SNAKE RIVER CONSPIRACY mainman Jason Slater recently spoke to The Breakdown Room about his production work on the new QUEENSRŸCHE album, the next chapter to the 1988 ground-breaking concept album, "Operation: Mindcrime", tentatively titled "Operation: Mindcrime II".
Slater's relationship with QUEENSRŸCHE began on the road early last year when the band was supporting its latest releases, "Tribe" (2003) and "Art of Live" (2004). SNAKE RIVER CONSPIRACY opened for QUEENSRŸCHE for a few shows, and Jason hit it off with the members of QUEENSRŸCHE so well, he was asked to produce their next record. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
On "Operation: Mindcrime II":
"People will be divided about this record. Some people spend their time looking forward, and some people spend their lives looking back. We are all looking forward. 'Mindcrime I' can be revered and respected, but it cannot be recreated."
"It's years later, and the guys' tastes and styles have changed. [QUEENSRŸCHE] could have made 'Empire' over and over again and raked in cash, but that is never what the band has been about, and you have to respect that. They have taken musical chance after musical chance and have never rested on their previous successes."
"People will be impressed by [Geoff Tate's] writing and performance on this record. A lot of people tend to forget that a singer is a slave to the music he is writing over [and] I think the material Geoff has to work on doesn't inhibit his abilities like it has on previous records."
On the band's history:
"I'll be honest with you, and I am probably going to catch shit from somebody in the camp for saying this, but the last few QUEENSRŸCHE records haven't been good. But it has nothing to do with the guitars and everything to do with the songs and the production. If the songs aren't there, it doesn't matter how much guitar you slather on the track, it's still a shitty song."
On how he thinks the departure of former guitarist Chris DeGarmo may have affected the band's songwriting:
"I don't buy into the whole 'DeGarmo Guitar God' bit that gets spouted on the forums. DeGarmo doesn't put out heavy riff-laden records on his own. The guy had a moment, and he was brilliant in that moment, but that moment is over."
Read Jason Slater's entire interview with The Breakdown Room at BreakdownRoom.net.