There’s a huge amount of pressure to be a nostalgia act… Just play Empire songs. No! I don’t just want to keep playing Empire songs. I want to write new music. I want to keep stretching and growing as a musician and an artist. I’m going to do that no matter how much people tell me I can’t.
Yet he’s perfectly content to go out with his gang of scabs and play Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety next year. So perhaps it would have been more accurate to say that he doesn’t want to be a nostalgia act until it comes time to cash in on something like the anniversary of his former band’s greatest achievement.
At any rate, even if he wanted to be a nostalgia act at this point it’d still be just about impossible, because:
A. he has destroyed his voice and can’t sing those old songs the way they’re meant to be sung anymore to save his life; and
B. he has probably sullied a lot of fans’ memories of the older music due to his dismissal of it as “cartoonish” and “juvenile.”
After all, I don’t know about you, but if I was defending heavy metal back in the day, and I had pointed to the EP and The Warning as examples of heavy metal’s intelligence and depth only to have the guy who sang it later deride it as kid stuff, there’d be no way I could look at him the same way again. Even if he’d never spat on his bandmates or told them to go screw themselves when they offered artistic input.
What’s that, you say? What did Tater say about the EP and The Warning?
Well…read it for yourself:
Geoff Tate: I gave up Dungeons & Dragons when I was thirty (you know what I’m saying?)
Puregrainaudio: What songs in particular?
Geoff: The first two albums. That stuff. I can’t… I understand and appreciate that some people really like it, but I liked it at the time I wrote it. But I’m in my fifties now and I don’t look at it the same way now.
I must admit, I thought that was a pretty shallow way of looking at that music, for all the reasons I mentioned here, and others — namely, that a lot of that fantasy stuff comprised allegories to the struggles that we all face, i.e. slaying the figurative dragon.
Beyond that, though, Tate did say he had “fond memories” of playing Rage for Order in its entirety last year, which I found rather puzzling. After all, the topics of the songs on that album ran the gamut from vampires to artificial intelligence.
Which leads to the question: What makes one fantasy more grown-up than the other? Honestly, I think Tater’s only painting that music the way he does because he can’t sing it worth a damn anymore.
But then, there was that half-assed rendition of “The Whisper”…