Ivor Whitten conducted an interview with Geoff Tate before the ex-QUEENSRŸCHE and current OPERATION: MINDCRIME singer’s January 12 concert at the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, United Kingdom. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below.
Asked how he would categorize his music to someone who’s never heard it, Tate said: “I wouldn’t. [It’s] not my job. I never wanted to be in a club; I’m not a club person.
“There’s nothing you can do [about other people putting labels on your music] — you can’t stop ’em,” he continued. “There’s a serious fascination, almost an obsession, with people categorizing everything these days. I don’t know what it is. It seems like in the last maybe generation and a half of people that have come up, it’s become just a thing people do now — genrify everything, put everything in a little box. ‘Well, I’m a one-lump sugar person.’ Don’t get me started. [Laughs]”
Tate added: “When it comes to art, I really hate it. The genrification of art is just so… I mean, breaking it down, it’s a tool for selling the art. Okay, cool — sell it. But don’t define the artist by that. That’s just somebody’s opinion, and we all know what opinion is.”
Tate was also asked how he felt when he finally reached a settlement with his former bandmates in 2014 over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name. “I don’t know, really,” he said. “I think it was just a matter of relief, really. It had been a really rough couple of years and the fallout was kind of heavy. But then, all of a sudden, it wasn’t. It was, like, ‘Okay, this has happened and [it’s] time to move on. Fine. Let’s move on.’
“I don’t mean to make it sound like it was a tragedy, ’cause it certainly wasn’t,” he said. It was definitely an uncomfortable bump in the road.”
In April 2014, Tate and QUEENSRŸCHE announced that a settlement had been reached after a nearly two-year legal battle where the singer sued over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being fired in 2012. Original QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton (guitar), Scott Rockenfield (drums) and Eddie Jackson (bass) responded with a countersuit. The settlement included an agreement that Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson would continue as QUEENSRŸCHE, while Tate would have the sole right to perform the albums “Operation: Mindcrime” and “Operation: Mindcrime II” in their entirety live.
Geoff is celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Operation: Mindcrime” on his current European tour.
Tate has since been replaced in QUEENSRŸCHE by former CRIMSON GLORY singer Todd La Torre.