TheyWillRockYou.com: No matter what happens with the pending litigation regarding ownership of the name later this year, as a QUEENSRŸCHE fan, I can’t see why others can’t sit back and enjoy both and take each for what it is..new music. Why do you think fans feel the need to “take sides?”
Tate: Because we’re in litigation (November court date is set to decide who has the right to use the QUEENSRŸCHE name: Geoff Tate or Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield), there is a concerted effort to create a personality for me, to try and create a smear campaign, really. They have a pretty sizable amount of people that are participating in that. If you do a little bit of research, you will find that most of the negative comments are coming from a small group of people that have multiple Internet sites and multiple Facebook sites. Multiple personalities are really arguing with themselves, in a sense. As Americans, we love our controversy.
TheyWillRockYou.com: The first leg of [the “Operation: Mindcrime” 25th-anniversary] tour started out with Simon Wright on drums and Nina Noir as [Sister] Mary. On this leg, you know, have Brian Tichy on drums and Sass Jordan filling in on the Mary role, and even had John Moyer from DISTURBED filling in on bass for Rudy Sarzo on a few dates. You seem to be able to add an abundance of talent within the hard rock community whenever the need arises. What do you attribute this to?
Tate: Gosh… I just asked them. These are all people I’ve known over the years and I’ve always admired their playing and had a lot of conversations, musically, with them over time. In the case of the Sarzo brothers (Rudy and Robert), for example, they’ve wanted to make music together for years and have just never been able to for various scheduling reasons, mostly. This is a dream come true for me, because I get to play music with some of my great favorite players and wonderful friends as well so it’s a win-win situation, for sure. It’s amazing the difference between the different players we have out with us so far. Simon is an incredible drummer but so different from Brian. Completely different kinds of styles, but they are both playing this music and giving it their own twist. Another great thing for me (personally) is this is the first time this music has truly been played live. QUEENSRŸCHE in the past always relied heavily on click tracks and backing vocals being flown in and guitar parts being flown in and all of the keyboard parts and all that stuff was on click tracks and the computer, in a sense, controlled our tempo. We just all played to it. We incorporated this technology years ago because it gave us the ability to present our songs live the way they sounded on the records. Something that was very important to us at the time. We always went into the studio with the idea that we never wanted to be limited. We never wanted to say well we can’t write this song or record that way because how would we ever be able to pull this off live? We will just imagine whatever we can and record whatever it is we can from that imagination. Then we will just worry about it later. That’s when we came up with the click track idea. It works very well on one level because you get an exact-sounding performance and all the tempos are laid out for you so that the drummer just needs to follow along, in a sense. Night after night, it’s an exact representation of our sound and the band sounds incredible. On the other hand, it just kills your spirit to play to that machine. There’s no band camaraderie, there’s no human element, there’s no ability to jam. You’re stuck to this arrangement that you cannot change. Right now, I can look at Simon or Brian and give them a nod and we can extend a section out on a song on the fly. We can ad-lib or stretch a guitar solo out if somebody is in the mood for it. I can do an impromptu talk-to-the-audience thing. It makes for a more interesting show, I think.
TheyWillRockYou.com: Is there a QUEENSRŸCHE album of material that you will simply not play live now or in the future?
Tate: I can’t really think of one — not off hand. Honestly, I’m not that interested in looking back. I’m more focused in what’s going on in the present. When you perform live, you kind of have to play material from the past, because that’s what fans know the most. Your audience almost “tolerates” any new material in your set. Music needs time to sit with people. I try not to perform that many new songs in a set because the audience simply doesn’t know them that well. I will probably wait a few years before you play it live. Gives the fans time to get a feel for it and understand it better. These songs off “Mindcrime” people have been listening to for 25 years now. It means more to them.
Read the entire interview from TheyWillRockYou.com.