Former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate was recently interviewed on the “Talking Metal” podcast. You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below.
Asked about the never-materialized project called THE THREE TREMORS which was supposed to feature Tate, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson and JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford, Geoff said: “As far as I remember, the three of us were all touring together at the time: QUEENSRŸCHE, IRON MAIDEN and Rob Halford‘s solo project. And we were all at dinner one night, and Rod Smallwood, the manager of IRON MAIDEN, stood up after… now, this is many rounds of drinks by this time — we’re past dessert-menu time. He stands up and he goes, ‘I think that we should have a band of Bruce and Geoff and Rob and we should call it THE THREE TREMORS. What do you think?’ And this was based upon his previous conversation with the waiter who told him that the album that we were listening to on the stereo system at the Italian restaurant was THE THREE TENORS opera group. So I thought, and everyone around me thought, that he was sort of making fun of the situation. Anyway, in just good-nature tour fashion, we all stood up and toasted the idea and then we drank more rounds. [Laughs] And that’s as far as it ever got, as far as I remember.”
According to Tate, the “funny” thing about THE THREE TREMORS is that “every round of interviews I’ve done with every release since around that time has asked me that question about the project: When’s it gonna come out? It’s never coming out, ’cause it was never done. Nothing ever happened,” he said.
Despite the fact that the proposed THE THREE TREMORS album never saw the light of day, Tate says that “it was flattering that [Bruce] was very much into the ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ album at the time. And I remember Eddie Jackson, [the QUEENSRŸCHE] bass player, coming into some place we were — I can’t remember where we were at the time — but he had a magazine in his hand and there was a picture of Steve Harris, the bass player of IRON MAIDEN, and Steve was wearing a QUEENSRŸCHE tour t-shirt. And Eddie was all happy about that, because he was a fan of Steve Harris‘s work, so he was very happy about that.”
In a recent interview with the “Trunk Nation” show, the IRON MAIDEN vocalist said that Ronnie James Dio was his original choice for the third-singer slot in THE THREE TREMORS project. “I was, like, ‘I am not gonna do this without Ronnie,'” Dickinson recalled. “And Rod was, like, ‘I don’t wanna use Ronnie. He’s too old.’ I said, ‘What do you mean too old? Are you kidding me?’ I said, ‘He’s a legend.’ He said, ‘No. We should use Geoff Tate.’ And then we had a meeting with Geoff Tate, and then I said, ‘No. It’s not gonna work.’ And so that was that.”
According to Dickinson, concert promoters showed great interest in booking THE THREE TREMORS before a single note had even been recorded. “I could see the money in their eyes, thinking, ‘Oh, this would be great. We could sell this every which way all over the place as a package,'” Dickinson said. “And I went, ‘Yeah, you could, but what are we actually gonna do? There’s gonna be three of us on stage. What are we gonna do that’s actually different that’s really cool?'”
Dickinson also went on to reveal that the title track of his 2005 solo album, “Tyranny Of Souls”, was composed specifically for THE THREE TREMORS project. “[It] was the only song that I wrote for which was designed for three voices, and the demo of it, I actually did almost impressions of a Rob version, the Geoff Tate bit and my bit and split them up,” Dickinson said. “And we’d go into the big chorus of [singing] ‘Tyranny Of Souls’, obviously all three of us would be singing together, like a big choir. And doing that song, I thought, ‘Yeah, that would kind of work.’ But I need another twelve songs like that to do a whole performance, ’cause otherwise it’s just a novelty thing. You can’t do things just ’cause of the novelty value. You should do things because musically they’re real.”
Before Dickinson‘s proposed collaboration with Halford and Tate was officially scrapped, the name THE THREE TREMORS was changed to TRINITY because “we figured they would sue our ass if we called it THE THREE TREMORS,” Bruce explained in an interview several years ago.
Dickinson previously said that he and Roy wrote “about three songs” for THE THREE TREMORS during a session in Los Angeles before he “realized it was going to take us a lot longer than three weeks to write a project with three singers that would work.”
He explained: “We wanted to make each song designed to be sung by three different characters as an integral part of the song, not something like, ‘You sing the first verse, I’ll sing the second verse, and he’ll sing the chorus.’ That would be a crap way to do it.”
Dickinson added: “It’s a bloody difficult thing to do, to try to make a song with three different voices to get the full benefit out of it. And it takes longer than three weeks, and we didn’t have longer than that to do it, so I canned it in the end.
“It’s a great idea; everybody loves the idea… We had marketing people salivating about the idea of a TRINITY project,” he said. “But the bottom line is, the thing that is gonna sink it is if the music sucks. So I thought we should can the idea for now since we don’t have time to do it. Rob was in the studio doing his album [‘Crucible’] and Geoff was writing a new QUEENSRŸCHE album, so that was it. It is an interesting idea, and I’m sure the live show would be really interesting.”