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A farewell to Queensrÿche: … As we’ve known it; Geoff Tate moves on with Operation: Mindcrime

Queensrÿche starring Geoff Tate performs Sunday at the Sunshine Theater. (Courtesy of Larry Marano)

Queensrÿche starring Geoff Tate performs Sunday at the Sunshine Theater. (Courtesy of Larry Marano)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s an end of an era for original Queensrÿche singer Geoff Tate, who has embarked on a farewell tour under the Queensrÿche name.

Long story short, Tate’s former bandmates had formed their own version of Queensrÿche with a new lead vocalist and Tate toured with a new lineup under the same name. A lawsuit over the rights to the Queensrÿche brand was settled earlier this year between Tate and his former bandmates. Tate’s former bandmates get to retain the name and Tate is moving on with his current lineup under the name Operation: Mindcrime.

But, during Tate’s final tour as Queensrÿche, which wraps up at the end of this month, fans will be able to hear many of the songs that made Tate and Queensrÿche one of the most successful progressive metal bands in the world.

“I’m having a lot of fun right now performing,” Tate said. “The band and I added our twists and turns to the music to make it interesting to us and the audience.”

Tate’s idea for the new band name was inspired by Queensrÿche’s 1988 concept album “Operation: Mindcrime,” based on a dark and twisted love story, written by Tate, surrounding a prostitute turned nun who later ends up murdered.

The band Operation: Mindcrime is a fresh start for Tate, who has been working on a progressive rock trilogy for the past couple years. The band will enter the studio in September to start recording the new music.

“It’s a grim story that takes place in different locations around the world,” he explained. “The music reflects these places in the world including Asia, South America and Europe. There are elements of those places in the music.”

Tate described the new music as something people have not heard from him before.

“It’s very complex,” he said. “My focus is telling the story and inventing melodies. … It has a very melodic content.”

Categorizing the music is something Tate leaves up to audiences.

“I’m always kind of reluctant to describe music,” Tate said. “One person’s heavy is another person’s light. It’s always a puzzle to put into words. It’s best experienced one on one.”

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