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Non-Prog Interviews

Geoff Tate

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview With Geoff Tate and his band from 2002


MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.


Tell us a little about the guys in your band (meaning the Geoff Tate Band, not Ryche).
Geoff Tate: Jeff Carrell/Guitars, Howard Chilcott/keyboards, Evan Schiller/Drums, Scott Moughton/Guitar, Chris Fox/Bass Guitar
MSJ: A lot of people in the press seem really thrown off by the fact that the album is not metal, but it seems more like their reaction is because it is not a Queensryche album. What do you say to them?
Jeff Carrell: It's a solo album. If you want Queensryche, buy a Queensryche album. It's Geoff stepping out of the box. Stepping out of the box is not Geoff going in and doing another Queensryche album with different people.
MSJ: Live your set seems to take certain Ryche songs and then move the solo album stuff closer in that direction, merging them into a seamless sound. You really, unless you know, can't tell which songs are GT solo and which are Ryche. Was that a conscious decision, and if so, can you tell us a bit about how you pulled that off?
Howard Chilcott: Geoff selected Queensryche songs he wanted to do and basically said he wanted to change the vibe. "Real World" he wanted exactly like the record. "Killing Words" he did not. Evan created a loop for that one and we worked around that. Geoff left it open to interpretation. We didn't want 2 different kinds of music slamming against each other, but we did want to maintain the essence of what Queensryche original intended that song to be. We just added some of the elements that we had in our own record such as keyboards and drum loops.
MSJ: A lot of the critics seem to be having trouble describing the album. How would you describe it? I know musicians hate pigeonholing or describing their music, but perhaps if the media is having trouble with it the creators can shed some light a bit.
Jeff Carrell: It's really hard to describe it. It really is. It's an atmospheric album. Everybody in this band has different influences. There are many people doing minimal things. This makes a little sound large. It is a singer's album. It's Geoff Tate...him singing and we're trying to accentuate him.
MSJ: How has the reception been for the album, as far as you can tell?
Howard Chilcott: I'm surprised. I thought it was going to be a 50% 50% response but I have not had a negative response. We do get some calls for certain Queensryche songs. In Pittsburgh I starting seeing people singing every word to every song. Some nights some songs do better, and other nights other songs get the better response. Each song seems to have its time. It has been really cool.
MSJ: What about the tour?
Jeff Carrell: We're all having fun. Tremendous fun. It seems like it is being received well by those at the shows. The die-hard Queensryche fans say they love the album and that is encouraging.
MSJ: When you guys do Queensryche songs they come across pretty flawless. One could almost close their eyes and imagine that it is Ryche up there. Was that hard to pull off, or did Geoff's knowledge of the band from the inside allow for that?
Howard Chilcott: You have the voice of Queensryche and that alone allows that to happen.
MSJ: There has been talk that you are in the process of writing for a second album. Do you have any kind of a timetable for that, and any idea what that album might be like?
Jeff Carrell: Not sure what the timetable is. The writing process with this band is very, very fast. If everything was in place the record could be done in 3 months. Artistically it could be done soon, but we have to go through the channels and get the OK to do it. I think it is going to be similar to what it is now but evolved. I would like it to be a little more soulful and a little less Rock. A bit sexier.
MSJ: What about more touring with the Geoff Tate band?
Howard Chilcott : I hope there is more. I know we would all like to keep playing. We like each other. We are having a good time. Geoff has another schedule with Queensryche but it is a matter of things falling into place.
MSJ: How is work coming on the new Ryche album?
Geoff Tate: The new Queensryche album is in the process of being recorded.
MSJ: When can we expect to see it hitting the stores?
Geoff Tate: The album should be released before Christmas of this year.
MSJ: Will there be a tour?
Geoff Tate: Yes, there will be an extensive world tour following the release and we will be trying to go to places Queensryche has never gone before like the Pacific Rim and Eastern Europe.
MSJ: What can you tell us about the album?
Geoff Tate: It will be another step in the ever-evolving chemistry that is Queensryche.
 
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