Famed founding Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate doesn’t always film music videos in the city of Sultan, but when he does, he does it at Bubba’s Roadhouse Bar & Grill.
Source The Monroe Monitor
The scene last Wednesday was set with sunshine, custom motorcycles and classic cars. The cameras rolled inside Bubba’s, as Geoff and current members of his latest musical venture, Operation: Mindcrime, worked with director Paul Gervasi to craft a visual representation of their new song, “Taking on the World.”
Not yet released, the song is featured on Resurrection, the second album in a concept trilogy. Guests were not only invited to watch the video being made, but welcomed on to the set as extras. Bubba’s owner Duane “Bubba” Deach had a cameo.
Geoff and his wife, Susan, reside in Monroe, and enjoy going to Bubba’s for dinner, drinks and live music. As they were developing ideas for the video, they realized Bubba’s captured the exact essence of what they were trying to portray.
“It just kind of all seemed to fit,” Geoff Tate said. “It had the kind of atmosphere that we were looking for.”
It was all about rock ‘n’ roll during the video shoot, which really wasn’t a stretch at Bubba’s. The lights were low, the energy intoxicating and the music loud, as Tate and his bandmates worked their magic.
Operation: Mindcrime is not a static group of musicians. Tate’s vision is dynamic and fluid, as he invites different artists to come together and collaborate. The video for “Taking on the World” features guitarists Scott Moughton and Kelly Gray, former Candlebox drummer Scott Mercado and Tate’s son-in-law, Tim Fernley, on bass.
In addition to Tate, the song showcases vocalists Blaze Bayley and Tim “Ripper” Owens, both accomplished singers brought in by Tate to add further dimension to the project.
“We’re kind of like the ex-singers from very famous bands. I’m ex-Queensrÿche and Ripper’s ex-Judas Priest and Blaze is ex-Iron Maiden,” Tate said. “We thought it would be fun to get together and sing a song together.”
Known for his extensive vocal range, Tate was the lead singer of Queensrÿche for 30 years. Queensrÿche’s groundbreaking third album, a concept album called Operation: Mindcrime, featured iconic singles “I Don’t Believe in Love” and “Eyes of a Stranger.” Released in 1988, Operation: Mindcrime went platinum, selling more than a million copies.
The new song, “Taking on the World,” is reminiscent of the classic guitar-centric rock ‘n’ roll of the 80s, with an intriguing edge that comes from mingling the styles of three powerful vocalists. The melody is appealing and enticing as it draws the listener in to the story, and fans will enjoy subtle hints of Queensrÿche classics from Rage for Order and Operation: Mindcrime as they listen to it.
Nearby business owner Cynthia Marie said the experience was unforgettable and the song was incredible. The excitement in the room was palpable, she noted, as guests came together to create live art.
“I am not a regular listener of their music but, as a common person, I craved more and more of that song with its catchy, vibrant beat and unbelievable voices,” Marie said.
Similar to the album, Operation: Mindcrime, Geoff’s new trilogy tells a story. The first album in the three-part series, called The Key, was released last year. Resurrection, second in the trilogy, is slated for release on Sept. 23.
Tate said he’d always liked the idea of a trilogy concept project, and had wanted to do one for a number of years. Always in the back of his mind, it was an epic 500-mile journey across Spain in 2014 that helped spark his creative process. Looking for an opportunity to relax and recharge, he and Susan set off for a month-long hiking trip along the Camino de Santiago, a trail that extends across northern Spain.
“The story just started coming to me,” Tate said. “Finally, after all these years of wanting to create a trilogy album, the story finally came, so I wrote it all down.”
After they returned from the trip, his work began in earnest.
“I was real excited to start working on the album,” Tate said. “Like the day after I got back, I started writing music, and I’ve just been at it ever since.”
The story is intricate and modern. It involves four individuals, who create a life-changing technology with dramatic implications. Conflict ensues as one of the inventors ends up betrayed by his friends, who hatch a plot to have him killed, so they can sell the technology for billions of dollars. Resurrection picks up after the inventor is nearly killed, and tells the story of how he picks up the pieces.
“He has developed this technology that’s been stolen from him and he finally kind of gets himself back together and regroups and feels confident and strong,” Tate said. “He feels like he can face what’s coming up next, therefor, ‘Taking on the World.’ ”
Tate wrote “Taking on the World” with Kelly Gray and Dave Ellefson of Megadeth. He loves the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians, he said, which is why he brought in Owens and Bayley as guest vocalists. The three enjoyed the process so much, they decided to hit the road later this year for a project they’ve dubbed Trinity.
“We had such a good time doing it, and the three of us get along so well, we decided to do a tour together,” Tate said. “So we have a tour that’s coming up in November.”
Blaze Bayley, the lead singer of Iron Maiden from 1994-98, said the idea of bringing three vocalists together in one song really intrigued him. He and Owens, who was with Judas Priest from 1996-2004, have collaborated in the past, and have always had a great time working together.
“Tim has this very harsh edge to his voice; he’s really a machine, and then I’m on the more emotional side of things,” Bayley said. “Geoff sits there right in the middle being able to connect the two things, and musically I found that very interesting, so I really wanted to be a part of it.”
As they were working on the song in the studio, he knew he made the right choice. He connected with the lyrics on a personal level, he said, particularly the line, “I’ll trust my own madness,” which was written by Tate. The line resonated with him, he said, because it not only reminded him of his own struggles in life, but also his ability to triumph over adversity and hardship.
It’s the kind of song that will stand out to people, he said.
“It certainly has some kind of edge to it,” Bayley said. “There’s just a little drop of magic there.”
Owens agreed that the song is great and he’s excited to be a part of it. After leaving Judas Priest, Owens sang with Iced Earth and Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. Currently, he is focused on solo work and his band, Charred Walls of the Damned, which has an album coming out next month.
He and Tate have been friends for more than a decade, he said, and he enjoys working with him.
“This is fun; I love doing this,” Owens said. “It’s a great song.”
Tate said he is continually grateful to all the fans that have stuck with him over the years, enabling him to continue doing what he loves. He’s visited 62 countries, and is looking forward to hitting four places he’s never been during his upcoming tour. Live music is a unique artistic opportunity, and there is nothing else exactly like it, he said, and he wants to thank his fans for continuing to be a part of it.
“It’s a very humbling experience when you announce that you’re doing a show and thousands of people show up,” Tate said. “It’s an amazing feeling, and I’m always humbled by it.”
For more information on Operation: Mindcrime, visit operationmindcrime.com/wordpress. For more information on Tate, visit geofftate.com.
Geoff Tate (ex Queensryche) Interview Talks Operation Mindcrime 'Resurrection' & Trinity Tour