GEOFF TATE DISCUSSES HIS “THE WHOLE RYCHE STORY ACOUSTIC TOUR” AND MEETING MEATLOAF
Ruben Mosqueda of Sleaze Roxx spoke with singer Geoff Tate. Portions of the interview appear below.
Sleaze Roxx: As stated, you’re back in North America on The Whole Ryche Story Acoustic Tour. I assume this taps into the entire Queensrÿche back catalog?
Geoff Tate: Yeah. If you can believe this, we’re performing 35 years worth of music in two hours. Or should I say an overview [laughs]?
Sleaze Roxx: I’ve not looked online for the setlist because I like to be surprised. I guess you’ve averaging at least one song from each [Queensrÿche] album?
Geoff Tate: That’s right. We designed it that way. There’s a lot of storytelling which takes place between songs. I call them tidbits or inspirations on what was going on in my life at the time that the song was written or recorded or what might have inspired the song. I’m been receiving great feedback from the fans about the show. I don’t know if it’s my expertise in storytelling or the presentation of the song [laughs]? It’s a fun show. It’s all acoustic. We have two acoustic guitars, a violin, a percussion instrument called a ‘cajon.’ Everyone in the band sings too… It’s a pretty rich sound. The acoustic performance is a return to the origins of the song. Most people don’t know this but most of my songs were either written on acoustic guitar or piano.
leaze Roxx: Geoff, do you recall who the first famous person that you met? What was that like?
Geoff Tate: Good question. Let me think. You know I don’t think I met anyone famous until I had a little bit of fame myself. I think that was good in the sense that I was always sensitive in how I would approach them. I wasn’t much into doing the ‘cold call’ so to speak. I wasn’t about walking up to someone introducing myself and striking up a conversation. I’m just not wired that way [laughs]! So when I would meet famous people, it was in a professional environment — a show or an event of some sort. I’d be introduced to them by someone — either a mutual friend or someone in the industry. It was different because then, each person would know who the other person is. You’re both there and there’s a reason why you’re both there.
I do have an interesting story for you. I was at a golf tournament a few years ago in Miami [Florida]. I walked into the bar with a group of friends. I walked up to the bar to order a drink and I saw [singer] Meatloaf standing at the bar. He was ordering a drink. I was there to get another drink. We struck up this conversation without being introduced. We talked about the care of his voice. I’m sure you’re familiar with the story. He’s had very publicized problems with his voice. He fought back and changed his entire health regime to get his voice back. I was very curious as to how he did that. He was very forthcoming about the procedure that followed. He just opened up and started talking about it. If it were me and someone started asking about my voice like that, I think I would have found the nearest exit relatively quickly! Then again, I think at that point, we were both inebriated enough that maybe it didn’t matter [bursts into laughter]?
Read more at Sleaze Roxx.
Geoff’s got some set of cajons to do this tour.
He was a part of the songwriting process and holds credits on a majority of the songs. Seems like he’s just performing songs he helped write, just like the new cover version of Queensryche.
It would be interesting to hear acoustic versions of some of the older Queensryche songs. Geoff was having a hard time hitting a lot of the higher notes on those songs, the last time I heard him sing live. The new guy Queensryche have singing for them does a great job with those songs. I haven’t really cared for the music Geoff has put out since he split from Queensryche, but the last two Queensryche albums have been excellent.
New / current or however you wanna word it singer of Queensryche sure does try n duplicates Geoff’s pitch and style. Would respect Queensryche or whoever they are called this week, if they would have went the Crue route. When Vince left Crue, they brought in Corabi w/his own sense of style and vibe. To this day that album is one of Crue’s best. This fill in singer the ryche has now is good, but lets face it, once again, not an original. I agree Geoff went a different direction and his vocal range isn’t what it used to be, but hey nobody lives forever.
My comment about Geoff’s vocal range on later Ryche recordings wasn’t meant to be a put down. Nobody could have maintained his vocal range from the early Ryche albums for 20 or 30 years! But he did sort of take Ryche in a different direction after Degarmo left the band. I still enjoyed those records, for the most part. But I think the band made the right decision to find a vocalist that could really sing the classic Ryche tunes, once Geoff left the band. I thought on the first record with Todd L. as vocalist, he definitely sounded too much like Geoff. But on Condition Human, he started to bring his own style to some of the songs. I enjoyed both records with Todd as vocalist very much, as the song writing was much more in line with the classic Queensryche style. The later Ryche records with Geoff were not as heavy as they should have been, in my opinion.
Agree with Keith G 1000%. Tate was so distinctive, if they brought in a ‘Corabi’, what classics could they perform? Again agree on Degarmo split. He was key in the band. Rumours were Tate pushed him out. If true he’s a bigger dumbass than I thought. Lates Ryche album is their best in 20 years easily.
Keith, I agree Geoff took Ryche in a different direction after Degarmo left. Personally, I started to lose interest in Ryche after Mindcrime. Geoff’s vocal range during Ryche’s early years was unbelievable. His voice was so unique and added a certain element to the music. Nowadays, I don’t think his voice contributes to the classic Ryche songs.
But for this acoustic tour, I think it would be great to hear him sing some of the more mellower Ryche tunes, like Lady Work Black, Take Hold of the Flame, I Dream in Infrared, Neue Regel, etc….
I still think Geoff is a dirt bag for spitting on his ex Ryche band mates, and I’m sure he regrets his actions. I think its best Geoff and the band went their separate ways, but it sure does suck when another great classic band goes through unfortunate personnel changes this deep into its career.
Totally agree that Geoff’s actions towards the other guys in the band were terrible. From what I read, it sounds like Geoff’s wife was acting as their manager. That couldn’t have been a healthy relationship, especially if the other guys didn’t agree with direction that Geoff was taking the music. So, I agree that the split was probably the best thing, as sad as it is to see. The last two Queensryche albums with Todd L. as vocalist have seen a return to the classic Ryche sound, and I have enjoyed them both very much.
Kinda funny how my comments were interpreted. I didn’t say hire Corabi for any gig, I basically said Geoff’s style was duplicated by the new ryche singer. Say what you want, it was. Just like Thayer copies Frehley. All the vocalists on the scene and they find a copy cat, pretty much typical of most bands anymore I never meant disrespect to anyone, if you take it that way, that’s your issue for thinking in a paranoid manner.