GEOFF TATE On QUEENSRŸCHE's 'Derivative' Early Releases: 'They're Not Albums That I Feel Really Connected To'
February 14, 2020
Former QUEENSRŸCHE vocalist Geoff Tate recently spoke with Finland's Kaaos TV. The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his current tour, in which he performs the QUEENSRŸCHE albums "Empire" and "Rage For Order" in their entireties:
Geoff: "It's been great. It's wonderful to know that people are still interested in my music and wanting to come out and see the shows. It's a humbling experience... I continue to be surprised on the tour with the success. [I'm] very thankful for it."
On "Empire" and "Rage For Order":
Geoff: "I'm just very happy to be playing ['Empire'] 30 years later and still be able to sing it... They're not easy [songs] to sing. It's challenging stuff. 'Empire' is very challenging for me because of the range — it's a lower range, so it's more difficult to sing lower for me. At the same time, I'm performing the 'Rage For Order' album in its entirety, which is easier for me to sing. They're two very different albums — 'Rage' is very dark and introspective, and 'Empire' is very up and energetic. It's kind of a contrast of light and dark that I find pretty interesting... When 'Empire' came out, that was the big change [in global politics] where everything was really shifting. It was an exciting time to be part of and to be witness to, and I think some of the spirit of that time came out in the songs. The spirit of the album is very uplifting and energetic and positive, and that was really the mood of the times, because we were seeing huge changes at that point in the world."
On the albums' significance:
Geoff: "They're both very important albums to my career. 'Rage For Order', I think, is really where the band became a band, so to speak. We really found our identity with that album and became who we were going to become. Before that, our songs and our musicality was somewhat derivative of other bands that we were influenced by. We were sort of finding our legs, and 'Rage' is really where we came together, I thought. It's a very special album for me. 'Empire', of course, was a milestone album, because it had such vast commercial success. It was a wonderful experience to make that record, and [to] still be touring on it years later, it's an honor."
On whether he second-guesses the albums while singing them:
Geoff: "I think mostly, they've stood the test of time. I haven't felt tempted to change the arrangements too much, other than a couple songs, we're doing extended sections — a different ending, perhaps, that's more suited for a live atmosphere — but basically unchanged. I think that's important because of the audience. They're used to hearing it a certain way, and deep down, that's the way they want to hear it. That's the way it was written, so we've gone to great pains to preserve that and to play the album like it was written."
On whether there are any albums from his catalog that he wouldn't want to perform in full:
Geoff: "It's not a matter of difficulty. It's more of a matter of, 'Would I like it?' The first two records we released were very derivative of other bands. They're not albums that I feel really connected to, so as a singer, it really helps to be connected to the songs that you're singing and to have some sort of emotional connection to it. It's a lot easier to sing over a long period of time live. I don't know if I'd use the word 'boring', but it does become tedious... There's other albums I would love to perform. I'd love to do all my solo records as a tour. Perhaps in the future. I have 20 albums of material — a lot of songs, a lot of different kinds of songs. It's really about finding the time."
Tate kicked off his tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of "Empire" on February 5 in Tampere, Finland.
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