In part 1 of the interview with Queensryche’s Geoff Tate, the discussion mainly focused on Frequency Unknown, the album that was released by Tate’s version of Queensryche. A number of disgruntled fans have openly admitted that they would have been more accepting of the record if it was released as a solo album rather than a Queensryche album. In part 2 of the interview, Tate discusses the band breakup, the pending lawsuit and the reason that there are currently two versions of Queensryche instead of two side projects, and the possibility of ever reuniting with his former bandmates.
It seems that fans are taking sides in the band breakup. What are your thoughts on that?
Because we’re in a lawsuit, there are two sides. And there’s a tendency in human nature to gang up and try to win at whatever cost. There is definitely a concerted effort on the other side to try and shape public opinion by having a number of people putting together numerous false identities with several different e-mail accounts, and posting as different people and having a conversation with themselves basically. They just critique everything without having any basis in reality. They take things out of context and try to paint me as a certain type of personality. I think that when everything comes to a conclusion in November, most of that will go away.
This process is tough for the fans because it’s like living through a divorce of sorts. We want you to be together, but obviously that’s not going to happen now.
I would have liked to have had it all happen a lot differently, and that’s what I tried in the beginning – to get both sides to not use the name. They had started out as Rising West and that was fine. We’re all about side projects. All of us have always done them. I was doing my solo release – “Kings and Theives” – at the time, and that was all cool.
When they started using the name Queensryche, that was a whole different thing. That’s now threatening the brand that we’ve built over 30 years. I tried getting them to stop using the name, for both parties not to use the name until we settled our differences, but they wouldn’t do that on their own. The judge came to the conclusion that both parties could use the name until November, and so that’s where we’re at now…waiting for November to come around.
Were you surprised at how the band parted ways with you?
Oh yeah, out of the blue. That was a punch to the side of the head. I didn’t see that coming.
Was there any tension before that happened?
No, nothing. It was business as usual. Everything was normal and then boom! It was a very cold, calculated move, and not something that I deserved or our manager deserved, or anybody that was involved with the organization for that matter. You don’t take people who have worked themselves to the bone to provide your income and your livelihood, and then just sever the relationship by a court order. It at least deserved a conversation.
It is a very surprising way to go about breaking up. To me it seems on par with ending a marriage by text message. It was especially surprising because this is more than just a company. I would imagine that it was somewhat of a brotherhood at some point.
No, it never was really a brotherhood. It was always a business, and the business was thriving. It was a band that had been incredibly successful internationally for 30 years. And you just don’t take that and destroy it by not having a game plan, a fallback plan or an idea of how the business operates. It’s staggering to me. I can’t even wrap my head around it. But honestly, to me, all that stuff, I’ve really moved on from it now emotionally.
At first, it was really difficult. The first few months were really difficult to stomach. I just got to a point where I said that there’s no going back, and there’s no working this out. I’m dealing with very irrational people here who aren’t thinking, and I’m just not going to destroy myself emotionally over this anymore. I’m going to move on and get busy and do my thing, and enjoy myself. So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve ripped off the rearview mirror and I’m moving ahead.
Do you ever see any possibility of a Queensryche reunion?
Oh no. Not worth it. Life is so short, and I am so happy now that I’m out of that, and surrounding myself with happy, positive people. This tour is the best Queensryche tour that I’ve ever done. It’s so happy; everybody is loving it. The band is just playing great every night. It’s the first time that the music has ever been played live. And by that I mean, everybody is singing harmonies with me and playing their instruments live. We’re not slaves to the click track the way that we were with the former Queensryche, where we used it on every song. All of the background vocals were coming off of the click track as well. We couldn’t play the guitar parts or all of the orchestra and keyboard parts live because we didn’t have people playing them. All that stuff was played on the click track.
On one hand it was cool, because the sound that the audience heard was great. The songs sounded like the record because they were, and the band was incredibly tight, but there was no humanness to it. It was all very mechanized, with no improvisation at all. With this band it’s all impromptu, of the moment. It’s performance art, and that’s incredible for me. I’ve never been able to do that because Queesryche had always been locked into this click track thing. I’m loving the humanness of the presentation, and playing with great players every night. It’s fantastic.
Interview with Queensryche’s Geoff Tate (Part 1 of 3)