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Tate won’t write for radio

Ex-Queensryche singer says he’s delighted to escape commercial constraints of older material

Geoff Tate is looking forward to escaping the constraints of commercial writing as he begins work on his post-Queensryche trilogy.

And he says the moment he realised that he no longer has to conform to radio requirements was “like I saw God.”

The legal wrangles that exploded after his firing in 2012 ended earlier this year, with his colleagues keeping the band name. He’ll continue his career using the name Operation: Mindcrime, and retains the rights to perform both Queensryche concept albums.

Tate tells 10Songs: “It's always been in my head to create music based on a commercial arrangement, just because my band always wrote music for radio, and you had to conform to a format and standard.

“I realised one day that this album is not going be played on the radio because there's no money to promote it. All of a sudden, I went, 'Oh my God – I can do whatever I want.' 

“I've always loved figuring out variations on melody and I've tried to do that within the song structure since I started out. But in not having to follow this rigid format, it gives me more space to create melody. So when I get started on a phrase, I can now take that phrase for two minutes and expand in harmony or change it up in a rhythm structure kind of way. I'm just having a great time.”

Tate suggests his lineup of Queensryche, who completed their last tour in September, may not be retained for his Operation: Mindcrime work. “I'm in kind of a unique position now, where I can work with who I want to work with. I’m not in that band situation where it all has to be democratic and that kind of thing any more.

“I respect that and I was part of that for many years, but I'm really enjoying the freedom of having different players play with me and sit in. It's really inspiring.”

Tate will appear at the Metal All Stars event in London in December, while Queensryche are currently recording their second album with frontman Todd La Torre, for release in early 2015. They play Hard Rock Hell next month.

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