QUEENSRŸCHE Frontman: 'In America, We've Really Lost The Ability To Be Happy'

Anarchy Music recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Geoff Tate. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Anarchy Music: We really like how you guys do your meet-and-greets, where fans really get a chance to talk with you guys. What's been the response so far to "Mindcrime II" and what's been the most memorable comment so far?

Geoff: Well, people are really liking the show a lot. I think that what I'm hearing is that there's quite a lot to the show, so people are wanting to see it multiple times in order to fully understand it and appreciate it. So some people get it right away. It's like making a record, in a sense. As a writer, you try to be pretty direct with what you're doing, you try to make it interesting, but at the end of the day, people interpret things in different ways. There's no way around it. They take in information at diferent levels. I think one of the things about this show that's cool is that it's one that you can appreciate on a number of different levels. You can appreciate it from a musical standpoint, strictly. I think you can appreciate it from a musical performance standpoint. You can appreciate it as a nod towards theater. We had a really nice write-up in the Jacksonville newspaper about the show that said it was on par with most things you'd see on Broadway now. That's a really nice compliment, which is what we were trying to go for which was making it an interesting delivery of music and theater together. So people are getting it. They like the fact that it's very complex and also that they can follow the storyline and they're forgetting in a sense that they're at a rock concert and they're watching the show and they're relating to it and following the characters sort of unraveling and theyre understanding that which is good. That's the first of most importance is that they follow and relate to the character.

Anarchy Music: When you write a song, can you tell, okay, this is a Geoff Tate solo song or this is for QUEENSRŸCHE? What's the thought process there?

Geoff: I pretty much write for the project. I get an idea in mind and I focus on that idea and what it's going to develop into. Before I even make any plans, I pretty much know what I'm going to do, as far as what the goal is. Right now I'm completely involved neck-deep in another project that's a completely outside project from QUEENSRŸCHE and it's not a solo project at all. It's a project thats kind of a dramatic presentation that's similiar to what we are doing with 'Mindcrime' but it involves different people and diferent musicians outside of the band. So, I'm kind of neck-deep in that. That'll probably be the next release that I'm involved with. So, my writing at the moment is really directed towards that and finishing that up and rounding it out.

Anarchy Music: Any plans on utilizing Pamela Moore's vocals on upcoming albums (Pamela plays the role of Sister Mary in the "Operation Mindcrime" saga)?

Geoff: I hope so. I love working with Pamela. She's a great singer and I think she's one of the best female singers out there. I just love her voice, the sound of it. She can get very very strong and she's got a lot of emotion in her delivery, and I think she's turned out to be quite a good actress as well. She puts a lot of herself into the role, and I like that about her. Plus she's a trooper. She gets up there even if she's feeling ill and really lets it go. She's always commendable, she not a prissy type person at all.

Anarchy Music: Going through the early music where you talked about technological advances, you see a lot of that stuff coming into the news to the political, kind of shadow government things that are dealt with on "Operation Mindcrime". You see a lot of that stuff happening and it's almost like people need to listen to QUEENSRŸCHE to find out whats going to be happening in the next couple of years. What is your view of the way things are going right now in society and America in particular?

Geoff: A lot of people think that we have some sort of crystal ball or something because of what we've written about, a lot of it has sort of happened. Really it's nothing so mystical, it's really just reading and paying attention to current events and knowing something about human nature. That's one of my interests, sociology and the study of civilzations and how they develop, where we've been and where we're going. And you know that adage that history repeats itself. It sounds so cliché but it's so darn true. Human beings seem to sort of grow at some incredibly slow rate. Yeah, technology, we advance pretty quick, but oftentimes we miss the big picture event of what's really happening around us. We're so focused on the minutae of technology and development, who's making money, who's not and that sort of thing. I think the basic flaw in the way the system works is that it's so competitive. It's all based on competition. You're always going to have winners and you're always going to have losers when you have a competition-based society. The problem with that is, what do you do with the losers? What do you do with them? They are definitely a part of the population. They're part of society. You can't just write them off just because they didn't compete. There's a lot of bitterness and in a mystical sounding way there's a lot of bad energy surrounding that whole system. So it's doomed to fail and it's failed at every level throughout history. You can look back at all sorts of examples. What do you do with that? I like to write songs about it. I like to write songs about what's happening and how we can get past what's happening or how we can learn from it and better ourselves. I think another basic problem with our particular society, in America...I'm speaking in a real general sense here, we've really lost the ability to be happy. We don't know what that means anymore. We're on television and commercials and buying stuff. Try to get through the day without buying something, it's almost impossible. We live such a controlled life. Now we've created reality shows so we can watch somebody else living an exciting life while we go to our boring job and punch the time clock and get paid our set amount of money so we can buy all the crap that they keep selling us. It's a miserable existance. The adventure of life is completely decapitated. That's a very, very sad thing about our modern life. Our country, of course, we've been sold that for generations. We've raised several generations on TV commercials that keep telling us how worthless we are unless we own this. Freedom is this new sports car that promises you freedom as you sit in line with all the other idiots who bought the same commercial in traffic every day. You know, there's no freedom in that. It's just a psychology exercize that works to sell you something. It's a very complex situation that really is great for songwriting, I think."

Read the entire interview at www.anarchymusic.net.

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