Geoff Tate: Kings And Thieves track by track
Geoff Tate was still Queensryche’s frontman when he began working on his latest solo album. By the time it was released this week he was not only fighting a bitter legal battle with his former bandmates, but he was also starting work with his own version of Queensryche.
And while much of the material was already under production, it can’t be a complete coincidence that one of the main themes on Kings And Thieves is the notion of friendship, loyalty and social ties.
Tate offered Classic Rock a track-by-track rundown on the disc, covering his interest in blues and rap music, his experience of relationship counselling – and his increasing interest in kinky sex…
Kings And Thieves is on sale now from InsideOut.
She Slipped Away
If you’ve ever been married or in a relationship, you’ll have these conversations while you’re driving somewhere. It’s dangerous to generalise but when a man who’s driving is having a heated discussion with a woman, he’s concentrating on driving while trying to field questions that are difficult to answer. It’s a subject that kind of fascinated me. I wrote the Queensryche song Drive about the argument and She Slipped Away is an extension of the subject. I have the third part of it – I hope to have that on my next album.
Take A Bullet
It has a passion about it that really came across. The subject matter is betrayal of trust. What would you do for a loved one? How far would you go? When I’m your friend I’m your friend for life. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep that friendship going. Heart-to-heart sessions, going to counselling, or something deeper – I’ll commit. I’ve been to counselling many times; it can help, but it’s dependent on the parties involved, how willing they are to be honest. You have to be able to look at yourself objectively. Most people in creative fields are not the most stable people, and you have to give that to them – but it’s not an excuse to trash people. You don’t have cart-blanche to be an asshole.
In The Dirt
I love American blues. My mother’s side of the family is from New Orleans and I spent a lot of time there in blues clubs and jazz clubs. I wanted to do a track that has that kind of swaggering, sleazy blues. Usually those lyrics are sexually oriented. The vocal take is a one-take.
Say U Luv It
Kinky sex? Well, yeah, of course I’m into it! It depends what your definition of “kinky” is. We all have our lines in the sand. But at my age, I don’t know what it is, I’m more interested in sex now than I was in my 20s. In my 20s and 30s I was more interested in pushing my career, more concentrated on accomplishment. Now, all I wanna do is fuck! Luckily my wife is up for it – she’s at a wonderful age too. We’re having a great time now the kids are grown. I have African-American heritage and I joke to her: “I’m African-American from the waist down!”
The Way I Roll
I get criticism because I have an expansive taste in music. I like rap. I like the energy and the wordplay, and the macho posturing. I wanted to experiment with that. I love rhythmic singing and on this one I really got the chance to do that a lot, because the track is real open. There’s a lot of room for the vocal to work inside the holes. It drives my backing vocalist Jason crazy. I’ll write something then say, “Come in and work on this.” He’s got to learn what I did because he doesn’t think the same way. “How are you counting that?” I don’t know – most of the time I’m just going on how I feel. It’s one thing to record how you feel, it’s another to work out the mathematics.