Geoff Tate Talks About Heaven And Hell Tour
Deb Rao of Glam-Metal.com recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Glam-Metal.com: QUEENSRŸCHE will be opening for HEAVEN AND HELL and ALICE COOPER in September. Are you excited about the tour?
Geoff: Well, we are very excited to be part of it. We pretty much dropped everything we were planning on doing at that point in time so we could be part of the tour. It is monumental for us. We were all very influenced by that BLACK SABBATH line-up. That particular line-up for me is some of the most influential rock music. I can't wait to see it live. I haven't seen the show yet. I am very excited about ALICE COOPER. ALICE COOPER was the first rock show; I ever saw when I was a kid. I saw the "Billion Dollar Babies" tour in 1973. I thought that was all rock shows were supposed to be like. (Laughter) I think it very much influenced my ideas of staging and production. Because of that. So we are every excited on different levels to be part of it.
Glam-Metal.com: Tell me a little bit about the tour. How big a stage show will QUEENSRŸCHE be bringing out with them?
Geoff: First of all, we are opening for the two bands, ALICE and HEAVEN AND HELL. So, no we will have a very sparse set-up production-wise. We are pulling from all of our different records for this tour. We are going to be playing different sets every night. Different set ups, so we kind of rotate some of our songs around. So fans that come to multiple shows can see a different show and a different set from us.
Glam-Metal.com: Now you also are going to be having another new product out in August called, "Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche" (CD and Deluxe CD Collector's Edition) on Capitol/EMI this August. Tell me a little bit about this compilation.
Geoff: That is kind of a very unique best of collection that EMI has put together. What they did is they took different versions of some of our well-known songs and included them on this compilation. Also included our demo, renditions of these popular songs and other popular songs that we've done. There is some unreleased material on it. Our former guitar player Chris Degarmo contributed and gave us a unreleased track that was something that we wrote and didn’t quite finish and had written years ago. We are including that in this collection, as well. I was in a band before QUEENSRŸCHE, it was called MYTH. We had written quite a few songs together. When I joined QUEENSRŸCHE, I brought those lyrics and melodies from those songs and make them into QUEENSRŸCHE songs. So songs like "Take Hold of the Flame" and "No Sanctuary" are done with a whole different band playing them and me singing them. So that is kind of a unique thing, as well.
Glam-Metal.com: How do you feel about the music industry today? Do you feel that there is a whole new generation of fans discovering the band for the first time?
Geoff: Yes, most definitely. We have age ranges from 15 to 45. It is pretty amazing. Our fans have had children. Those children have come to the shows and they bring their friends. It is a whole new thing, in some respect. In fact, I was talking to a group of young people backstage one night after the show and I said, "What brings you to the show?" They said you guys are legends. We really wanted to see you before you are all dead. (Laughter)
Glam-Metal.com: Now you have a great family, which includes five girls. Have any of them followed down your path, and chosen a career in music or acting?
Geoff: No, well maybe my youngest one, Emily, who is ten, might be a musician or actress. She is very talented. She really has a wonderful voice, very strong and big. I think she has the potential to do that. She is in a very sophisticated ballet company, since she was a kid. She loves being onstage.
Glam-Metal.com: Also you appeared on some of the "Metal Mania" releases including the current "Metal Mania Stripped Volume 3". How do you feel about the acoustic versions of the songs? I think a good song starts with the acoustic guitar and vocal. Do you agree?
Geoff: Yes, that is the basic for a song right there, the chord changes and the melody. I really love doing acoustic renditions of songs. I love stripping things down to a real basic form. It is very satisfying. Also playing acoustically, it is very different than playing with the band. In that I can hear it myself, so damn well. I love hearing the intricacies of what s going on musically. Sometimes when you get volume involved, and big distorted guitars it kind of steps on a lot of the subtleties that are going on within the music.
Glam-Metal.com: Geoff, you have had such an extensive career. What are you most proud of? Is it the completion of "Operation: Mindcrime 2"?
Geoff: I am happy every day, I wake up. It is a wonderful life. It is a wonderful career. I play music with people I really love. We are very lucky to be still doing this. But also on the other hand, luck has something to do with it, but it is a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of energy and focus to get everybody together on the same page and write a record. It is hard to put together the promotion for the record and get out there and support it on the tour. It is a lifestyle that you have to dedicate yourself to.
Read the entire interview at Glam-Metal.com.
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