GEOFF TATE On Songwriting Process For His Upcoming Trilogy: 'It's Like I Saw God All Of A Sudden'

October 21, 2014

Ex-QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate says that he is approaching the songwriting sessions for the forthcoming debut album from his OPERATION: MINDCRIME project in a very different way to how he used to compose music for his former band.

"I'm doing a trilogy album," Tate told the "10songs" podcast. "And it's three records, and I'm recording all of it at once and then releasing it over a three-year period, one album per year."

He continued: "It's a story. It's a complete story in three parts. It's kind of a really unique story, and I'm sorry I can't really talk about it right now, but it's kind of set in an international location — different places around the world.

"What I'm trying to do is create music that kind of puts you in that place using instruments or melodies or sounds that are indigenous to the place where the story is taking place."

Named after QUEENSRŸCHE's epic concept album from 1988, "Operation: Mindcrime", Tate's new band includes Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE),Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO),Randy Gane (MYTH),Kelly Gray (QUEENSRYCHE 1998 - 2001, 2012 - 2014) and Robert Sarzo (QUEENSRYCHE 2012 - 2014).

Asked if the OPERATION: MINDCRIME album will be a band situation or more of a solo release, Tate said: "I'm in kind of a unique position now where I can work with who I want to work with. And I'm not in that band situation where it all has to be democratic and that kind of thing anymore. I respect that and I was part of that for many years. But I'm really enjoying the freedom of having different players play with me and sit in. It's really inspiring."

According to Tate, the diminishing music sales in the streaming age have enabled him to throw out the rules book when it comes to songwriting and use his creativity to the fullest extent possible.

"This new album I'm working on, I'm approaching it very differently than I've ever approached any album before," Tate said.

"It's always been in my head to create music based on a commercial attangement — intro, verse, chorus, solo… that kind of thing. Just because my band always wrote music for radio, and [with] radio you had to conform to a format and a standard in order to get [the songs] on the radio. And I suddenly realized one day that, well, this album, it's not gonna be played on the radio. It won't be, because there's no money to promote it on the radio. So why am I following that same format? And all of a sudden, I just went, 'Oh my God. I don't have to follow the street signs anymore. I can do whatever I want.' And it was like this revelation. And I feel kind of ridiculous admitting it out loud, but it's true. It's like I saw God all of a sudden. So I've just been writing."

He added: "It's so refreshing to not have to follow this to-minute, three-minute commercial format, arrangement, you know?! So I've been having a great time with it and just exploring melody. Which, I've always loved melody and figuring out variations on melody and I've tried to do that within the song structure since I started out. But in not having to follow this rigid format, it gives me a lot more of a chance… more space to create more melody. So when I get stated on a phrase, I can now take that phrase for two minutes and expand in harmony, or expand it and change it up in a rhythm structure way. So I'm just having a great time."

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