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Tate feared he'd be cut adrift by name change

Singer says he needed an instantly recognisable moniker after losing Queensryche title

Geoff Tate says he feared he would struggle to market himself once he was forced to stop using the Queensryche name.

The singer had been performing under the name after splitting with the band, meaning two bands called Queensryche were simultaneously recording and touring. After a legal battle, Tate gave up the name, but was given exclusive rights to perform the band's classic album Operation: Mindcrime – which he took as the name for his new group.

Tate tells Seattle Sound Live: "I chose that name for two reasons. The first and foremost reason is that I needed a name that will be recognisable to my fans and a name that they were familiar with. I spent 35 years finding everything that I did and created, spoke about and thought about under the name of Queensryche.

"So, not having that name any more left me kind of adrift in the 21st century where it is very difficult to let people know who you are, where you are at, if there is a new album out or appearing in their city. It is not like it used to be where there was one magazine or one newspaper that covered entertainment.

"Reason number two, I wanted to continue making conceptual music, conceptual albums, story albums – and the words Operation: Mindcrime say that. It lets people know that this is going to be a project like the album of Operation: Mindcrime."

On how he felt when he reached a settlement with his former bandmates, Tate adds: "It definitely has opened my eyes to the complexity of human behaviour. That’s been a real education, but it was a fair and good settlement that we came to and I feel good about it."

Operation: Mindcrime release their debut album The Key on September 18 via Frontiers Music.

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