QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate recently spoke to Greece's Metal-Temple.com webzine about the group's past recorded output 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:
Metal-Temple.com: Though I know you said you don't care about other people's opinions, I wanted to say that a lot of people have criticized you for trying different things during the last 10 years. A lot of them are QUEENSRŸCHE fans attached to albums like "Operation: Mindcrime" (1988) and "Empire" (1990). What would you have to say to all these people?
Geoff Tate: "Well I'd say absolutely nothing. I'd probably just shake their hands and say, 'Thank you, I’m glad that you liked those records.' You can’t argue with it, they're fans. Of course they're going to feel that way. When somebody falls in love with a record, they fall for it heavy, there's no way you’re ever going to shake it off them. You’re never going to say, 'Oh no, that record? Is not as cool as the new one!' because there’s no way you’re ever going to convince them! Other people who haven't heard 'Operation: Mindcrime' and came in when 'Tribe' was out, they write all these letters going 'Oh my God! Where’s this band been? This is the best record I've heard, ever! I'm going to go back and buy all your records because they'll probably be as cool as this one!' So this is never going to change; there's no use of arguing about it!"
Metal-Temple.com: I understand. Don’t get me wrong though, by all means, but didn’t albums like "Tribe" sell less than your older albums?
Geoff Tate: "You're equating sales with how people like a record and you can't do that. Look at it this way: 'Operation: Mindcrime' and 'Empire' both came out in a time period where massive TV programming was involved with those. Huge multi-billion dollar corporations were selling these products to people and people bought them. Millions of people bought them because millions of people were told to buy them."
Metal-Temple.com: OK, but your [early] QUEENSRŸCHE albums are still selling, aren't they?
Geoff Tate: "Well, all of our records sell. How many do they sell? Nothing like they used to. It's a whole different world now. Metal and hard rock isn't the most popular music on the planet anymore, like it was at one time. So, it's a completely different time event, you can't equate popularity or even quality with sales; it doesn't go together. If you think that something is popular or that it sells a lot, that doesn't mean that it’s good or bad. It just means that people bought it because they bought it. It means that they bought it because they were told to buy it, they were exposed to it."
Metal-Temple.com: What are your plans after your American tour? Are you going to take some time on your own in order to develop new songs, lyrics etc?
Geoff Tate: "Yeah, we’re doing that now actually. We’re working in the studio and I think we'll be working till the end of September on the new record."
Metal-Temple.com: Any songs near completion?
Geoff Tate: "Yes. We're close..."
Metal-Temple.com: Would you compare these new songs to anything you've done before or is it something completely different?
Geoff Tate: "I think it's something very different and I'm really excited about that because I like new things which are completely different.
"So we're going to be working on the new record till the end of September and then we’ll take a break. Then in October we're going to do a short tour in the U.S. and we'll be back in the studio in November/December."
Read Geoff Tate's entire interview with Metal-Temple.com at this location.