GEOFF TATE On QUEENSRŸCHE: 'We Really Weren't That Big As A Band'

September 14, 2015 recently conducted an interview with former QUEENSRŸCHE and current OPERATION: MINDCRIME singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. QUEENSRŸCHE were huge in the early 1990s, particularly with the success of "Silent Lucidity". What memories do you have of those heady days?

Geoff: Well, you know, we really weren't that big as a band, honestly. We only had one short headlining tour of larger venues. We had always been, and continued to be, a band that played smaller clubs or theatres, which were basically our size of venues. When the "Empire" album came out, we did have a very high-charting song with "Silent Lucidity" and that briefly led everyone to think that we were going to start headlining arenas, but, really, we never really took that very far. We always were kind of a cult band that appealed to a certain kind of person, and we never really were built for the mass consumption kind of thing. The band went through some tremendous difficulties just a few years later. What was it like being in the band around that time?

Geoff: Well, that was a very rough time when "Hear In The Now Frontier" came out, because with each record that you release, it's a financial investment as well as a creative investment. We had sunk all our money into that album and all of our creative energy, and two weeks after we released it, we were out on tour with a big tour planned ahead, and the record company went out of business. All the phone numbers that we'd always called and the people we talked to were disconnected, and it was a very strange feeling. Of course, there's no record sales when there is no record company, so that was a dismal time. And following right after that tour, Chris [DeGarmo, guitarist] decided to leave and change his life, so again, it was another bitter pill to swallow and adjust to. So, yeah, it was a very tough time to get through. Did the band ever think of calling it a day during that period?

Geoff: Well, I think that definitely that was something that everything was probably thinking within the group. I can't speak for the other guys, of course, but myself, I couldn't picture doing anything else. This is what I love to do. We had an audience that liked what we had done, so it seemed kind of strange to stop at that point. I think we just figured we'd try to find somebody to fill Mr. DeGarmo's shoes and carry on with what we were doing.

OPERATION: MINDCRIME's debut album, "The Key", will be released on September 18 via Frontiers Music Srl.

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