Queensryche: 'Rock Is Pretty Much Dead'

Queensrche frontman Geoff Tate sees a pretty gloomy future for rock bands, unless they can adapt to new ways of doing things.

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Queensrche frontman Geoff Tate sees a pretty gloomy future for rock bands, unless they can adapt to new ways of doing things. The singer talked to Classic Rock magazine (via Blabbermouth) about how things have changed in the music industry and how his band is trying to change.

"Rock is pretty much dead. If you look at the numbers, it's definitely not the music of the times anymore", Tate said. "If it's gonna keep moving, bands need to embrace new ideas. There's a lot of elements to rock that, mentally speaking, are kinda boneheaded. Like the whole 'chunk-chunk-chunk' guitar progression the stuff you play when you're learning the damn thing. You would hope bands would get beyond that."

In the same interview Tate spoke about Queensrche's new album, "Dedicated To Chaos", being a "headphones record", tailor-made for the modern listener.

"That's the way people listen to music now. People today are plugged in switching between their iPod and phone, back and forth, listening to music all day long", he said. "No, I don't miss the days of guys sitting around listening to vinyl. I don't miss the past much. I love the age we live in. Every day there's something new to wrap your head around. I want to keep embracing new ideas, technology, works of art, literature, films. If you stop doing that, your brain gets lazy."

For more on Tate and the new album, check out Gibson.com's recent interview with the singer.

Thanks for the report to Bryan Wawzenek, Gibson.com

197 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    alestorm666
    I agree with him. It's not just mainstream rock anymore, even the underground circuit now consists of nothing more than cheap AC/DC throwbacks. Now don't get me wrong, I love AC/DC, but it seems like most rock bands nowadays try to copy their sty;e and adapt it for today. But you can't be successful unless you have new ideas, and I haven't heard many bands in the last couple of years that are good or original enough, IMO, to be successful.
    Ibeanez
    Like the whole 'chunk-chunk-chunk' guitar progression...
    What? This is what happens when a non-guitarist tries to make a point about something that he's clueless about. It all goes in cycles. Right now, the Queensryche style is pretty much dead.
    Acacia69
    Rock isn't dead. People have been saying that since the '70's. Hey hey, my my rock and roll will never die.
    RycheRulz
    But Ozzy says "You can't kill rock and roll, it's here to stay" I'll take his word for it over Geoff's
    Pagan_Poetry
    Radio rock, I agree. Rock in general, not at all. Many new bands are trying new things and sadly that's why they don't make it on the radio. There are many good rock (or rock influenced) bands/artists like Sufjan Stevens, My Morning Jacket, The Horrors, Animal Collective, and more. Then there are artists from the 90s that are still kicking it like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, PJ Harvey, the Smashing Pumpkins and more. He's right about the headphone era now though. Music is becoming disposable because it's so easily downloaded and worked hard for. With so much music at ones grasp, they take it for granted and it becomes background music (or easily interrupted, as he stated switching from ipod to phone). That's why radio music for the most part is so bad. All most people need now are simple beats to put on in the background while they do a million other things. I didn't live in the time of vinyl, but I still live days where I put an album on, lie down and just listen. If others did the same more often, music wouldn't be taken for granted nearly as much. Lastly, he's right about brains getting lazy as I just covered. New ideas, whether you write the music or listen to it, are what we all need. I just wish labels and stations saw past the dollar bill and embraced talent like they used to. 5% of the music on the radio deserves to be there.
    Thunderstruckmh
    All of this coming from the king of wash-ups. Their latest album would be alot better if his ego wasn't blasted all over it with his idiotic lyrics. He wants to stop reminiscing yet his band released Mindcrime Part II years ago. What a douche. Great music is everywhere, you just need to dig deeper.
    Whiteboy_az
    redandwhite12 wrote: Who cares if rock is mainstream? I don't care if one person or a billion people like rock i'll still listen to it.
    My exact Sentiment
    syracon30
    redandwhite12 wrote: Who cares if rock is mainstream? I don't care if one person or a billion people like rock i'll still listen to it.
    Same here. Rock N Roll will never die. It ain't noise pollution. (Unlike that new pop crap they insist on putting on the radio)
    BigHombre
    PatVanHalen5150 wrote: Somewhere, Chris DeGarmo is laughing his ass off.
    +256!!!
    Root Beer
    Just because it's not the "music of the times" doesn't mean it's dead or irrelevant.
    Icedmask
    I like Black Stone Cherry and some other post grunge groups, but you can't say that they are very original.
    klysandral
    Rock isn't ever dead because everything is a form of rock in some way. Metal is rock, pop is rock (well, some of it), even country owes much to southern rock bands. As long as music has some form of distorted guitar, it's gonna have a glimpse of rock. As far as popularity goes, rock is nowhere near as popular as it used to be. I think that's for the same reason he is saying, the genre of nu-metal and hardcore aren't interesting instrumentally. They all sound the same. People are only interested in hardcore because it's br00tal and the hardcore bands put on an extremely energetic show. What we NEED is the energy of hardcore mixed with the interesting instrument work of heavy thrash. Throw it a tiny bit mainstream and we could actually have some good metal on the radio.
    I find a lot wrong with this statement, first of all the everything is a form of rock part. I kind of see where this is coming from, with rock having diversified so much in the last fifteen years or so. But country, REAL country, far out-dates southern rock and southern rock owes a lot to IT not the other way around. Classical, ambient, the billion sub-genres of electronic music, are all not rock (and don't say that these genres never use guitar cause I'll slap you). I would say more accurately that rock has absorbed a lot from other styles of music to try to reinvent itself, and this ties in with my opinion on the article, which I'll get to. Second is grouping hardcore with nu-metal, which is... blasphemous. Nu-metal is rather like a Frankenstein's monster: a creative amalgamate of many things that just turns out ugly, evil, and deserving to die. That being said it share pretty much no similarities with hardcore, which began as a faster form of punk and evolved into an interesting genre on its own, creatively using atonality (see: Unwound circa 1995/96). In fact heavy thrash pretty much evolved out of early hardcore (i.e. Slayer). So the music you describe at the end of you comment was already made over twenty years ago. Lastly the idea that rock is "dead" or "less popular" even is to me... absurd. If you measure popularity in sales then something is wrong with your head, especially in this day and age where music is obtained freely far more often than it is paid for. The polls also seem to agree with me, I remember an article here on UG even that polled rock as still the most popular kind of music. If I have time I'll find it and link it. This guy from Queensryche is still making the same genre of music he was thirty years ago and if he thinks that there's nothing but a bunch of bands doing "chunk chunk chunk" riffs then he needs to put his money where is mouth is and discover some new rock and keep his brain from dying and his mouth from spewing bullshit.
    Spychosis
    Jeez there's a lot of clueless people posting. He never said rock is terrible btw. It isn't popular now. Anyone who has seen the latest sales charts would agree that, Foo Fighters aside, rock doesn't sell like it did in the past. This is the age of dance and hip-hop music. Hopefully we come full-circle back to rock one day.
    False_God wrote: Rock isnt dead, its just taking a break.
    This.
    Sign of War
    If you look at the numbers, it's definitely not the music of the times anymore
    well Lamb of Gods last album was number 2 on the billboard charts and knocked off Beyonce and Metallica could release and album and knock everyone off the charts so although it's not the main music of the time, it's still very, very poppular plus look at what happened last time 'metal' got poppular it was GLAM, face it the 'mainstream' ruins all music just to make money.
    redandwhite12
    Who cares if rock is mainstream? I don't care if one person or a billion people like rock i'll still listen to it.
    Basswithapick-1
    I find a lot wrong with this statement, first of all the everything is a form of rock part. I kind of see where this is coming from, with rock having diversified so much in the last fifteen years or so. But country, REAL country, far out-dates southern rock and southern rock owes a lot to IT not the other way around. Classical, ambient, the billion sub-genres of electronic music, are all not rock (and don't say that these genres never use guitar cause I'll slap you). I would say more accurately that rock has absorbed a lot from other styles of music to try to reinvent itself, and this ties in with my opinion on the article, which I'll get to. Second is grouping hardcore with nu-metal, which is... blasphemous. Nu-metal is rather like a Frankenstein's monster: a creative amalgamate of many things that just turns out ugly, evil, and deserving to die. That being said it share pretty much no similarities with hardcore, which began as a faster form of punk and evolved into an interesting genre on its own, creatively using atonality (see: Unwound circa 1995/96). In fact heavy thrash pretty much evolved out of early hardcore (i.e. Slayer). So the music you describe at the end of you comment was already made over twenty years ago. Lastly the idea that rock is "dead" or "less popular" even is to me... absurd. If you measure popularity in sales then something is wrong with your head, especially in this day and age where music is obtained freely far more often than it is paid for. The polls also seem to agree with me, I remember an article here on UG even that polled rock as still the most popular kind of music. If I have time I'll find it and link it. This guy from Queensryche is still making the same genre of music he was thirty years ago and if he thinks that there's nothing but a bunch of bands doing "chunk chunk chunk" riffs then he needs to put his money where is mouth is and discover some new rock and keep his brain from dying and his mouth from spewing bullshit.
    +1 Rock in general is not dead, there will be times when dance/party music charts higher then metal. I think it got everything to do with how the world looks at the moment. In the 70's disco was the "thing", the same as house, RnB and all other "dance music" is now. Before that rock'n'roll ruled the charts, then there was disco. After that the world just got a bit more out of hand during the 80's and at that time Rock/metal ruled the charts. I am not assuming this, what people listen to often relfects what they are feeling at the moment. Once the world goes out of hand or when people have gotten tired of party music we will have a whole decade of chart-topping and then disco rules a while again. Im high, so dont hate on my comment if it sounds stupid.
    hypnotoadluvsu
    I never considered Queensrche to be rock anyway all their songs are too light.And listen to A perfect Circle, Foo Fighters, and well the 10,000 other bands that are rock and youll see how narrow minded you are. Also i giggled when i saw his picture.
    mysticguitar77
    Granted, rock isn't in the forefront of attention anymore like it was back in the day. It's just now hidden behind these giant walls of mainstream pop, hip hop, and rap. Those that are lazy, sit and only see this giant wall, but those that are adventurous, climb the wall and reach the promise land. Ok, aside from my incredibly lame metaphorical speech, the point is, rock is still very much alive and kicking, but based on Queensryche's latest material, it seems like they fell out of this loop a long time ago.
    Tones2
    I'd agree with what Geoff says in theory, but in actuality, "Dedicated to Chaos" is probably one of the LEAST innovated rock albums I've ever heard. :rolleyes:
    eds1275
    anyone else think of the line from the Who song? haha rock is deeaaadd... rock is deeeaad.... maybe that was just me >.>
    Eifler121
    Good rock is actually picking back up; MMJ and Black Keys have been getting a shitload of coverage lately, even on MTV and VH1. Plus Mumford and Sons has been incredibly successful, it's folk, but folk turned into rock eventually. Queensryche is just bummed because they can't make another Mindcrime.
    alestorm666
    One of the problems too is bands who were once good fading away. Black stone cherry had promise, but their last 2 albums have been shit. Same with Trivium, Shogun was terrible. There's many more that I couldn't even think of but as well as no new bands being of reasonable quality, too many are ****ing up their chances.
    Buddy Rider
    Another old rockstar claiming that rock is dead. Thats all they say anymore. And didnt people think rock was dead back when disco was popular? Or late 80's hair pop was popular? HIS type of rock is dead but rock as a whole lives on.
    dmaccy06
    Third Eye Blind
    SGofawesome wrote: Yeah, I would agree with the fact that his style of rock is dead. Rock isn't ever dead because everything is a form of rock in some way. Metal is rock, pop is rock (well, some of it), even country owes much to southern rock bands. As long as music has some form of distorted guitar, it's gonna have a glimpse of rock. As far as popularity goes, rock is nowhere near as popular as it used to be. I think that's for the same reason he is saying, the genre of nu-metal and hardcore aren't interesting instrumentally. They all sound the same. People are only interested in hardcore because it's br00tal and the hardcore bands put on an extremely energetic show. What we NEED is the energy of hardcore mixed with the interesting instrument work of heavy thrash. Throw it a tiny bit mainstream and we could actually have some good metal on the radio.
    dmaccy06
    I just saw Buckcherry and Third Eye Blind at the House of Blues (Not together) + I'd take Third Eye Blind any day, but the music was outstanding and inventive. Rock is not dead. Mainstream rock is dead and that is because people are stupid.
    SoundwaveEater
    It'd be nice to see a move towards more progressive music on the radio. It takes time to get into it, but it's really worth it in the end. I'd love to hear some prog metal/ post/metal on the airwaves.
    espal
    [deleted]
    espal · Jul 19, 2011 04:04 PM
    mtllica
    Rock might be dead, but from what I can tell Metal is still hammering along
    reignofrock
    He's sort of right and then sort of wrong. I'll say one thing though, their new album certainly isn't helping anyone. What a disappointment... It's a damn shame really. Oh well, we will always have Operation: Mindcrime.
    fan413
    False_God wrote: Rock isnt dead, its just taking a break.
    nice!
    <<I>>
    I think there are enough rock/metal bands coming up with new ideas, but as soon they do that its called "fake" or "nu metal" by most "hardcore" rock/metal fans
    nirvanarules888
    I think the Foofighters will disagree with you plus STP, Soundgarden, Bush etc seems to me like the old 90s bands are getting back together, its just there's been a lot of shit rock bands that brought the whole genre down after the "Kurt" era. I personally think rock is coming back I've seen more kids these days have more appreciation for it, what I think is there is no more of lets make a record days, its more of the singles area, just my take. oh and PS all these rockband games etc are helping out kids love games.
    Caribousunking
    Rock isn't dead, it's just in a coma. There's still interesting rock musicians out there like Jack White. Rock isn't the most commercial genre anymore, but that hardly means it's dead. People thought it was dead at the beginning of the 90's and look what happened. In the meantime, i'll listen to The Secret Sisters.
    SoundwaveEater
    wrote: I think there are enough rock/metal bands coming up with new ideas, but as soon they do that its called "fake" or "nu metal" by most "hardcore" rock/metal fans
    Those are the people who don't dig enough into the sub-genres below the mainstream to explore said new ideas. The best thing you can do is dig into what's out there, sucks that there are some who don't do that and actively deny themselves exposure to the potential depth of music.
    PeenieMcGee303
    Thank you Queensryche for making a few hit songs in the late 80's forcing record companies to take a closer look at the city of Seattle where some truly great musicians were hiding out. i.e. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and many others. Now please shut up.