Operation: Mindcrime’s Geoff Tate Talks ‘Resurrection,’ the ‘Trinity’ Tour + More
Resurrection is the second concept album in Operation: Mindcrime's trilogy, following last year's The Key. Frontman Geoff Tate worked with a lot of different musicians on the album, including guitarists Kelly Gray, Scott Moughton and Nick Greatrex, keyboardist Randy Gan, bassists David Ellefson (Megadeth) and John Moyer (Disturbed), drummers Simon Wright (Dio, AC/DC), Scott Mercado (Candlebox) and Brian Tichy (Dead Daisies, Whitesnake) as well as guest vocal spots from Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest, Dio Disciples), Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden) and Mark Daily. Loudwire spoke with Tate about the new album. Check out the chat below:
Were the songs for Resurrection part of one big song writing process, the same one as The Key?
It was. Actually, all three records were written about the same time, and recorded around the same time. It's a big, giant session, really.
When you have so many different collaborators, does that make the process easier or more difficult?
I don't know if it's easier or more difficult, it just is. You do what it takes. It's really enjoyable working with different people. I like the collaboration process. I like working with people on music and trying different things out. Having people add to the totality of the project is really good in my opinion.
Resurrection is more progressive than The Key. Was that something that was planned, or just how the songs evolved along the way?
We really wanted to stretch out. When I say we, I'm talking about my main writing core of myself, Kelly Gray and Scott Moughton. We really wanted to push more into the progressive rock area, which is where all of our roots are, and just see how far we can take it.
You and Kelly handled the production duties. Is there a con to having self producing as opposed to bringing in somebody from outside?
I can't imagine what it would be. I can't imagine that there would be a downside to it. We have a good idea of what we want it to be like, and have the experience to know how to get that.
One of the tracks features Ripper Owens and Blaze Bayley. How did that collaboration come about?
They're buddies, and they were in town, traveling through. I just thought our voices would go nice together, and they were up for the idea; so there you are.
The three of you are teaming up for the “Trinity” tour in November. How will that be set up?
I'm doing a set of my songs, and Blaze is doing a set of his work with Iron Maiden and some solo stuff and same with Ripper. We're doing three separate sets, in a sense, but yet we're getting together on a few songs as we go through the three sets.
It's kind of like each singer has a showcase, I guess you'd say, where they sing their stuff and the other two guys come out at various times and join them. We revolve around each other doing leads and harmonies, and things like that.
As far as Operation: Mindcrime, do you have any touring planned?
We're planning on a tour in the winter; beginning, I think, in Europe.
When you embark on the tour, now that you have two albums out, are you going to focus more on Operation: Mindcrime material as opposed to Queensrÿche material?
I really haven't thought about it too much, yet. I've got a lot of music. Eighteen albums, now, something like that. It can either be a selection of all kinds of different things, or one really long show. (laughs) I haven't really thought that out yet, though.
These albums would be perfect to play in their entirety, because they're concept albums. Is that something you'd like to do at some point?
I would. I think after all three are released I would like to do maybe a limited run of dates playing the entire trilogy. That would be a really interesting show, I think, but it's just from my point of view.
As far as part three of the trilogy, is it ready to go?
It just needs to be mixed and mastered. Some technical stuff that has to be done, but I'm giving my ears a break until I get back from some tour dates and complete that.
You've now played shows in 60 different countries. What's still on your bucket list?
I think there are one hundred and ninety-four countries in the world at the moment. I would like to say most of those.
It's amazing how many countries have opened up to being able to play there that were completely closed off in the '80s and '90s.
Yeah, it is. The world's getting open and connected. That's fascinating, we are living in an amazing time. The 21st century really offers a lot of communication now. It's really changed everything. The Internet and being plugged into that I think is working to bring us all closer, all over the world.
When you listen back to your older music, are you very critical or are you able to appreciate it for what it is?
I think all the critical thinking goes out after you finish the record. Typically, I don't listen to my records after I finish them for years. Then I'll go back and listen to something; usually it's a reference. I'm going to play a song live, and I can't remember how I played something, or sang something, so I'll go back and reference it. It's always fun listening to those records again.
You forget about the things you were concerned about at the time of making them. Getting that snare drum volume right against the vocal, and this echo here, was that supposed to be like this? You have a vision of how it's supposed to be and you never were convinced you got it right. You forget all that stuff after a number of years. You just enjoy the music the way it is.
I know for some musicians it brings back sensory memories.
Yeah, it does that to you. It starts memories of what you were thinking about when you wrote the song, or where you were, or know what inspired the song.
You've been through a lot of ups and downs the past few years. Through all of this is there anything you learned about yourself that you may not have realized five years ago or ten years ago?
I can't really think of anything specific. I'm probably a lot more forgiving now than I ever have been before. Turn the other cheek kind of thing. I think I'm probably more forgiving in that respect.
Operation: Mindcrime, "Taking on the World"
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