Tate enjoys life without Queensryche click track
Freedom: Geoff Tate
Geoff Tate says one of the advantages of having split with Queensryche is that he can jam live – because he no longer has to follow a click track.
His former band’s use of backing tracks means they’re under pressure to regulate performances according to the pre-recorded elements.
And the singer loves the freedom that comes with not using such tracks.
He tells Pure Grain Audio: “I’m having a really good time touring with my solo band. I’m creating new music on the spot. We just make stuff up, live. Improvisation – who’d have thunk?
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years but I never could do it with the Queensryche guys because they couldn’t play without a click track.
“It’s freedom, and it feels so good to be able to be spontaneous.”
Tate admits the formation of his own Queensryche – with Glen Drover, ex Megadeth, Rudy Sarzo, ex Quiet Riot and Bobby Blotzer of Ratt – is partly for economic reasons.
He says: “There’s a huge amount of pressure to be a nostalgia act, just play Empire songs. No – I don’t just want to keep playing Empire songs. I want to write new music. I want to keep stretching and growing as a musician and an artist.
“A certain record has some success and a large percentage of people only want you to do that. That’s all they have a stomach for and if you deviate from that you’re evil. I don’t understand that way of thinking at all, but I know that it exists.”
One of the factors leading to his acrimonious split with Queensryche was the asking of his wife Susan, who was managing them at the time. He’s retained her services – and he has a message for those who believe it’s a bad way to do business.
“Fuck you. That’s what I say. Fuck you. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You are talking out of your ass. That’s the thing about ‘people’ – are they in our organization? No. Have they spent ten years doing it? No. Have they spent one minute doing it? No. Then they have no fucking opinion.
“Susan is incredibly good at spinning plates, keeping people on the same page and putting them into a scenario in which they can accomplish things. She’s very business savvy and has steered the band through incredibly difficult times.
“She managed to create opportunities for the band for the whole time that she was managing them. We call it pulling a rabbit out of the hat. It’s creative management and it’s what’s needed. Giving the band work, keeping them on the road, keeping them making records and keeping them making a living.”
Tate’s former bandmates accused him of refusing to play the band’s earlier music, a charge he denies on the whole. But he admits: “I don’t do some songs from the past because I can’t deliver them with any kind of conviction. I can’t get behind those lyrics. I gave up Dungeons & Dragons when I was 30.”
He tells Rock Show Critique why he won’t perform early track Queen Of The Ryche: “It’s not really a song that I enjoy singing – lyrically its pretty adolescent. I honestly can’t relate to the content of that song. It’s really cartoonish and juvenile to me.”
Tate’s solo album Kings And Thieves is on sale now. Queensryche are recording their first album with new singer Todd La Torre, due out next year.