Geoff Tate is a very busy man. So, when I get the man to donate a little of his very few spare minutes to give our readers an interview, it is always a positive. I wanted to put Geoff on the spot, and all I can really say, look at what the man had to answer. Thank you to Geoff, his PR company who is nothing short of amazing and most of all, you readers who keep on checking us out. Enjoy, this small talk with Mr. Geoff Tate.
INFRARED MAG: Geoff, this is such a huge honor. You have been around the music scene for a very long time. Is there anything you feel you have left to prove?
GEOFF TATE: You offer an interesting perspective with your question but a perspective that is in opposition to my own. Let me just make my thinking clear, I believe music is art and art is NOT a sporting event. I don’t believe that art is good or bad. Art does not exist for competitive reasons and I certainly don’t feel the need to compete for someone’s attention or praise. I am not in competition with anyone for notoriety or record sales. I am not interested in the sports fan practice of record or stats keeping when it comes to music and art. I don’t care how many notes someone can fit into a 6/8 phrase, how high you can sing or how low. I just care about one thing … does the music make me feel something?
INFRARED MAG: Resurrection is now out. You know with new music and the internet what that means…critics. Do you read all the press you get? If so, does the bad stuff get to you? Do you feel the fans are fair to you?
GEOFF TATE: I learned long ago that if I took to heart what some people said about my music, I would never write another song. My Grandfather said “Never take advice from someone who isn’t successful in the field that they are giving advice in.” Priceless.
INFRARED MAG: Let’s just get it out-of-the-way, I know no one will ever ask. Do you ever see a day when all this back and forth with your former band is water under the bridge? Also, do you ever see a day that Chris DeGarmo and you will return to your former band? In your mind, do you think it is fair for the fans to feel they have to choose one band or the other?
GEOFF TATE: I can’t really understand why someone would feel that they would have to choose one over the other. Again, this isn’t a sport team. As far as if the band will get back together … for that to happen it would take a considerable amount of communication and we have not all talked together since 2012.
INFRARED MAG: In your opinion, do you think Queensryche deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? If so, who would you want to put you in?
GEOFF TATE: I’ve never really been interested in awards or award shows. I’ve attended a few over the years and have come to the conclusion that it’s not for me.
INFRARED MAG: How do you feel when you are playing a show and see someone on their cell phone texting? Also, what are your feelings when you are playing a show and you see people taping you or taking a very obnoxious amount of pictures?
GEOFF TATE: I honestly have a difficult time seeing anyone in the audience. The lights are very bright and typically aimed awkwardly at my eyes. People that text or record at shows are, in my opinion, missing out on the emotional connection of a live performance but we are all so different and maybe that’s not what they are there for. I don’t really have an emotional response in regards to what someone is doing with their phone. I’m honestly focused on my performance.
INFRARED MAG: Let’s be fair, the music industry right now is not the best in America. Do you think the music industry can ever rebound? Do you really think file sharing and piracy is really all the blame?
GEOFF TATE: The record industry today, is going through a massive re-structuring. The market has changed so dramatically and so quickly that companies can’t keep up and are falling like dominos. Illegal downloading has gutted the financial side of the industry so there is a very limited amount of money that can be made. This of course means that the record companies don’t have money for promotion and there have been, as a result, massive layoffs of employees. For example, the promotional budget for the 1990 album “Empire” was around 2 million dollars. The promotional budget for the last Queensryche record on Roadrunner in 2011 was less than 2 Thousand dollars! This change in numbers is incredibly dramatic and points to the obvious … this is not even close to the same industry today. I don’t think one can use the old model of relying on music sales. It’s no longer lucrative and that is why so many bands are touring more now.
INFRARED MAG: This year marks the 30th anniversary of Rage for Order. Is there a plan to release a deluxe edition of the CD that you know of? Since the other band are not doing it, did you ever consider playing a show that you cover the record from first song to last?
GEOFF TATE: Rage for Order is the album where Queensryche became Queensryche. It was the first album that we wrote where our influences weren’t as evident. In 2011 we played the album in it’s entirety.
INFRARED MAG: Spanning your whole musical history from early days to present days..what would you say is the best album you ever put out and why? Also, what would you think was the worst album you put out and why? Take Cover or Q2K I would like to volunteer for worst?
GEOFF TATE: The word best, implies judgment and competition. Music is not a sport.
Perhaps we could talk about what my favorite studio album is? Of the 17 studio albums I have released,
my favorite one is … #18. It’s the one I am working on now.
INFRARED MAG: You expect everyone to say your new album and many will. Beside your new album, what was the last record you bought?
GEOFF TATE: The last record I bought was Drink the Sea by The Glitch Mob.
INFRARED MAG: What is on a Geoff Tate iPod? Also, what is the most embarrassing record you own and would never admit to?
GEOFF TATE: I have over 10, 000 songs so I would say probably a little bit of everything is on my iPod. Why would I ever be embarrassed about what I like?
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