do that within the song structure since I started out. But in not having to follow this rigid format, it gives me a lot more of a chance… more space to create more melody. So when I get stated on a phrase, I can now take that phrase for two minutes and expand in harmony, or expand it and change it up in a rhythm structure way. So I'm just having a great time."
OPERATION: MINDCRIME's debut album is expected to be released in late spring/early summer 2015.
Photo credit: Larry Marano (courtesy of Frontiers Music Srl)