Queensryche singer Geoff Tate vows his upcoming solo album will rock.
He's at the centre of a storm of controversy after his bandmates formed Rising West, pledging to play tracks from Queensryche's first five albums. Speculation the prog-metal giants are experiencing tension has been played down although their official website promotes Tate's solo work while it doesn't mention Rising West.
The frontman hasn't discussed the splinter group either and insists he's concentrating on his own projects.
Tate tells AnthologySD: "The album is recorded now, so I'm happy about that. I don't know exactly when it's coming out.
"It's very different from the last one. It's a new bunch of people I've been working with to write and record it, so that changes things. This one is really hard rock. The last one was really all over the place with different styles of music and everything, but this one really keeps with the hard rock style.
"It does it in kind of a different way more of my way, or what I would envision. I guess it's experimental in some ways while in others it's very traditional."
Tate says he enjoys writing songs about people because they're open to wider interpretation by those who hear them. But despite the content of landmark Queensryche album "Operation Mindcrime", he distances himself from being called a political lyricist.
"I really am not interested in politics at all," he says. "In fact, I really loathe the subject. I don't know why I keep getting labelled as that sort of writer. I guess it's because the 'Mindcrime' record had a lot of political overtones.
"But when you break down that record it's not about politics at all it's a love story between two people who happen to be living in a tumultuous time politically. I just set the tone for the story to take place. I think people took that as me having a lot of opinions about politics. But I really don't.
"Not many people can discuss those subjects without getting all fired up. It's hard to have a conversation that doesn't come to fist-fights."
Tate is enjoying the experience of his solo acoustic tour, saying it gives him a greater opportunity to interact with the audience than he'd get at a Queensryche show.
"With Queensryche we've all got in-ear monitors so we can't really hear what the audience is saying," he explains. "The music is incredibly loud as well, so it really blocks out any interaction.
"Acoustically it's a completely different scenario. I had a recent one where there was a couple having an argument during one of my songs. After the song I commented on what they were talking about I worked it into the set-up of the next song we were going into. The audience just loved that. It's something that normally wouldn't happen at a Queensryche show I couldn't have heard them."
Thanks for the report to ClassicRockMagazine.com.