Iris Interviews: Geoff Tate (Operation: Mindcrime, ex-Queensrÿche)

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Written interview!

Interview with Geoff Tate of Operation: Mindcrime

Geoff Tate recently released his second studio album with his band Operation: Mindcrime, named Resurrection (you can read my review of that album here). It’s a follow up of the album The Key, and the second part of the trilogy. Geoff and Iris did an interview via Skype in October, where they talked about the album, the tour and more!

Iris: Thank you very much for your time. You have released a new album named Resurrection with your band Operation: Mindcrime. How and where was the album recorded?

Geoff: It was recorded in a couple of different studios, in the Seattle area. One in my house, which is my home studio, a studio called London Bridge In Seattle and some other studios.

Iris: It’s the second album of the band Operation: Mindcrime, it’s a part of a trilogy. Can you tell me more about the trilogy?

Geoff: It’s a concept story, that is told in three acts. The first is The Key (released in 2015), the second is Resurrection, and the third still needs to be released. I have liked the idea of a trilogy album for some time and wanted to make a very involved concept record, but was lacking the story for many years. The story just came to me a couple of years ago when I was hiking through Spain. I was on a month long track across northern Spain and wrote the story while I was walking and immediately started composing music for it when I got back home. A few months later it was ready to be launched into the studio. We recorded all three records at the same time, so we’ve been putting them out every year now, and the third album will be released in September 2017.

Iris: Tell the more about Operation: Mindcrime. How did the band/project started?

Geoff: I split from my previous band Queensrÿche a several years ago. I started my new project directly after that. It was back in 2013/2014. Beside me, the band currently consists of bassist John Moyer, drummer Simon Wright, who also worked with AC/DC and Dio, keyboardist Randy Gane, drummer Brian Tichy and guitarist Kelly Gray.

Iris: Are you planning to do a tour with this album?

Geoff: Yes, we are going to start touring in Europe in early December 2016. We are doing an acoustic tour, with extra musicians, and it is an interesting line up of musicians! A violinist, a cellist, three acoustic guitar players, a mandolinist, a percussionist, and myself on vocals and saxophone.

Iris: That’s a very interesting line up! What’s the idea behind it?

Geoff: I’ve been wanting to do an acoustic tour for a while. I discovered a really talented band with young musicians, and recently played with them. We had such a good time doing it, so I decided to turn my European tour into an acoustic tour. Which is kinda fun for me because it’s a very different presentation, you have to reinvent the songs, in a sense you’re kind of bringing the songs back to where they started. Most songs start with an acoustic guitar, vocal or piano. You bring the songs back to their roots. I’m going to tell a lot of stories about the origins of the songs, interesting and humorous stories that happened to me throughout my career and travels. It’s a combination of storytelling and an acoustic presentation!

Iris: Any other future plans?

Geoff: I’m really working on my tour right now, getting back in shape and ready to launch it. I’m primarily going to be touring the rest of the year throughout Europe and United States. I will take a break in the summer next year, and then I get ready to launch the third album… And then I will tour again *laughs*!

Iris: Can you describe the music to someone who hasn’t heard the music yet?

Geoff: Oh no, I actually couldn’t. I think music is best witnessed and experienced on oneself. It’s a personal journey, a personal adventure. We all hear music differently. So it doesn’t really do any good to compare or describe music… Music is indescribable for me. You put the music on and you float away on the journey the artist has created.

Iris: I think those were my questions. Anything I forgot to ask or anything you would like to say?

Geoff: I don’t know what it would be Iris, you’ve been incredible detailed here, that’s pretty much my life and that *laughs*!

Iris: *Laughs* Thank you very much!

Geoff: Thank you very much for the interview, and hopefully we will see you on the road during our tour!

You can also read this interview on the website of Background Magazine:

http://backgroundmagazine.nl/Specials/InterviewGeoffTate.html

You can read my album review of Resurrection here:

https://grendelhq.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/operation-mindcrime-resurrection-2016/

More information about Geoff Tate and Operation: Mindcrime:

http://operationmindcrime.com/

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