SEPTEMBER 9th 2016
GEOFF TATE EXCLUSIVE

Operation: Mindcrime will release the second installment of their trilogy ‘Resurrection’ September 23rd, 2016. While people are quick to write Geoff Tate off because he’s not ‘metal enough’ these days you have to give the guy credit; he is doing what he wants regardless of what the fan base wants or desires. Isn’t that what an ‘artist’ does? “I don’t believe that there is ‘good’ art or ‘bad’ art, in my opinion---it’s so subjective. There’s just art. To me it doesn’t matter if an album sells hundreds, thousands or millions of copies,” says Tate about recording an album. Tate will hit the road in the fall with singers Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens [Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Charred Walls of the Damned] and Blaze Bailey [Wolfesbane, Iron Maiden]. “I’m really looking forward to touring with those guys, they’re my friends and look forward to sharing the stage with them. They were actually just in town to shoot a music video for “Taking on the World” from our new record which they perform on.” Tate is a true artist and terrific interview, he caught up with MetalTitans while doing press for  ‘Resurrection.’

MetalTitans: When spoke with you in January you were gearing up for the spring tour and you had just come back from Europe. You had just visited Croatia for the first time. I saw that you rode out to Sturgis. Have you done that before?  

Geoff Tate: I’ve been out there before. It seems like I get out there every two years or so. It’s a it’s a pilgrimage of sorts. The ride is great to help clear your head. It’s a time of meditation.

MetalTitans: You have a new album ‘Resurrection’ which is the second installment of the trilogy. ‘The Key’ left ended with a cliffhanger.

Geoff Tate: Yeah, it continues the storyline on this record you see the lead character regrouping and gathering all his energy after being left for dead. He’s at a crossroads where he can either give in to the people who took advantage of him or get back on his horse and ride. That’s essentially what ‘Resurrection’ is about. It’s an interesting record as there are a number of musical variances. There a number of musical trips on this one which I found challenging.

MetalTitans: I know this is jumping ahead but what’s the status of the 3rd album? When we last spoke the plan was to issue that one next fall.

Geoff Tate:Yeah, that’s got a ways till it’s release but that just needs to mixed then mastered.

MetalTitans: Geoff is time the enemy in the sense; if you come up with another idea that you think will fit within the storyline? Has that taken place?

Geoff Tate: [Laughs] Well, if I came up with another idea I would simply start on another record.

MetalTitans: Wait, so you’re telling me you already have ‘songs’ that are ready for a standalone record?

Geoff Tate: [Laughs] Ruben, I’m constantly working on a record! [laughs] If you can believe this I have a record that I started, actually there are two other records that I will release in the next 5 years. I haven’t decided if those records will be solo albums or if they will be Operation: Mindcrime albums...it’s the Geoff Tate ‘five year plan!’ [laughs]

MetalTitans: Geoff I have to say you have a stellar band but I can’t help but point out how great of a stage presence and what energy [guitarist] Scott Moughton has. The guy was all smiles when I caught the show in Portland.

Geoff Tate: I’ve known Scott for about 20 years; we’ve know each other and have worked together on various projects. He was actually a good friend of my wife’s that’s how I was introduced to him. We shared a lot of similar musical influences and he’s a huge jazz and blues fan. Scott had this great jazz and blues band that used to play Tuesdays at Pioneer Square [Seattle]. Occasionally I’d sit in on saxophone; It was an incredible experience it was a world class band. Some of these guys had been playing jazz and blues for 40-50 years. It was an education for me, because they’d teach me stuff and give me pointers. I learned a lot.

Scott also played guitar in my solo band several times over the years; he’s written quite a few songs with me on this ‘trilogy’ project.  He’s a phenomenal guitarist who can play anything you throw at him. Not only that but he plays keyboards, plays bass and he sings.

MetalTitans: He compliments Kelly Gray very who is all business and has that stone cold look on his face on stage.

Geoff Tate: What can I say? They are all very good players! [laughs]

MetalTitans: You joined Disturbed on stage at ‘Pain in the Grass’ a couple days ago. There’s a connection as John Moyer has played bass in Operation: Mindcrime. How did that come to be?


Geoff Tate: Interestly enough it goes back to a few year back when we were both playing Sturgis. We met for the first time, we got to know each other and we’ve kept in touch over the years. Disturbed was coming to Seattle and they asked if I wanted to perform a song with them. I was completely honored and said yes immediately. I can’t tell you how incredible they are. What a tight and talented band.

MetalTitans: Geoff you’re at a point in your career where you can do what you’d like. If an opportunity were to arise with a band like Disturbed would you be open to being a support act or would that be out of the question?


Geoff Tate: [Pauses] I think if the opportunity were right, sure I’d do it. I love playing music, I love playing my music. To play music in front of a large crowd and have my music exposed to people that might have not otherwise heard it. That would be fantastic.

What Disturbed did is really an old musician tradition. It’s like what the old blues and jazz musicians would do. When they play in a city they’d invite people that live there and have them play a song to celebrate music. I feel it is wonderful that they followed with that old tradition.

MetalTitans: You ever listen to your own music?

Geoff Tate: As far as recreational purposes? No, I don’t listen to my own music. It’s what I do. I have music in my head all the time. That also applies to music in general; the only time that I listen to music is when I’m travelling. When I was riding out to Sturgis I listened to some music. I took a bunch of my favorite album which I hadn’t heard in over 20 years. I added them to my playlist and just hit go.

MetalTitans: So let's say you're driving in your car listening to the radio either satellite or terrestrial and one of your songs comes on. Why do you do?

Geoff Tate: I listen to it of course! [laughs] I don’t listen to music that I have recorded. I only listen to music that I’m in the process of recording; once it’s completed I hardly listen to it at all. If a song comes on the radio I will listen to it because I’m hearing it with fresh ears. It’s fun to do that.

MetalTitans: Can I ask about a couple soundtrack songs that you’ve recorded?

Geoff Tate: Sure, go for it.

MetalTitans: What’s your recollection of the song “Real World” which was feature on the ‘Last Action Hero’ soundtrack.

Geoff Tate: I love that song. It’s one of my favorite songs that I’ve written. That song was written by Chris Degarmo, Michael Kamen and I. For those that don’t know Michael Kamen was a brilliant orchestrator, musician and writer. He had worked and scored several films and he was hired to score the ‘Last Action Hero’ film. Michael contacted Chris [Degarmo] and I about writing a song together for the soundtrack.

We flew over to meet him. We wrote the song and we wound up using parts of it throughout the movie in various stages. We’d take the melody line out of the chorus and play it on its own with different instrumentation in a section of the film. We’d take a line and a bridge and play flutes with it in another part of the film. It was a cool song because there’s a lot of things happening in that song and there’s a lot of emotion in it.

I will always remember a very funny story about Michael [who was a very talented man] who was a multi instrumentalist. We were at Dave Stewart’s [The Eurythmics] studio out in L.A. where we were recording the track; we pretty much had it all together. Michael says “Something is missing.” He has the engineer run it to the end of the song he runs out of the room and he grabs a bassoon; in one take he plays the whole last line. One take and it was beautiful. Just perfect! [laughs] I will never forget that.

MetalTitans: The other song I want to ask you about is “Last Time In Paris” which was off the ‘Adventures of Ford Fairlane.’ What’s your recollection of that one?

Geoff Tate: [Laughs] I had never heard of Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay when we were approached about doing a song for that soundtrack. Frankly, I didn’t know much about the premise of the movie. I just knew we had written a song; we didn’t have plans to use it on anything. It could have turned up on an album at some point I suppose but we didn’t really know where. We were offered this amazing amount of money for it as in a giant sum of money. I like great! You can use it! [laughs]

Ruben, I think “Last Time In Paris” is a fun song. I’m sure people can relate to it. I’m sure people have experienced being locked out of a place. It’s inspired by an incident that took place at a venue that we were performing at where I got locked out of and was left behind. I had to find my way in then I had to find my way backstage. If you can imagine this; I had to convince the people that I had to be on stage! [laughs]

MetalTitans: That was your ‘Spinal Tap’ moment and it inspired the song.

Geoff Tate: Right! [laughs] We happen to be in France where obviously not everyone speaks English . It was a bit of a challenge to communicate with the people at the venue. “Last Time In Paris” is  a fun song, that I put together and made us a lot of money. That was nice! [laughs]