Todd Newton of BigMusicGeek.com recently conducted an interview withQUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
BigMusicGeek.com: At this point, is your goal to reconcile with the other members of [QUEENSRŸCHE]? Is that really even possible?
Geoff: I think the situation has deteriorated quite badly. It would take quite a bit of communication with all of us sitting in the same room having discussions for any type of reconciliation to occur. Honestly, I don’t see that happening from their side. I don’t think any of them have the balls to sit in a room with me and be honest about how they feel and works towards some sort of understanding. They’re way too cowardly to do anything like that. That may come across as cold and brash, and I apologize if that offends anyone, but that’s my honest opinion on the matter. They didn’t approach me in a friendly, gentlemanly friendship way when they fired me. They did it behind my back through a lawyer, ya know? So I really don’t have any high hopes that they’d have the integrity to sit in a room with me now and try to come up with some sort of compromises for our situation.
BigMusicGeek.com: Prior to them dismissing you, were there any obvious indications that everything wasn’t going very well? I can remember reading interviews with the group during the ’90s where the group seemed like a brotherhood…
Geoff: No. There was nothing like that. A band is a democracy and if it had to come down to a vote, I’m only one guy, ya know? You probably read an interview with either (former QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist) Chris(DeGarmo) or myself. Our main focus was always to create an image that the band was cohesive and a band that was as close as brothers, ya know? In our minds, that was the best way to project our band and our project, ya know? Whatever dirty laundry or disagreements wasn’t talked about in public. We were always very, very interested in presenting a positive image, ya know? The image that Chris and created is the image that most people saw and that’s how people formed their opinions, ya know? Through the images Chris and I conveyed. We switched gears throughout our entire career. That was the whole goal. The whole motto that Chris and I had when we started writing together was “no limits.” Naturally, we weren’t interested in being limited by any imaginations except our own, ya know? So we drove that vehicle with that in mind. We were always trying to change things up and bring different things into the compositions, stretch out as much as we could musically and keep pushing, pushing and pushing the envelope on the musical chemistry that we had. After he left, I always held that goal in mind. The problem was that I was the only one who had that idea at that point. [laughs] The other three were very non-committal musically and didn’t stand by their belief system when it came to music. They were very influenced by the opinions of others around them and didn’t really trust their own musical integrity. I was constantly being limited by their lack of imagination and their unwillingness to stand on their own convictions. They were always very interested in being what other people thought they could be.
BigMusicGeek.com: In regards to all the pending litigation, do you foresee an outcome where you aren’t ultimately victorious?
Geoff: I don’t look at it as victory or defeat because in reality, it’s not really that way. I will win in any situation regarding this because I will either get the name or they’ll have to pay me for the name, so I’ll be free and clear to do whatever I want. I don’t want to work with them and they don’t want to work with me. We really haven’t worked together in years and years anyway, so what’s the purpose, ya know? The only purpose to be together in the first place was the economics of it. It was a very successful brand that was very successful in all parts of the world. It paid everyone’s bills and gave everyone a comfortable way of living, ya know? So all the headaches were worth it. What it took to make a record was worth it because we all made a nice living.
BigMusicGeek.com: Was there really a physical confrontation between you and the other members of the group (i.e. the now-infamous Brazil Incident)? At first, it seemed insane that everyone would actually “come to blows” over it all…
Geoff: Yes. It happens in bands all the time. It’s weird because in other places in the world, they look at the whole physical altercation thing as a fist fight and call it what it is[laughs] It’s a bunch of guys and you come to blows sometimes, ya know? It’s no big deal. The Europeans and South Americans say the same thing: “What’s the big deal? Why are the Americans making such a big deal out of this?” Look at THE [ROLLING]STONES, THE WHO or even THE BEATLES. It’s a bunch of guys and guys are physical. The thing about the whole “Brazil incident” is that we’re talking about three cowards who wouldn’t stand up for themselves. Three cowards who made a decision behind my back, implemented a plan to fire me and my family and then, when I challenged them on it, ran away like little pussies who wouldn’t stand up for their beliefs. What kind of men are those? The only thing you have in life are your convictions. It’s what you believe. If you make a statement and then back down, what kind of man are you? You are nothing. You have no significance if you don’t stand up for what you believe in.
Read the entire interview from BigMusicGeek.com.