Interview with Geoff Tate conducted by Robert Williams.
Videography and editing courtesy of Sandra Torres.
Interviewed at the South Texas Rock Fest 2008
MR: You have quite a bond with Ronnie James Dio. Of course you covered Neon Knights on the Take Cover album and Ronnie made a cameo appearance as Dr. X on Operation: Mindcrime 2, but going further back the first time I remember you collaborating with Dio was on the Hear N’ Aid project from 1985. With such a strong roster of hard rock and heavy metal’s finest lending there talents for a common cause I imagine there was some pretty memorable interactions taking place. What are your memories from the Hear N’ Aid sessions?
GT: Well You know that was really a long time ago. It was kinda at the beginning of our career in the music business, you know? My main memory from that is being just….scared. You know, nervous. I remember walking into the recording room and standing behind the mic and looking through the glass and seeing Ronnie James (Dio) behind the console, and (Rob) Halford was in there and I think Ted Nugent was there and the three of those guys were like "Ok, sing."
I was like "Oh my god." I couldn’t even take off my sunglasses I was so nervous. But they were really cool, (they) tried to put me at ease, Ronnie….he’s a great guy, he’s such a gentleman, always very concerned about everybody’s comfort level, he was very supportive.
MR: Back in the late nineties there were rumblings of a project dubbed "The Three Tremors" you were to be featured among two other highly noted metal vocalists in Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson. What was the reason this project never got off the ground and is there still hope that fans will one day hear this collaboration?
GT: Well, honestly that wasn’t really a project, it was a dinner conversation. We had all been touring together on a tour through North America. I believe it was Iron Maiden, then Queensryche, the Halford solo.
A bunch of us went out to dinner one night at an Italian restaraunt and telling road stories, eating Italian food and drinking great wine….Just generally having a great day off….Rod Smallwood, the (Iron Maiden manager) pulls the waiter over and he goes "What’s this music we’re listening to?" It was opera music and the waiter says "Oh, it’s the great tenors, you know, the Three Tenors."
Rod kinda laughed and staggered and stood up with his wine glass and said "I think we should make a record with Rob and Bruce and Geoff and call it….The Three Tremors! What do you think?"
We all laughed and toasted and that was it. The next day it got into the press somehow and ever since then we’ve been answering questions about it.