Promised land sleeve Queensryche - Promised Land


GEOFF TATE of QUEENSRYCHE, you are accused of the following offences...

Geoff Tate

That you are now far too mature for your band's original spandex-sporting Heavy Metal days.
Guilty. You go through stages, and I'm glad that people don't expect me to be that way any more. I'm really happy that Queensryche's audience has allowed the band, and ourselves as individuals, to grow and change. Hopefully, they'll change along with us because a lot of the people who started listening to us early in our career are also the same age as us, and have gone through life's experiences quite extensively.

That your gradual hairstyle transformation from gigantic quiff to skinhead is the result of a follically insecure image crisis.
[Drummer Scott Rockenfield, who's present in court, collapses with laughter.]
Not guilty. It's more of a psychological thing. I like to keep changing the way I look because I find it inspiring, and challenging to my insecurity problem. When I had my hair really long I was becoming obsessed with it, I used it as a mask. I wondered what it would feel like to cut it all off, and see if it made a difference to how I felt about myself - and it did!

That Queensryche are destined to become non-dangerous idols for the middle-aged set.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Definitely not guilty! In fact, I would say that we're probably the most dangerous band around becuase we don't deal in the obvious. Back when there was controversy over parental guidance stickers on records, I was in agreement that young children should be sheltered from real obvious vulgarities like sexual and violent connotations in music. But at the same time we were writing 'Operation:Mindcrime' which, to me, is an incredibly subversive album, and much more dangerous to the structure of things than surface vulgarities.

We've continued to explore those critical ideas ever since. For example, (current album) 'Promised land' is also subversive because it's saying that everything our society stands for is a load of shit. What's more subversive than that?

That new single 'I am I', with it's Alice in Chains-esque vibe, is an attempt to court favour with the new hipper breed of Seattle statesmen.
Ha! Not guilty. It's not Alice in Chains-esque at all, it's very 'Rychian. The chords and melody are very similar to things we've done before, using the Middle Eastern scales. So there - we did it first!

That despite your joyously lucrative career, your lyrical sentiments have become progressively more depressing.
Guilty. It's kind of a delicate situation because here we are, fabulously wealthy, and we're saying 'God, life sucks'! Doesn't that seem like a very hypocritical viewpoint? But I don't know what else to say, this is how I feel and I'm very uncomfortable in my situation. Like everyone else I'm pretty well contained with the dogma that society has programmed us with, but I'm still trying to break away from that to look for the other side.

That your continuing lyrical references to Mother Mary denote a kinky nun fetish.
Guilty. It was my religious upbringing, I suppose.

That the title track to 'Promised land' is just the sort of overblown epic that the public doesn't want to hear in the 90's.
Hot guilty. I really like that track, it was therapy. [ Judge suggests that snappy three minute workouts are the flavour of the current generation. ] I'm not necessarily confident that that's what people really want - although it's probably more what the business side of radio and record companies want. They'd rather push several acts with unchallenging three minute ditties than one nine minute one, but it doesn't have anything to do with the person who buys the record.

That your band's concept-devising prowess has now far exceeded the strength of its music.
Woah, boy, these questions are viscious! Not guilty again, but that's your opinion and I don't necessarily share it.

That Queensryche are about to be eclipsed by the harder, less morose Dream Theater.
I'd have to plead not guilty. I'm not too familiar with their music, so I don't really know. But that's not the sort of thing I'd even begin to worry about.

That, due to the escalating time-periods between albums, we'll be waiting until 2001 for the next Queensryche platter.
No, that's definitely not going to happen. The extended time off we took between 'Empire' (1990) and this one was sopmething we needed to do simply because we'd never done it before. It's kind of like this ten year evaluation period, which is fairly common. Most people do something for a long time and then you have to take a backseat for a little while, get away from it and say to yourself 'Is this what I really want to keep doing? Which parts of this thing are making me happy?' Personally, I had to re-assure myself that I still enjoyed being in the band and wanted to continue. I realised that this is what I am, and that these people around me are an extension of me, just as I am of them. It's a very wonderful working relationship.

The Judge's verdict

Do I detect a chronic case of Vedder's synrome here? You have bared your inner self to us in an almost terminally serious manner. Who else would describe getting a short back 'n' sides as "a pyschological thing"? M'lud happens to be a bit of a prog rock fiend, so your championing of epic tracks wins brownie points. But describing yourself as the world's "most dangerous band"? Try taking a holiday from gloomy Seattle....get yourself out on a 30 date UK tour in the back of a transit, singing with the Macc Lads"!