Ex-QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate spoke to Oregon Music News about the controversy surrounding "Frequency Unknown", the sole album he released under the QUEENSRŸCHE banner during a period while he was battling his former bandmates over the rights to the group's name.
Regarding the "Frequency Unknown" artwork, which features a fist brandishing three rings — one with an F, another with the QUEENSRŸCHE logo and one with a U, leading fans to surmise that it stands for something explicit and is taking a shot against his former bandmates — Tate laughed and said: "What's wrong with the artwork?!"
Tate also talked about the decision by his then-record label Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records to make available "new and improved" mixes of "Frequency Unknown" to any customers who purchased the original mix version and were dissatisfied with the audio: "Yeah, really, it was kind of a mess, wasn't it?"
He continued: "You know art is art. There is no best there is not worst — there is just art. It's all in people's perception. Personally, I don't think U2's 'War' album sounds that good at all. It's really hard to listen to that album from a production standpoint [but] millions of people love that album. It's just one person's viewpoint."
Tate added: "I think what happened with 'Frequency Unknown'; the people that own the record [Deadline Music] got cold feet. Someone said, 'Oh, I don't like the mix on this.' By that, I mean people close to the record company — that person said, 'I can do a better job mixing it if you give it to me to remix.' So what it came down to is that they [Deadline Music] didn't stand by me, they didn't stand by the project; instead they passed the record along to people to remix. Well, by doing that, it reinforces the idea that it sounds bad! [Laughs] They couldn't let it be for what it was — instead they opened a can of worms.
"To me, [QUEENSRŸCHE's classic debut] 'The Warning' album sounds terrible. When that album was made, we had gone so far over our budget that EMI took that out of our hands and gave it to Val Garay to mix without any input from us. They put it out when they needed it — with that mix and we went with it. We had to, at that point."
"The Key", the first album of an ambitious trilogy from Tate's new band, OPERATION: MINDCRIME, was released on September 18 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Joining Tate on "The Key" are a hard-hitting cast of familiar faces and new collaborators: bass players David Ellefson (MEGADETH) and John Moyer (DISTURBED, ADRENALINE MOB), drummers Simon Wright (AC/DC), Scott Mercado (CANDLEBOX) and Brian Tichy (BILLY IDOL, OZZY OSBOURNE), guitarists Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE) and Scott Moughton (Geoff Tate's solo band), keyboardist Randy Gane (MYTH) and vocalist Mark Daly (THE VOODOOS).