QUEENSRŸCHE bassist Eddie Jackson recently spoke to RockConfidential.com about the group's current tour and their forthcoming CD, the next chapter to the 1988 ground-breaking concept album, "Operation: Mindcrime", tentatively titled "Operation: Mindcrime II". Several excerpts from the interview follow:
RockConfidential.com: How is it you're incorporating a preview of "Operation: Mindcrime II"? Is it a live preview, audio samples, video...
Eddie Jackson: "What we've put together is a video with a song that's potentially going to be on the next release. As of right now we're really looking for a sequel to 'Operation: Mindcrime'. As soon as we're off stage — the last song is 'Eyes of a Stranger' — as soon as we walk off the video comes on with the new music. It's almost like a pseudo-encore. It's not really us performing but it's us giving them an audio track of a song that could be on the next release with a video behind it. We don't know if something like that has ever been done before. You'll see 'Operation: Mindcrime' with the roman numeral II on the monitors. The fans get a kick outta that. There's a lot of anticipation for a sequel. I have a lot of mixed emotions with this because there is something magical and spiritual. There is integrity and the whole chemistry we had when we created the first 'Mindcrime'. To do a follow-up for that is like, do we wanna mess with the mojo, ya know? You're gonna hear that throughout the course of the tour. Some fans will say it takes a lot of guts to do something like that, especially with the success of the first one. There's other fans that are saying they can't wait for the sequel. Some fans have been waiting for the sequel ever since the first one was released 16 years ago. It's a tough pill to swallow. All you can do is write the best you can. We really have no control over what it's going to do when it's released, how it's going to perform sales-wise. Hopefully it will connect."
RockConfidential.com: Was the original 'Mindcrime' written with every intention of doing a sequel? Did you have the answers to questions like the ones you just brought up or are you having to think up a new story with the answers?
Eddie Jackson: "It's definitely like 'Operation: Mindcrime' in the new millennium. Sonically it could sound different. Stylistically it could sound different. We're still trying to capture that same sort of sequel feel like they do in movies. Some characters are gone but you'll maybe create new characters to keep the story going. We never really anticipated doing a sequel, let alone still doing this 20 years later! Since this is happening, 'Mindcrime' is definitely a lot more popular now that it was when it was first released. That's interesting because there's a whole new generation of fans being exposed to it. You've got to 'Speak the word,' ya know?"
RockConfidential.com: So how far along are you with the songwriting process?
Eddie Jackson: "It's hard to say. We have quite a bit of material written. Half the material has lyrics that we feel could be complete songs. As it always happens you'll start to rearrange songs before you go into the studio. That's inevitable. Ever since we've been recording it's been very rare if we've written a song that's complete and not had to tamper with it.
RockConfidential.com: There is a big difference in the band from the original "Mindcrime" — [guitarist] Chris DeGarmo is gone. Has he been asked or is he interested in contributing to the "Mindcrime" sequel?
Eddie Jackson: "There has been talk. Nothing has developed. It's hard to say because he stepped out in '97. He did help write on the 'Tribe' record. There was always that possibility of him coming back and writing with us for the sequel. Whether it will or not remains to be seen. I think it'd be great to bring him back because he was part of the first 'Mindcrime'. Stylistically it would definitely have that cohesiveness. Mike Stone's a very talented guitar player. He's got a little different style from what Chris had. That's not a bad thing. Maybe that's good. Do we want to create the same style like we did in the past? It has to have its intensity and its dynamics because it's 16 years later. Maybe it's not a bad idea to write the sequel with a different guitar player."
Read Eddie Jackson's entire interview with RockConfidential.com at this location.