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Queensryche gets political on tour

They are playing songs that respond to today's conservative climate, songs that were originally written during the Reagan era.
/ Source: Billboard

The current political climate spurred veteran metal band Queensryche to dedicate much of its upcoming tour to material from its 1988 concept album, “Operation: Mindcrime,” and its 2003 studio set, “Tribe.”

“The albums were actually written in two different time periods that have a lot of similarities,” singer Geoff Tate told Billboard.com. “For instance, we have this really ultra, kind of right-wing government in charge right now and the ‘Mindcrime’ era was this ultra right-wing Reagan era. We were at war and now we are at war again. We are in kind of the same situation again with a lot of unfinished business.”

Business for Queensryche also involves the April 20 DVD release “The Art of Live,” which was shot in black and white and documents the band’s 2003 tour in support of “Tribe.” While Queensryche’s impending trek is ostensibly in support of the DVD, Tate discounted the notion of adhering to conventional music industry marketing principles. “At this point in our career, we don’t think in those terms anymore, of promoting a product,” he said. “We just go out and tour.”

Queensryche’s tour begins April 15 at Detroit’s State Theatre. Its lineup includes touring guitarist Mike Stone, who replaces original member Chris DeGarmo, as well as singer Pamela Moore, who played the role of Sister Mary on “Operation: Mindcrime.”

For a band that is often pigeonholed into the late ’80s hair-metal scene and perhaps was left in the dust of the grunge era, Tate believes Queensryche’s credibility remains intact.

“It just depends on what you want to do with your life,” he said. “We never looked at our career or our music as a sporting event. We’re not out there competing with another band or anybody musically or monetarily. We’re just writing music, playing music and traveling around and playing our music for people. And it is really a simple concept.”