QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate spoke to KNAC.com about the group's current tour and their forthcoming CD, the next chapter to the 1988 ground-breaking concept album, "Operation: Mindcrime", tentatively titled "Operation: Mindcrime II". Several excerpts from the interview follow:
KNAC.com: Would you consider it a responsibility as not only a performer but as a citizen to heighten awareness any way you can?
Geoff Tate: "I've always believed that communication is a big part of being an American. That's how we as musicians communicate and express ourselves is through music. This story and this time we’re in go hand in hand. Anything we can do to kind of open up people's minds a bit and express ourselves should be done — it's definitely the time to do it. This is the occasion every four years or so where we have to debate these things. It's part of being an American. It doesn't do any good not to talk about it."
KNAC.com: You would concede though that this election is more important than probably any we've had in the last twenty years or so?
Geoff Tate: "Oh, I think so — especially after the debacle of the last election and how that was all handled. It left a really sour taste in the mind of many Americans. It did a lot to undermine the system because we've always prided ourselves on being a democracy where every vote counts. Well, the last election kind of shattered that faith. There is no way anyone can say that that was a fair, square election. There is all kind of proof that shows it was rigged. The state that makes the final decision is run by the man's brother? The Bush administration and the people behind him are so incredibly powerful that there aren't many people who can stand up to him."
KNAC.com: Do you think that’s why Al Gore went out with a whimper rather that trying to put together a substantive fight to contest the results?
Geoff Tate: "I think Gore really proved his merit as a candidate at that point. He's a spineless man who backed down to the pressure, and he couldn't stand up to him."
KNAC.com: Even if he didn’t think he could win, it would have been nice to see somebody try.
Geoff Tate: "It would have been nice to have had that type of information available that the people could know so that they could realize just how many were denied voting rights or were really taken advantage of in that election. That is a sour point in American history that people definitely need to know about."
KNAC.com: Is it disheartening to see that the press is predicting a close race even with all the atrocities the Bush administration has committed during its tenure?
Geoff Tate: "I think the problem is when the word 'poll' is associated with those statements. They are a very narrow questionnaire. I’ve been alive forty-five years, and I've never been asked to contribute to an opinion poll. No one that I know has ever been asked to contribute to an opinion poll, and I probably meet a few thousand people a week. Nobody that I've ever talked to has been contacted about an opinion poll, so what does that say? You're in the media business — you know how information gets passed down. Investigative journalism is too expensive, and no one wants to pay for it, so data just gets recycled."
KNAC.com: How fine of a line do you have to walk when creating a "Mindcrime II" with regard to not wanting to be too specific because if you are, the music may become more quickly dated?
Geoff Tate: "I don't know. I don’t really have an answer there because I don't really think in those terms. I think more in terms of writing from the heart and coming up with lyrics and things that express how a person feels. You don't customize your opinions to see if you can sell a couple of more records."
Read Geoff Tate's entire interview with KNAC.com at this location.