Jeffrey Easton of The Metal Exiles recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
The Metal Exiles: You made the comment about the innovative records that you have done since "Empire", with that in mind, if you did not do "Mindcrime II" what kind of record would you have recorded? I mean everything you have done in the last decade, including "Tribe", has been so different from each other.
Geoff: "Since Chris [DeGarmo] left the band we have been forced to make each record different, as he was our main songwriter; it changes directions depending upon whom we work with. We have Mike Stone now on guitar and he went crazy with the song writing, very in-depth. He came and stayed in my basement, brainstormed the album with me and wrote everything out in three months. It was exciting but very exhausting."
The Metal Exiles: It is a very complex and in-depth record.
Geoff: "We tried to make it similar to the first 'Mindcrime', as there are similar musical themes. We tuned it back to A 440, which is what the first one is tuned to, and we even went to a vintage recording equipment place and rented a lot of old gear to record with to give a nod to that time. We wanted the listener to listen to both of them back to back and have the continuity and transport them into the story."
The Metal Exiles: It would be hard to have "Mindcrime II" sound like "Tribe" and then try and have it continue [the original] "Mindcrime".
Geoff: "It is a whole other direction. Some people think when you have a band you have to operate in a small box but that’s not where we are at at all. We do not try at all to make the last record the same as the next one; we go out of our way to push the boundaries. It is a finger in the face of the music business. Some record promoters want the product to be like Coca Cola, always the same, do not change it."
The Metal Exiles: The advance "Mindcrime II" CD I received is watermarked with my name on it. What is your opinion of music being basically hijacked from the Internet?
Geoff: "Our culture has gotten more crass, we celebrate crime, we make celebrities out of criminals and now it has come to this where we have to protect ourselves against piracy. It says something about our culture when we have to go to these lengths. No matter what you make, you should have the right to sell that. It should not be free at all. The young bands that are starting out think it should be free but then they have not made any money from it, they do not have livelihoods or a business set up. When I was a kid I wanted to share my music with everybody. When I started making a living from it and paying my bills with it it changed."
The Metal Exiles: Used to [be] people would check your music and if they like it they will buy it but nowadays they just download it.
Geoff: "Right now the whole music industry is in the dumper. They have gotten rid of all of the music people and hired bean counters from Harvard Business School who wants to make as much money as he can from whatever. Used to you could release a record, sell some, go on tour and do the same over again and sell more records with each one put out but not anymore."
Read the entire interview at www.metal-exiles.com.