All Access Magazine Articles

May 4 , 2006

Love, Revenge and Redemption
Queensryche Return with Operation Mindcrime II
Interview with Geoff Tate

Article/Interview by The Atomic Chaser & The Rocker

It’s been 20 years since Queensryche unleashed OPERATION MINDCRIME upon the world. The band have returned to the scene of the crime with OPERATION MINDCRIME II, the long awaited sequel to the story about love, betrayal and murder. The first time around the story left us wondering, who killed Sister Mary? This time around, the story focus' on two characters, Nikki and Doctor X. On April 4th, Queensyche unveiled the much anticipated sequel, OPERATION MINDCRIME II. Set twenty years after the original, the 17 track story continues the story of Nikki, Dr. X and Sister Mary. The Rocker and I spoke with Queensryche frontman, Geoff Tate about returning twenty years later to tell the story of love, revenge and REDEMPTION! Here is what Geoff shared with us...

AAM: Twenty years later. Nikki is released from prison, bet he's a little pissed off.

Geoff Tate: Oh yeah. That is what OPERATION MINDCRIME II revolves around. Nikki getting out of prison, set on getting revenge on the evil, DR. X.

AAM: How long did you spend putting 'OPERATION MINDCRIME II', together?

Geoff Tate: I believe it was a period of 15 months.Writing this album was like putting a complex puzzle Together, one small piece at a time.

AAM: A puzzle, can you elaborate on that?

Geoff Tate: Before we stared writing anything for the new album, I went back and listened to the original. I thought we did a great job with the musical themes of OPERATION MINDCRIME. We're much older now and hopefully more mature on a musical level. So I wanted the musical themes of Mindcrime 2 to be more subtle and complex to reflect who we are now as a band.

AAM: How did you approach writing the theme for OPERATION MINDCRIME II?

Geoff Tate: I tried to put myself in Nikki's shoes and imagine what it would be like for him to come back to society after spending 20 years in jail stewing about what happened to him.

AAM: Did you intend to end the original OPERATION MINDCRIME the way you did with the intention to return with OPERATION MINDCRIME II?

Geoff Tate: I left the original open-ended with the intent to come back with a sequel to finish the story up.

AAM: Revenge, what a powerful emotion.

Geoff Tate: I became fascinated with the concept of revenge and what that would do to a person like Nikki. The story is ultimately about how Nikki wrestles with his conflicted emotions. On one side, his base instincts are pushing him to kill those who wronged him. On the other side, his conscience, represented by the spirit of Sister Mary urges him to learn from his past mistakes and find salvation.

AAM: Will you be bringing the complete OPERATION MINDCRIME concept to the stage?

Geoff Tate: Yes, we are planning to do "An Evening with Queensryche", performing MINDCRIME in its entirety. The actors on stage with us add a new dimension to the music. It's different from your typical rock show, but the audiences really got into the Mindcrime I tour. It's exciting to have the opportunity to combine both albums into one show. It's going to be epic."

AAM: Were you concerned that Mindcrime 2 might not be as intriguing as the original Mindcrime?

Geoff Tate: I'm proud of the fact that Mindcrime 2 doesn't make any compromises, its really an anomaly in an age where people have short attention spans and don't listen to albums. The songs are strong enough to stand on their own but the album was written to be played from start to finish. To be experienced as a whole, not shuffled around randomly. Mindcrime 2 demands your undivided attention.

AAM: How did you get Ronnie James Dio to come aboard?

Geoff Tate: Ronnie and I go back a long time. He is such a great artist and friend. When I was writing the song, "The Chase", I knew Ronnie would be the perfect choice. So I called Ronnie up, asked him if he would like to be a part of this album and he said yes.

AAM: How did current events of today effect you writing Mindcrime 2?

Geoff Tate: I think we're in even worse shape as a society that when we wrote the original. It's something I couldn't ignore. We've devalued art to a dangerous level by not teaching music in school. We've brought up an entire generation that thinks it's okay to steal music. People are consumed with celebrity. You don't have to actually be good at anything to be famous. All that matters is that you are a gifted self promoter.

AAM: One last question, when can we expect to see OPERATION MINDCRIME THE MOVIE?

Geoff Tate: That is something that is definitely in the works. I feel with the right director OPERATION MINDCRIME can be a really good movie. That is a project that I definitely want to pursue, but for now I want to focus on OPERATION MINDCRIME II and our upcoming tour.

AAM: Geoff, thank you so much for talking we us, as always it been a blast!

Geoff: Sure, it was great talking to you again. You are more than welcome guys! Thank you. See you guys and the rest of our fans soon!

Article/Interview by The Atomic Chaser & The Rocker
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