I sat down with Geoff Tate, lead singer for Queensryche, for an in person interview when Queensryche Baltimore, Maryland on November 5, 2006. Geoff is a very well spoken, very smart & very intellectual guy who has alot to say, & if you ask him the right questions you can walk away with one helluva interview!
Rock N Roll Experience: Why is there no opening act on the current Queensryche tour?
Geoff Tate: There's no room ha ha
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you like the current new rock bands out now?
Geoff Tate: I don't really know of any
Rock N Roll Experience: You've never heard of Avenged Sevenfold?
Geoff Tate: No. Honestly, I just don't really listen to alot of music...I never really have, I've just sorta been involved in what we do & trying to get the music out of our heads ha ha & there's not alot of room for other stuff.
Rock N Roll Experience: When you say the music in your head..is that mostly rock?
Geoff Tate: It's everything
Rock N Roll Experience: Your voice almost goes to the opera side
Geoff Tate: Well, yeah, that's kinda where I'm going. I'm gonna do my own thing in that respect at some point.
Rock N Roll Experience: Will it be like a Heavy Metal opera, or the real deal opera?
Geoff Tate: Well, I don't know..I have a couple of offers from different opera companies to perform with them & so I've just been practicing & trying to get in shape for it because it's a whole different kinda of thing all together...first off, there's no microphone, no amplification which is very challenging & somewhat intriguing, & 2., there's no drums or rhythm section, so to speak to keep you in line..they use alot of visual cue's with the conductor & that kinda thing & then you have to act on top of that, so there's alot of challenges in that sorta thing.
Rock N Roll Experience: Did you ever see Paul Stanley or Sebastian Bach's performances in plays?
Geoff Tate: No....I talked to Sebastian about it though & he really enjoyed the experience
Rock N Roll Experience: Will there be a Mindcrime Pt 3?
Geoff Tate: I don't think so. We've told the story now...the first part is the set up to the story & the 2nd part is the conclusion. I think anymore than that & it would sorta be like a tacky path to follow...like Nicky, the early years or something ha ha.
Rock N Roll Experience: How was it touring with the band Warrior Soul because so few people knew that band & Queensryche took them out on tour for a little bit.
Geoff Tate: I honestly don't remember much about them...they were kinda here & gone.
Rock N Roll Experience: How was it working with Jason Slater?
Geoff Tate: Slater is cool...he's quite a handful. He's very talented, has alot of ideas & alot of opinions on things....he's a very opinionated man & what is respectable about him is that he really backs up his opinions with alot of good arguments so, unless you're really prepared to go head to head with him, I'd advise not ha ha.
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you like Jason's band, Snake River Conspiracy?
Geoff Tate: I've heard some of the songs they do..yeah, I like some of it
Rock N Roll Experience: I also heard your cover on the "Butchering the Beatles" tribute cd..I love it...did you record that song live with the band?
Geoff Tate: No, it was done in my home studio. Bob (Kulick) called & said, "Hey, we're doing one of these things, are you interested in doing it?" & I said, well, send it over..do I get to pick which one I want to do? & Bob goes, "Well, yeah...you get to do "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"" ha ha, so I said, ok, well I'll try that.
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you still keep in touch with Chris DeGarmo?
Geoff Tate: Yeah..occassionally I see him.
Rock N Roll Experience: Would you ever write or record with him again?
Geoff Tate: Oh yeah, I'd like to..I think in the future there is definitely room for a collaboration.
Rock N Roll Experience: Can I ask why Chris DeGarmo is no longer in Queensryche?
Geoff Tate: You'd have to ask him that...he's the one that quite
Rock N Roll Experience: What do you think of Alice in Chains touring again with a new lead singer?
Geoff Tate: Are they? Great! ha ha I never saw them with Layne, so I wouldn't have any comparison.
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you still live in Seattle?
Geoff Tate: Yeah
Rock N Roll Experience: Do you still keep track of the music scene there?
Geoff Tate: No
Rock N Roll Experience: When Queensryche started, what was the music scene like in Seattle?
Geoff Tate: I don't know if there really was one..I guess there was one..there was a number of different bands...Soundgarden was playing...uhmm, well, not when we started, of course, but later on...I guess Alice in Chains were playing back then & we were seeing them at some point at a bar or something like that back then, or hearing about them...actually, I've never seen them before, so I must have heard of them...uhmm, it was small...it was alot of different bands trying their stuff out & playing the circuit...not going anywhere, which is sorta what happens in local scenes..I don't know..by the t time we got going, we were out on the road so much, we were gone 11 months out of the year so we were touring everywhere, so we were really not part of the scene anymore so to speak..of course we never really were..we didn't really play the scene...we sorta made our record, put it out & took off from there.
Rock N Roll Experience: How was it touring with KISS?
Geoff Tate: It was fun...it was fun hanging out with those guys & seeing what they do & how they do it & what they were all about.
Rock N Roll Experience: Who is your favorite rock band of all time?
Geoff Tate: I don't really have a favorite of all time..there's a number of different bands that we've worked with in the past that I really respect alot...AC/DC was fantastic to work with, Ronnie Dio, of course, is an excellent musician & very giving as a headliner. Alot of times, atleast back when we started out, I don't know how it is today, but back then there was alot of people who were in headlining positions that really had alot of ego & if you were opening for them you didn't get to walk on their side of the venue or you didn't get to go to their soundchecks, & you moved in completely different circles, & Ronnie (Dio), when we toured with him, he came down to our dressing room with his whole band & introduced everybody & we had cocktails & told road stories & it was just a very human sorta engagement & AC/DC is like that too...they are very personable & welcomed us aboard officially & hung out & swapped storied, had dinner together with backstage catering & all that kinda thing, but some bands just don't do that.