Eric Peterson of Shockwave Magazine recently conducted an interview with former QUEENSRŸCHE and current OPERATION: MINDCRIME singer Geoff Tate. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the "dark" mood of his OPERATION: MINDCRIME project's third and final album, "A New Reality":
Geoff: "It's definitely very mood-setting. There's a lot of atmospheric passages. The tone, of course, is more serious. It's definitely not party music. [Laughs] But one thing that is kind of different about is that it has an overall rhythm structure that is designed for the record to be played while you're moving, while you're on the go, which is kind of where I think people are nowadays. We don't sit in one room and listen to music anymore. We listen to it while we're doing stuff, while we're driving, especially. A lot of the songs have a rhythmic continuity that lends itself well to driving."
On his post-OPERATION: MINDCRIME plans:
Geoff: "I honestly don't have set plans right now as far as what I'm going to do musically. I'm kind of enjoying not having a deadline looming over my head with trying to get things done and turning things in. I spent the last three and a half years working on this project, and although I'm massively into the project and it's one of my favorite projects I've ever been a part of, I was happy to finally turn the last record in and I was surprised at this feeling of weight that got lifted off my shoulders. I don't know if that responsibility of having to make the deadline looms over me, so I'm kind of enjoying not having that deadline anymore and not looking forward to getting into another one. [Laughs] This year, I've pretty much got 2018 penciled in for massive touring and traveling, so I'm looking forward to that."
On working with AVANTASIA mastermind Tobias Sammet:
Geoff: "He contacted me several years ago. We have fairly common musical interests, actually, and he asked if I'd be interested in being part of one of his records he was working on, which turned out to be 'Ghostlights'. I said 'Yeah, of course. I'd really like to hear what it is.' So, we began working on a song that turned out to be a song called 'Seduction Of Decay' and it was really great working with him. He's incredible, a really, really talented man. I love singing his material. I love working with him. He's one of the coolest guys I've met in a long, long time. Just a really different kind of musician. A lot of musicians, we're very caught up in our own scene and our own egos, but he is not. He is very much an open, giving person who loves music. It shows in his ability to give the stage over to people. He has quite a few singers that do guest appearances on his shows and on the albums. He doesn't limit what they do at all. He actually encourages it: 'Here: Take the whole stage. Just go out there and do it!' It's really different because most people are very insecure about their own place in the world so they don't want to give anybody any room to perhaps 'outshine' them, so I find that mentality incredibly refreshing in this industry. I love Tobi. He's fantastic and I hope to do more work with him in the future."
On why he thinks AVANTASIA hasn't hit it big in America:
Geoff: "In America, rock music is not the music of the times at all. It's very, very low on the list as far as popularity goes. It gets no attention in the big picture of things. So yeah, it had its day and it hasn't resurrected again. Maybe that will happen in the future, but it hasn't happened in a long time. For 20 years, two generations now, people aren't raised on rock music in this country."
On his thoughts on the current political state of America and what it will take to get the country back on track:
Geoff: "I don't know if we're going to be on the track and what that track is. I think we're in a real interesting time right now. Because of where we're at with communications now, we've come to this point where it's 21st Century stuff now. We are witness to events that are happening simultaneously all over the world. We're passing judgment on events on a daily basis on situations. There's so much news coverage. It used to take months and months for stories to be exhibited to the public and months and months before any kind of judgement would occur regarding that story and now it's instantaneous. We're actually forced into a situation where as Americans, we have to look at ourselves critically and ask ourselves: 'What the hell are we doing? Who are we?' We don't really have a national identity. The way this country was founded and started, it was an interesting idea: 'We want to go to a place where we can worship the god of our choice and make a lot of money.' That's what it means to be an American. When you analyze that, it's kind of shallow. We're firm believers in capitalism. Capitalism is absolute competition. Beat the other guy no matter what, win, win, win, win. That's what we teach our kids and that's what we teach our population, so screw the other guy. Our country, to a lot of people, it seems like it's going down the drain because one, we haven't educated our population for several generations, so they don't have the judgment ability to make sound judgments regarding life, their jobs, their health, even. We don't have healthcare like other countries do. We're faced with these massive social issues. At the same time, we're trying to uphold this ideal of 'Win, win, win at any cost.' I don't know how those two concepts go hand-in-hand anymore. It's kind of like we're at this reckoning where new lines and new rules have to be drawn and the discussion needs to happen and that's what I think is really great, is that people are talking now and we're comparing notes and we're looking at other countries going: 'Why can't we have healthcare? Other countries have it and it works perfectly well. What's standing in the way?' 'Well, rich people who want to stay rich are standing in the way.' 'How does that benefit the rest of us?' 'It doesn't.' 'Why don't we change things?' 'Because they won't let us. And they're doing everything in their power to keep us in the position we are in now.'"
Tate recently recorded a brand-new song in support of charity. All proceeds from the track, which is titled "The Way The Wind Blows", will benefit MercyWatch, a nonprofit focused on outreach to the homeless community in Snohomish County, located in the U.S. state of Washington, where Tate lives with his family.
Geoff will spend at least part of 2018 touring in celebration of the 30th anniversary of his former band's "Operation: Mindcrime" album.