Interview Geoff Tate (Operation: Mindcrime)

"Music is indescribable; it's a personal journey, a personal adventure"

(October 2016, text Iris Hidding, edited by Peter Willemsen)

Geoff Tate, the former singer of progressive metal band Queensr˙che, recently released his second studio album Resurrection with his band Operation: Mindcrime (see review). It's the follow-up to the album The Key (2015) and the second part of a trilogy. In October, I did an interview with Geoff via Skype. We talked about the new album, the tour and more

Geoff Tate

Thank you very much for your time. You have released a new album called Resurrection with your band Operation: Mindcrime. How and where was the album recorded?
Geoff Tate: “It was recorded in a couple of different studios in the Seattle area. One in my house, which is my home studio, a studio called London Bridge In Seattle and some other ones.”

It's the second album of the band and part of a trilogy. Could you tell me some more about this trilogy?
“It's a concept story that is told in three acts. The first is The Key, the second is Resurrection, and the third still need to be released. I have liked the idea of making a trilogy for some time and I wanted to make a very involved concept record, but I was lacking the story for many years. That came to me a couple of years ago when I was hiking through Spain. I was on a month-long track across northern Spain and I wrote the story while I was walking and immediately started composing music for it when I got back home. A few months later it was ready to be launched into the studio. We recorded all three records at the same time, so we've been putting them out every year now; the third album will be released in September 2017.”

Could you tell me more about the band Operation: Mindcrime?
“I split from my previous band Queensr˙che some years ago. I started my new project directly after that. That was back in 2013/ 2014. Beside me, the band currently consists of bassist John Moyer, drummer Simon Wright, who also worked with AC/DC and Dio, keyboardist Randy Gane, drummer Brian Tichy and guitarist Kelly Gray.”

Operation: Mindcrime

Do you intend to go on tour with the new album?
“Yes, we are going to start touring in Europe in early December 2016. We are doing an acoustic tour with additional musicians. It certainly is an interesting line-up with a violinist, a cellist, three acoustic guitar players, a mandolinist, a percussionist, and me on vocals and saxophone.”

That's indeed very interesting! What's the idea behind it?
“I've wanted to do an acoustic tour for a long time. I discovered a really talented band with young musicians
Album art 'Resurrection'
and I recently played with them. We had such a good time doing it, and that's why I decided to turn my European tour into an acoustic one. This is kind of fun for me, because it's a very different presentation. We have to rearrange the songs in such a way to that we go back were they once started. By doing so you bring the songs back to their roots. Most songs begin with an acoustic guitar, voice or piano. During the concert I'm going to tell a lot of stories about the origins of the songs, interesting and humorous stories that happened to me throughout my career and travels. It's a combination of storytelling and an acoustic presentation!”

Do you have any other future plans?
“I'm really working on my tour right now, getting back in shape and ready to launch it. I'm primarily going to be touring the rest of the year throughout Europe and the United States. I will take a break in the summer next year to get ready to launch the third album. After that I will tour again, ha, ha!”

Could you describe the music to someone who hasn't heard it yet?
“Oh no, I cannot actually. I think music is best witnessed and experienced on oneself. It's a personal journey, a personal adventure. We all listen to music differently. So it doesn't really do any good to compare or describe music. For me music is indescribable. You just listen to it and you float away on the journey the artist has created.”

Is there anything I forgot to ask or anything you would like to add?
“I don't know what it would be, Iris, you've been incredibly detailed, that's pretty much my life and all that, ha, ha!”

Thank you very much!
“Thank you very much for the interview, and hopefully we'll see you on the road during our tour!”

More info about Operation: Mindcrime on the Internet:
       review album 'Resurrection'

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