GEOFF TATE On METALLICA's NAPSTER Battle: LARS ULRICH 'Was Right'
June 19, 2018
Original QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate was recently interviewed by Rock Titan. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked what advice he would give to his younger self if he could travel back in time, Geoff said: "I would have gotten some sort of business education. I've really been… Hmmm, how do I put it? I don't know anything about business. I've had some pretty tough situations arise from twice record companies going out of business just right after they release a record, with no record company support, no nothing — the record just doesn't sell. Twice that's happened to me. I've had managers embezzle millions of dollars from the band — just all kinds of horror stories. I would have taken some sort of business education early on. Nobody in the band QUEENSRŸCHE, none of us went to college. We started this right out of high school. And [you end up] trusting a lot of people, and a lot of people lead you astray and a lot of people have the best intentions but then get waylaid with their own problems, which affects you, and it's a domino effect."
He continued: "I'm not complaining — I mean, I've had a really good and great life and I'm very happy — but it's been trying at times. But I guess that's part of what makes life interesting too. If it was all so easy, then… I don't know… maybe there wouldn't be the music there is, 'cause that has a lot to do with writing what you feel when you go through experiences you have — it comes out in your music."
Tate also addressed the fact that physical and digital music sales are continuing to fall as the music business inches closer to an access-over-ownership model.
"At some point, in the '90s, I'm thinking that, from my memory, collectively the world just decided that music should be free and people just started taking it," Geoff said. "And nobody did anything about it. Now, what if we do that today — we all decide, 'Hey, automobiles should be free. Let's just all take them and see what happens.' Interesting social experiment, huh? Or how about groceries? Go to the grocery store and fill up your cart and walk away. See who stops you."
Tate went on to praise METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich whose band's image took a tremendous beating in the eyes of music fans after METALLICA launched legal action against the pioneering music file-sharing service Napster in 2000.
"Hats off to him for standing up and saying what he felt, 'cause he was right," Tate said. "I challenge anybody to suffer an 85-percent loss in their income, like musicians did — people that wrote music, that wrote songs. 85-percent loss in income — that's staggering."
Tate is celebrating the 30th anniversary of QUEENSRŸCHE's landmark concept album "Operation: Mindcrime" by performing the LP in its entirety on a U.S. tour, which kicked off on June 7 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
His band features Kieran Robertson from Scotland on guitar, Bruno Sa from Brazil on keyboards, Jack Ross from Scotland on bass, Scott Moughton from Canada on guitar, Josh Watts from England on drums and Geoff Tate's daughter Emily, who is singing the parts of Sister Mary. She's also in the band TIL DEATH DO US PART, who are special guests on this tour.
Tate was replaced in QUEENSRŸCHE by former CRIMSON GLORY singer Todd La Torre.