Queensryche: “Operation sTATE of Mind”
Spreading the disease
But no one wants to see
Religion and sex are powerplays
Manipulate the people for the money they pay
Selling skin, selling God
The numbers look the same on their credit cards
Politicians say no to drugs
While we pay for wars in South America
Fighting fire with empty words
While the banks get fat
And the poor stay poor
And the rich get rich
And the cops get paid
To look away
“Long dubbed “the thinking man’s metal band,” Queensryche have always been difficult to classify; somewhere between Iron Maiden and Pink Floyd. Mindcrime was their breakthrough album, garnering the band commercial and critical success. Arguably their best release, this is a complex, ambitious effort, with top-notch music and a complicated storyline (a disillusioned fortune hunter of the Reagan era joins an underground movement to assassinate political scumbags) that flows smoothly from start to finish”.
“The combination of experimental, progressive music with shorter, more radio-friendly songs works well, and enabled the band to release singles from the album while keeping the story intact. These shorter songs provide the album’s most exciting moments; “Revolution Calling,” “Eyes of a Stranger,” and “I Don’t Believe in Love” are some of the best metal songs out there”. –Genevieve Williams
“You have to create music you enjoy, that inspires you, not cater to your audience or you will totally lose your inspiration. Then it becomes totally a situation similar to clocking in to a job and putting in your hours, where you can’t wait to be finished and be gone. None of us have ever been interested in feeling like that. We like to and we NEED to experiment and try new things as a band. From our perspective though, we hear just as many people liking the new material and new sounds as we do people who are into the old output”. Geoff Tate
Queensrÿche is an American progressive heavy metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington. The band has released twelve studio albums, one EP and several DVDs, and continues to tour and record. The original lineup consisted of vocalist Geoff Tate, guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield.
“I really strongly believe that music is a personal journey for everyone. It is DEFINITELY a personal journey for the artist or composer, you’re writing about how you feel the world or look at the world. You’re utilizing your inspiration and craftsmanship to come up with ideas and compose songs. It’s also a personal journey for the audience ideally. How they take it, and how they hear it, varies so much”. Geoff Tate
“With each and every new album we make there are people who get it and like it and people who don’t. From our experiences over the years, the people who initially didn’t get it tend to find some appreciation for them over time. When THE WARNING came out, the critics just slammed it”. Geoff Tate
“One person we meet will love a song like “Take Hold Of the Flame” from THE WARNING album and another person will not like any of that older material but they’ll like something like “Della Brown” off the EMPIRE album. It just varies so widely from person to person and you can’t just use someone’s opinion as a gauge because everyone enjoys things differently and everyone experiences things differently and personally”
Queensrÿche has been successful in the progressive scene, having sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million albums in the United States. The band received worldwide acclaim after the release of their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime, which is often considered one of the greatest concept albums of all time.
Their follow-up release, Empire, released in 1990, was also very successful and included the hit single “Silent Lucidity”.
The band has received three Grammy Award nominations for songs off both albums; Rockenfield also received a Grammy nomination outside of Queensrÿche.
“It’s really hard, as artists for us to be subjective about our work and differentiate about the old versus the new and things like that. The albums have to originally be “for us”. They all have been, “RAGE” was for us, “EMPIRE” was for us, the cover album you spoke of was “for us”. The covers album was all very well thought out and personal to us. They were all songs that were individually inspirational to us and we selected them from a very large pool of songs that we considered. That was the approach of that covers album, it wasn’t to cash in, it wasn’t to appease fans, it was for us. I don’t mean any of this to sound arrogant, I’m just trying to tell you the truth. This is the way artists work. I know a lot of bands use the slogan “we do it all for the fans” but it’s not really 100% accurate, it’s more of a marketing slogan”. Geoff Tate
In 1997, guitarist and primary songwriter DeGarmo left the band for personal reasons. Over the years, his replacements have been Kelly Gray, Mike Stone, and Parker Lundgren, respectively.
Following a highly publicized backstage altercation before a show in São Paulo, Brazil in April 2012, Tate was fired from the band and replaced with Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre.
2012 Queensrÿche split
Drummer Scott Rockenfield and singer Geoff Tate performing with Queensrÿche in São Paulo, Brazil on April 14, 2012. Tate would repeatedly spit at Rockenfield during this show.In a band meeting on April 12, 2012, which Tate did not attend, the band fired Tate’s stepdaughter, Miranda, from running the band’s fan club, and also fired the band manager, Susan Tate, because of ongoing “arguments and division” over decisions and “feelings that Susan Tate was not working on the behalf of the band as a whole.” Wilton would later justify the firings by saying: “the last 3 years, basically it just came to a point that we didn’t have a voice in the band anymore. It was all run by the singer and his manager, the wife.”
In response to his dismissal, Tate and his wife Susan (who served as the band’s manager from 2005–2012) filed a lawsuit in a Washington court, claiming that he was wrongfully terminated. The ruling in the preliminary injunction was that until the court date on January 27, 2014, both parties are allowed to use the name Queensrÿche; Tate has subsequently created his own lineup featuring former guitarist Gray and members from bands including Blue Öyster Cult, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Dio, AC/DC and Quiet Riot. This version of Queensrÿche with Geoff Tate has released the album Frequency Unknown on 23 April.
While the version of Queensrÿche with Todd La Torre released their eponymous album on 24 and 25 June (European and American release date, respectively). Both bands have toured in 2013.