GEOFF TATE Calls His QUEENSRŸCHE Album 'Frequency Unknown' 'A Mess' And Not 'A Very Satisfying Project'
March 13, 2021
Geoff Tate says that "Frequency Unknown", the sole album he released under the QUEENSRŸCHE banner during a period when the singer was battling his former bandmates over the rights to the group's name, was not "a very satisfying project."
"Frequency Unknown" arrived in April 2013 amidst a swarm of controversy. QUEENSRŸCHE had just split in two, with Tate leading an all-new group of musicians while the remaining members of QUEENSRŸCHE — guitarists Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield — carried on with a new vocalist, Todd La Torre.
Tate's studio lineup for "Frequency Unknown" included bassist Rudy Sarzo, guitarist Robert Sarzo, drummer Simon Wright, guitarist Kelly Gray, and keyboardist Randy Gane, joined by bassist/producer Jason Slater and an array of guests that included KING'S X guitarist Ty Tabor, former MEGADETH guitarist Chris Poland, Y&T's Dave Meniketti, Brad Gillis of NIGHT RANGER, ex-JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, and Craig Locicero of FORBIDDEN.
Asked by melodic metal radio show "The Signals Of Intuition" what the experience was like making an album with so many guest musicians, Geoff said (hear audio below): "Gosh, I don't know how it came together. It was just such a mess [laughs] — a mess of people working on it.
Tate also addressed the decision by his then-record label Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records to make available "new and improved" mixes of "Frequency Unknown" to any customers who purchased the original mix version and were dissatisfied with the audio.
"Who would think that the record company would have the album remixed without talking to me?" he said.
"I don't remember it as being a very satisfying project — I'll put it that way. [Laughs]
"It was an ambitious project involving a lot of different musicians," he added. "And we had some really great performances on that record.
"It was just a lot of political scenarios going on with that record. Why was it remixed? I didn't even know it was remixed until a year or so after it was remixed and put out. And why wouldn't they ask me to remix it? Why wouldn't they ask Jason to remix it? I don't know. It was so messed up in the administration of the record."
The "Frequency Unknown" artwork featured a fist brandishing three rings — one with an F, another with the QUEENSRŸCHE logo and one with a U, leading fans to surmise that it stood for something explicit and was taking a shot against Geoff's former bandmates.
A few years ago, Tate told Oregon Music News about how Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records handled the release of "Frequency Unknown": "I think what happened with 'Frequency Unknown'; the people that own the record [Deadline Music] got cold feet. Someone said, 'Oh, I don't like the mix on this.' By that, I mean people close to the record company — that person said, 'I can do a better job mixing it if you give it to me to remix.' So what it came down to is that they [Deadline Music] didn't stand by me, they didn't stand by the project; instead they passed the record along to people to remix. Well, by doing that, it reinforces the idea that it sounds bad! [Laughs] They couldn't let it be for what it was — instead they opened a can of worms."
In a 2017 interview with "The Classic Metal Show", Tabor stated about his guest appearance on "Frequency Unknown": "[It was] uncomfortable, because when I agreed to do it, I thought that I was agreeing to play a solo on one of Geoff's solo albums. I didn't realize it was that when I agreed to it. So I sort of stepped into the controversy accidentally. And I don't know if you noticed — I didn't say a word about it on any of it on my social networks, I didn't promote it or anything, because I felt bad about it. I went ahead and did it 'cause I gave my word, but I didn't realize that's what it was when I said yes. I misunderstood."