Queensryche - Live Evolution Calling
Band Returns with Live Offering
Geoff Tate Interviewed by Keith McDonald
Since 1983, Quennsryche, originally from Bellevue, Washington, have
released an EP and seven full-length albums that have gone Gold,
Platinum or multi-platinum. Some would say that would be enough to call
it a career for any band. But Queensryche isn't any band. Singer Geoff
Tate, drummer Scott Rockenfield, bassist Eddie Jackson and guitarists
Michael Wilton and Kelly Gray have forged on with the recently released
Live Evolution that spans the band's career from their EP to Q2K.
Recorded at Seattle's Moore Theatre July 27 and 28 2001, the band
reflects on their past achievements but looks forward to an even
brighter future as they have signed on with the growing roster at
Sanctuary Records. I had the opportunity to speak with Geoff Tate who
filled me in on what's been going on.
Why a live album?
It was actually our record company's idea. They brought it to us and
said (they were) interested in doing a live record. We never really did
one, (a) proper one. I guess after the next studio album we'll go on
tour and record some of the shows and make a live album. They said
(they) were thinking about next month. So we had to scramble to put
together a show and record it. This was actually a fun project, our
first project working with Sanctuary and everything fell together very
How did you land at Sanctuary?
They called us. Over the years we had been talking, watching them grow.
It finally got to the point where they could deliver on what they wanted
to do with us. The time was right for us.
What happened with Atlantic Records?
We chose to leave.
When you released your demo the name of the band
was MOB. When and why did you change it?
That was twenty years ago. I think the Mob was just a working title for
the name of the band. We were getting ready to put out our EP, which
included the songs from the demo tape. We decided to come up with the
new name because we think someone else had the name. I really can't
Did the EP Queen of the Reich get the band their
deal with EMI Records?
No, it was because we had sold a lot of records on our
own label. We sold 60,000 records on our own worldwide. That made the
record company take notice. If a little start-up label could sell that
many records then they could sell a heck of a lot more on a major label.
Is it true the Kerrang review helped the band?
Paul Suter was a writer for Kerrang and reviewed our demo
tape, our EP and gave it a very positive/glowing review. The time was
really right for that type of music we were playing at the time.
Why did the band release only one video clip to
promote Rage For Order?
Videos cost a lot of money to make. Just because you make
one doesn't mean it's going to get aired on any sort of rotation. It's
really a sort of investment. You look at how many records you've sold
and how many you hope to sell. You're gonna roll the dice on the
expenditure of making a video. If it gets played like 'Gonna Get Close
To You' did, it got played a few times but it didn't go into heavy
rotation. So we chose not to make a new one.
With Operation: Mindcrime, how did the idea to
do conceptual album come about?
I was in Montreal at the time, living there. I had an idea and I just
started writing it down. It grew into a story (and) months later I went
back to Seattle to begin working on a record with Queensryche. I
proposed the idea of doing a conceptual record to them. I described it
all and that's how it began.
Why did Chris DeGarmo quit the band?
You'd have to ask Chris DeGarmo that.
How was the Rock In Rio festival?
The Rock In Rio festival was the single most attended concert
Queensryche has ever performed. We've done a lot of festival dates
around the world, but that was the largest, 225,000 people. Just
enormous. I didn't get to relate to the audience in the way I normally
would or would like to but we spent several days in Rio and since then,
have met with Brazilian people. I felt there was a lot of interest in
the band there and are anxious to get back there and keep visiting the
How did you get along with the other bands
(Judas Priest, Megadeth, Guns N Roses, etc.)?
Fine. It was a kind of in and out thing where we really didn't have any
contact. When we did it was all kind of civil.
Was the Empire tour your most successful tour?
Success is a very subjective thing. Every tour you do is
successful because you can do it. Being in a band is not an easy thing.
It's five very creatively challenging people and everybody's got giant
egos because they're used to getting their way. Getting them to perform
anything, a record or a concert, is a major accomplishment. Every tour
How did you land the Iron Maiden tour and how
Well, it's like any tour. You talk to them; it's a business arrangement
really. The tour was fine, an interesting mix of music.
What's the status of the 3 Tremors project with
Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson?
I don't know. I'd like for something to happen with it. We just haven't
been able to schedule time to be in the same city. We all have various
commitments with our prospective bands, deadlines to meet and all that.
Maybe next year we'll take a look at it and see if it's possible.
Any tour plans for the live album?
We're just doing a short three-week tour of the States promoting this
CD. Starts on the 1st in Phoenix and ends on the 21st in New York City.
When can expect a new studio album?
We haven't even begun hat. We'll get together in January and start
writing. You just never know. When it's done it's done and we can't
How do you explain your longevity?
Vitamins, lots of vitamins. It's very difficult to be in a band. It's
amazing that you can make three records let alone nine or ten.
What's the future for Queensryche?
Who knows. Day by day, living in the now.
©2001 Metal Rules!!