Former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate has spoken about the criteria he had to meet when he was looking for guest musicians for his new band, OPERATION: MINDCRIME. He told Headbangers Lifestyle: "I wanted to work with people that had an open mind and could express themselves in a creative way rather than a destructive way. People who were excited about the music and could see the big picture of what I was trying to do and add to the conversation."
He continued: "I spent most of my creative life, my professional life, singing everything I did under the name QUEENSRŸCHE and I don't have to do that anymore.
"With QUEENSRŸCHE, we got together when we were very young and we were kind of stuck together because of economics. Because of that success, it keeps you in a certain position; you kind of work with what you have instead of pushing too hard to motivate people or to contribute. Having a project, I don't have to do that. I can now work with people who are pushing the envelope, adding to the conversation. I find that exciting and love it."
Asked if that means QUEENSRŸCHE became work and OPERATION: MINDCRIME is complete freedom again, Tate responded: "It is more of this… It is that you are sitting in a group of people, and there is a project to be started, and you ask if there is anybody who has any ideas on how we start this, and nobody says anything, what do you do? You start yourself. A month later, you ask again if anybody has any ideas or comments on what we are doing right now, and again nobody raises his hand, what do you do? You roll up your sleeves and you continue what you are doing. If I ask that same question now, everybody raises his hand and comments, I like that. It's nice to have too many choices instead of no choices at all. You roll with what feels right. For instance, there is a part on 'An Ambush Of Sadness' in which Scott Mercado, who I brought in to play drums, composed this dulcimer melody, which was completely unexpected, but he felt safe enough to bring it in. That was great, because it also opened my mind and it inspired me again, and so you get a dialogue. It elevated the beginning idea to a place where it wasn't before."
"The Key", the first album of an ambitious trilogy from OPERATION: MINDCRIME, sold around 2,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD was made available on September 18 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Joining Tate on "The Key" are a hard-hitting cast of familiar faces and new collaborators: bass players David Ellefson (MEGADETH) and John Moyer (DISTURBED, ADRENALINE MOB), drummers Simon Wright (AC/DC), Scott Mercado (CANDLEBOX) and Brian Tichy (BILLY IDOL, OZZY OSBOURNE), guitarists Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE) and Scott Moughton (Geoff Tate's solo band), keyboardist Randy Gane (MYTH) and vocalist Mark Daly (THE VOODOOS).