Posts Tagged “Geoff Tate”

David Garlow of the Syracuse Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with singer Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Syracuse Music Examiner: That was a cool performance of “Lola” [on the March 4 edition of “New Day Northwest” on King 5 TV to promote Tate‘s show “Rock And Vaudeville”]; loved the wig and the dancers, very cool!

Tate: Oh, thank you! It’s going to be a fun show where we try and impersonate our favorite performers. That’s the best Ray Davies that I could do! [Laughs]

Syracuse Music Examiner: You will be here next week on the “25th Anniversary Of ‘Operation: Mindcrime'” tour, can you talk about this tour and what we can expect at the show?

Tate: It’s a real honor and a pleasure to play “Operation: Mindcrime” in its entirety. It’s a fan favorite! I have some really excellent musicians playing it with me. We get to play the whole thing! “Mindcrime” is almost exactly an hour long, so we play it and hopefully the fans appreciate it and asks us out for an encore and we’ll rip into some of their favorite QUEENSRŸCHE songs!

Syracuse Music Examiner: I finally got a chance to listen to “Frequency Unknown”. Great album. Can you talk about it and will you be playing some of this next week?

Tate: Yeah, we’ll probably play some songs off of that. It was a very fun record to make. Over the years, I’ve tried to make each record very different from the previous one. Tried to put the band or the people writing and playing with me in a situation where it is conducive to a creative environment. We had a lot of people joining and collaborating on this one. It was really great hearing all of these great musicians’ interpretation and input on a song. I’m a firm believer in collaboration; I like other people’s input and really to see where a song can go, you know? I really like the record.

Syracuse Music Examiner: You also remade four iconic QUEENSRŸCHE tunes which sound awesome. Can you tell me about the decision to do those and how did you choose from so many?

Tate: Well, that was a record company deal, really. They wanted four specific QUEENSRŸCHE tracks on the record and they wanted them made as close to the original as possible. So, there wasn’t much thought process to it; it was looking back at those songs and trying to recreate them, which was difficult to do on a number of levels. Technically utilizing old recording equipment is getting harder to accomplish as it’s harder to find. [Laughs] And then performance mode as well. I didn’t realize how much I had changed the delivery of certain songs over the years, which you just kind of naturally do — at least I do, and I think probably most singers do. You change your phrasing around, you change your note choice here and there, and you augment the melody over time because typically when you write a song, you spend about a month total between writing and recording and you’re done with it. For me, I don’t typically look back too much I’m just going off memory every time I perform a song, so it just naturally starts changing and evolving. Like “Silent Lucidity”, for example, I changed the phrasing on that all around live. Listening back to the original, I had to put both tracks up and work at creating the same phrasing I did for the record. Over years of performing a song live, you just do different things to it — you know, add notes here, subtract notes there. It’s an interesting evolution that I had never really been cognizant of it before we did that record, and we had to go back and listen to the original tracks again.

Read the entire interview at Syracuse Music Examiner.

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On September 24, Honduras rock journalist Alvaro Villatoro (a.k.a. Lemmy Simmons) of Hard Heavy conducted an interview with conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts from the chat follow.

On the next QUEENSRŸCHE video:

Scott: “A couple of weeks ago, we finished two brand new music videos for the new record. We went down to Los Angeles and shot the next two videos.

“The next single, I believe, is going to be ‘Spore’. And then the follow-up single after that is going to be ‘A World Without’.

“So what we did is we shot a 10-minute movie of the two songs put together, and it’s really great. It’s a full scripted storyline, there were actors in the videos, and it’s very conceptual. And we do appear in the video as well. But it was really fun and really different, because it’s like a movie.”

On parting ways with original singer Geoff Tate and replacing him with Todd La Torre:

Scott: “I’ve gotta be honest. We just didn’t know what to expect when we made the decision to move on last year. And Todd has been perfect; I mean, it’s absolutely just perfect. He sings so great our old, great songs. Listen, we hadn’t done ‘Queen Of The Reich’ in years, and Todd stepped in and he just sings it — he just does it — and it’s just perfect. I can’t even tell you how excited we are about what’s going on for us right now having him in the band.”

On whether the band felt any pressure to release a new studio album as quickly as possible to compete with the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE:

Scott: “To be honest, we actually didn’t — we never felt any pressure to get a record out as fast as possible or to do anything to sacrifice the quality that we always had wanted to keep ourselves at. This record was a great example of that. Our focus was on just writing great songs and getting them to where we felt it was at the top of our game, so to speak, and we wanted to keep our level very high and challenge ourselves. And so we were gonna get the record done when the record was gonna be done.

“We were lucky, because the chemistry amongst the five of us now is so great that we just felt that we didn’t have any pressures — we knew we were gonna have a great record and feel really good about it. And I think the response is kind of the proof. The fans and the media have embraced the new record in such a high way; I mean, we’re getting almost 10-star reviews on this record all around the world. So for what that’s worth, I think that’s just the proof that we’ve done what our fans really had wanted us to be doing for a long time. I think they’re very happy that we’re back doing what we feel good about.

“We’ve been around for 30 years as a band, and we’ve made a lot of records, and some really great ones that I’m very proud of. I think this new record is a record that I’m proud of… It’s probably a record that I’m most proud for probably the last 20 years. So, for me, it’s really special and I feel really great about it. And we’re having a great time. We haven’t had a great time for a long time, to be honest; it hasn’t been very fun. I think this is now a turning point for us and we just feel really good. We’re energized and the fans are energized.”

On whether “Queensrÿche” signals a return to the band’s classic sound:

Scott: “I think so. I really do.

“In the last year that we started playing all these shows with Todd, our setlist is a lot of just our first five records — it’s all that great QUEENSRŸCHE classic stuff that we hadn’t played for a long time. And in doing that, I think that started to put us in kind of that mindset, that energy that we had back then, and the chemistry we had together. And so I think when we started making this new record, it was almost natural that we were kind of revisiting that feel for us. And I think this record does.

“I think, to me, if somebody asked me where I would place this record in our catalog in terms of time frame, I think this record fits right back in the days of, like, ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ and ‘Empire’ and ‘Promised Land’ — kind of like in the early Nineties when we were making those records. And I think this record feels like it’s very much a part of that era. And I’m proud of that. And a lot of our fans are telling us that as well.

“So I think that we did — we grabbed a lot of the great, old chemistry, and we made a record with that energy.”

Photos below from video shoot for “Spore” and “A World Without”.

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On November 7 at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, California, the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE will acoustically perform the entire setlist that was played by the original band during their 1992 “MTV Unplugged” show. They will also perform other QUEENSRŸCHE hits and favorites.

“MTV Unplugged” setlist was as follows:

01. I Will Remember
02. The Killing Words
03. Della Brown
04. Silent Lucidity
05. Scarborough Fair/Canticle (SIMON & GARFUNKEL cover)
06. The Lady Wore Black
07. Anybody Listening?
08. Rockin’ In The Free World (NEIL YOUNG cover)

For more information, go to this location.

Video footage of the original “MTV Unplugged” performance of “Della Brown” can be seen below.

Tate‘s QUEENSRŸCHE now features Tate along with guitarist Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE 1998-2001), keyboardist Randy Gane and the band’s latest additions, guitarist Robert Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, HURRICANE) and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET).

“Frequency Unknown”, the new album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, sold around 5,500 copies in its first week of release in the United States to land at position No. 82 on The Billboard 200 chart. Issued on April 23, the CD was produced by Jason Slater at a studio in Northern California.

“Frequency Unknown” is packaged with bonus tracks — four QUEENSRŸCHE classics, newly recorded, including the smash hit single “Silent Lucidity”. Guest musicians on the CD include K.K. Downing (JUDAS PRIEST), Chris Poland (MEGADETH), Ty Tabor (KING’S X), Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS), Lita Ford, Brad Gillis (NIGHT RANGER), Dave Meniketti (Y&T) and Craig Locicero (FORBIDDEN).

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James Anaya of “The Hellion Rocks” on Bleach Bangs Radio recently conducted an interview with legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, DIO, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT). You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.

Asked about his current gig as the touring bassist for the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, Sarzo told Frankie DiVita, radio personality at Southern California’s 96.7 KCAL Rocks: “[The reception from the fans has been] incredible. I mean, going out there and just watching the audience react to what we’re doing. We’re actually performing the whole ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ record — every single song — and it’s just such an iconic album; it’s a timeless piece of music.”

Regarding how performing with QUEENSRŸCHE is different to what he has done with his previous bands, Sarzo said: “I have not in the past ever toured doing a concept album. Once you do a concept record, you perform it live, you’re telling the story for an hour-plus rather than telling vignettes, which is separate songs. So it’s a whole different mindset, because there’s much more to grab onto as a performer. Rarely do you ever get to perform a whole album, even if it’s the band or the album that you recorded… unless it’s the first tour, like [with QUIET RIOT‘s] ‘Metal Health’, yes, we did the whole album, because that’s all we knew. And we started headlining, so we had to, like, find rejects — songs that did not make the album — and start including them in the set. But as far as a concept album, that there’s a storyline to it, it’s a very unique situation, to go on stage like that.”

On the topic of what it’s like to perform with Geoff Tate, Sarzo said: “Oh my God! He’s unbelievable. Just to be on stage next to him — the power and his passion, it’s contagious.”

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In the four-and-a-half-minute clip below, legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, DIO, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT) and his guitarist brother, Robert Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, HURRICANE), share how the JTV-89 guitar and Relay G50 digital wireless system help them recreate the iconic concept album “Operation: Mindcrime” on tour with the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE.

The current touring lineup of Geoff Tate‘s QUEENSRŸCHE also features drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET), guitarist Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE 1998-2001) and keyboardist Randy Gane.

Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records released “Frequency Unknown”, the new album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, on April 23. The CD was produced by Jason Slater at a studio in Northern California.

“Frequency Unknown” is packaged with bonus tracks — four QUEENSRŸCHE classics, newly recorded, including the smash hit single “Silent Lucidity”. Guest musicians on the CD include K.K. Downing (JUDAS PRIEST), Chris Poland (MEGADETH), Ty Tabor (KING’S X), Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS), Lita Ford, Brad Gillis (NIGHT RANGER), Dave Meniketti (Y&T) and Craig Locicero (FORBIDDEN).

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Mick of Motorcityblog.net conducted an interview with the Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE on August 22 in Saginaw, Michigan. You can now watch the chat below.

QUEENSRŸCHE‘s new, self-titled album sold around 13,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 25 via Century Media Records.

“Frequency Unknown”, the latest album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, opened with around 5,500 units to debut at No. 82.

“Queensrÿche” marks the debut release from the lineup comprised of La Torre (vocals; ex-CRIMSON GLORY), Michael Wilton (guitar), Parker Lundgren (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums). The drums for the album were recorded at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, Washington with producer James “Jimbo” Barton — the man who engineered and mixed the band’s classic 1988 LP, “Operation: Mindcrime”, and its 1990 follow-up, “Empire”, and co-produced 1994’s “Promised Land”. The rest of the music and vocals were laid down at several different facilities on the West Coast. The cover artwork was created by Craig Howell, who has previously worked on designs for “Star Wars”, SLIPKNOT and “American Idol”, to name a few.

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Vinny Cecolini of Jam Magazine recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Jam Magazine: Do you at all regret that your disagreement with Geoff Tate spilled out onto the Internet and into the music media worldwide?

Scott: We have always only spoken the truth. We have never avoided any type of engagement on this matter and we’re not here to defend ourselves. I’d rather let the music, this band and our chemistry together do the talking for us. There are fans on the Internet, however, who insert themselves into the rhetoric. For what it’s worth, this would be an interesting reality show if you trolled the Internet to read about our transition. However, it would be time-consuming, and I’d rather write new songs and focus on what I’m good at.

Jam Magazine: When I spoke with Geoff Tate earlier last spring, he said the legal battle involving the band’s names is about the dissolution of a corporation.

Scott: [Silent pause] My answer to all of that is simple. If the case goes all the way ’til the actual [January 2014] court date, the judge is going to look at the facts and he or she will make a ruling. Hopefully, his or her decision will be based upon what is best for the band QUEENSRŸCHE, the brand QUEENSRŸCHE and the corporation QUEENSRŸCHE. It is an entity, and a successful one at that. I hope that come [January], the judge overseeing this case will do what is right for the band as far as who carries on with the name. I’m not a legal guy, so I do not know all of the details. But I have learned a lot from my attorney.

Jam Magazine: You don’t seem stressed about the upcoming ruling?

Scott: If I worried about everything that was going on right now, it would eat me alive. Whatever happens, Todd [La Torre, vocals], Parker [Lundgren, guitar], Michael [Wilton, guitar], Eddie [Jackson, bass] and I going on as a group regardless of the [January] ruling. We will continue on as a unit of five guys that makes records and plays shows. We have something that no one can take away from us — chemistry and friendship. No one can take that away from us.

Jam Magazine: How long did it take La Torre to become comfortable performing as QUEENSRŸCHE‘s singer?

Scott: When we played our first song together during the first RISING WEST show, the four of us knew instantly we were going to be able to do something together. The band felt comfortable on stage and off. We knew that traveling together was not going to be a problem. During the last year, we have gone on multiple tours using a bus. It felt like we were meant to be together. Being on the road was so much fun; we were always looking forward to our next tour rather than dreading it. That had been a case for a while. Now we just count down the days until new shows are booked and we’re back on the road performing another show.

Read the entire interview at Jam Magazine.

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“There simply is not enough time to properly prepare for trial,” says Geoff Tate.

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Singer Geoff Tate — who was fired from the Seattle progressive rock band QUEENSRŸCHE last year after fronting it for three decades — was granted a continuance until January 27, 2014 in his legal battle with his former bandmates over the rights to the group’s name.

Tate and his wife, Susan, QUEENSRŸCHE‘s former manager, filed a lawsuit in June 2012 asking the judge to award them the rights to the band’s name in exchange for Tate paying Eddie Jackson (bass), Michael Wilton (guitar) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) the fair market value for their interests in the QUEENSRŸCHE companies. Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson filed a countersuit against the Tates in which they accused Geoff of creative obstruction and violent behavior, and Susan Tate of questionable business practices.

In their August 9 motion to continue the trial date — originally scheduled for November 18 — and amend the case schedule, the Tates requested “a minimum 180-day continuance to provide sufficient time for the parties to continue active settlement negotiations without incurring substantial trial preparation costs and, if such efforts fail, to provide sufficient time to complete discovery and properly prepare for what will be a very lengthy trial.” The Tates added that “80 potential witnesses” have been identified for trial and they estimated that the parties will need to collectively take 20 to 40 depositions. Further complicating the scheduling of depositions is the fact that Tate‘s former bandmates will be traveling for most of September and will be unavailable for depositions.

Said the Tates in their motion, which can be viewed on the The Breakdown Room web site: “There simply is not enough time to properly prepare for trial. Discovery is incomplete. Even if the parties only depose a fraction of the witnesses identified, doing so will take 20 to 30 days. Many of these witnesses are located out of state. The facts that underlie this dispute span nearly 30 years. Trial could take three to four weeks with 20 to 40 witnesses.”

On August 16, Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson filed an opposition to the Tates‘ motion to continue the trial date and amend the case schedule, claiming that “any challenges [the Tates] face [in preparing for the trial] are 100% the result of their failure to properly prosecute their case and as such should not be able to delay the resolution of this matter to [Tate‘s former bandmates’] detriment or [Tate‘s] advantage.”

“From October 2012 until April 2013 there was nearly no activity in the case,” Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson wrote. “In April 2013, [the Tates] propounded interrogatories and requests for production on [Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson]. Responses were supplied in May. Not until July 31, 2013, did [the Tates] raise any objections to the adequacy of the responses to that discovery, more than two months after said responses were served. Other than two related subpoenas for documents, [the Tates] have engaged in no other discovery.”

Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson also accused Geoff Tate of “continu[ing] to harm the QUEENSRŸCHE brand” since the Tates‘ original lawsuit was filed in June 2012. “The newest self-titled QUEENSRŸCHE CD release by the [Todd La Torre-fronted version of the band] entered the U.S. charts at #23 and continues to get 9-out-of-10-star reviews and is still selling very well on a weekly basis around the globe,” Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson wrote. “In comparison, Geoff Tate released his own QUEENSRŸCHE CD in April of this year titled ‘Frequency Unknown’ and depicted as F.U. on the cover, which entered the charts at #82, received very bad reviews around the world, and has slowed to almost no more weekly sales. [The Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE‘s] new CD even outperformed the last two CDs of them with Geoff Tate, selling more in a month than the ‘Dedicated to Chaos’ CD has since its release in 2010, and charting much better than both that album and the previous one, ‘American Soldier’. Thus, the return to the classic sound [Tate‘s former] bandmates have made with the new CD and live shows has been met with overwhelming success.”

They add: “Geoff Tate also chose very poorly in hiring live musicians that have shown that they are not capable of representing the correct performances of the QUEENSRŸCHE music legacy, and he was constantly replacing them. He has been offering his low-quality version of QUEENSRŸCHE to the promoters at a much reduced rate, as low as $10,000 per night, when, in fact, [his former] bandmates have done their best to keep the authorized QUEENSRŸCHE at an average of well over $20,000 per show this entire year. However, this becomes harder and harder with Geoff Tate‘s sub-par band and cut-rate pricing that continues to be damaging to the QUEENSRŸCHE brand and legacy no matter who ultimately wins control after trial.”

In a brand new interview with The Oakland Press, Rockenfield said said that “negotiations are ongoing between Tate and the singer’s former bandmates and “there’s still time for anything to happen between now and [the start of the trial].”

“I think our confidence is pretty high,” Scott said. “There’s a lot of legal stuff you have to deal with, but we just feel good and look at it as a light at the end of the tunnel and keep playing shows and making music. I think when you do that, the right decision will be made in time.”

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Bending Reality TV conducted a short interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate at the fourth annual Vegas Rocks! Magazine Music Awards, which rocked the Joint at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sunday night (August 25) with some of the most legendary rock artists in the music business. You can watch the chat below.

“Frequency Unknown”, the latest album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, sold around 5,500 copies in its first week of release in the United States to land at position No. 82 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on April 23, it was produced by Jason Slater at a studio in Northern California.

Tate‘s second solo album, “Kings & Thieves”, sold 1,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD arrived in stores on November 6, 2012 via InsideOut Music.

In an interview with ARTISTdirect.com, Tate stated about his vision for “Kings & Thieves”, “Typically, when I make a record, I have an idea of what I want to try to accomplish. I go about making that happen by making lists. I’m a list maker. I jot down all of these ideas I’ve got and I form those ideas into an outline. Then, I start using it as a punch list to take care of all these details I’d like to do. I knew I wanted to make a really solid rock record. I didn’t want to stray too far into other musical endeavors. I wanted to keep it more rock-oriented with traditional rock instruments. I also knew that I wanted it to be more of a live record where all of the musicians get in a room and actually play together. A lot of it was recorded and written at the same time. That was very fun, and I’ve never done that before. It has an effect that makes the music seem more immediate and raw rather than being a polished, rehearsed-into-the-ground record, which I’ve done throughout most of my career. Making this record was a different process for me, and I made it very quickly. It flowed from the moment I started until the time I was done with it. It only took about six months to make. By comparison, QUEENSRŸCHE records have taken years to make.”

Asked if there is any connection to his first solo record, Tate said, “Well, it has been a long time. It’s been a long time coming too. They’re two really different records to me. On that first solo record, I really wanted to stretch outside of the QUEENSRŸCHE box and do everything I could never do. I wanted to explore my influences in my writing. That first album has R&B influences, which I’m very into. It’s got classical and electronica influences, but it doesn’t have a lot of rock. ‘Kings & Thieves’ is really a rock record. I focused on that aspect.”

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