What's in a name? For veteran musicians, they can offer a connection to the past that may make the difference between earning a living and struggling to make ends meet. Geoff Tate, now starting over with Operation: Mindcrime after spending decades fronting Queensrÿche, admits he worried losing that connection with fans when he started a new band.

Of course, as Tate discussed in a recent interview with Seattle Sound Live, he had the advantage of choosing a name straight from his old group's back catalog. As one of the band's bestselling and best-reviewed albums, Operation: Mindcrime is a name that was already very familiar to Queensrÿche fans — which is a big part of why Tate picked it.

"I chose that name for two reasons," he explained. "The first and foremost reason is that I needed a name that will be recognizable to my fans and a name that they were familiar with. I spent 35 years finding everything that I did and created, spoke about and thought about under the name of Queensrÿche, so, not having that name any more left me kind of adrift in the 21st century where it is very difficult to let people know who you are, where you are at, if there is a new album out or appearing in their city. It isn't like it used to be, where there was one magazine or one newspaper that covered entertainment."

Admitting that his contentious split with his former bandmates — which ended with the settlement giving Tate the right to perform Operation: Mindcrime in concert — was "a real education," he professed to have few regrets about the way things turned out in the end. "It was a fair and good settlement that we came to," he mused. "I feel good about it."

And ultimately, as he discussed at length in the interview, Tate's plans for Operation: Mindcrime — which begin with the upcoming release of the band's new album The Key — rest heavily on the kind of ambitious, aggressive music that he was known for with Queensrÿche. "I wanted to continue making conceptual music, conceptual albums, story albums – and the words Operation: Mindcrime say that," he pointed out. "It lets people know that this is going to be a project like the album of Operation: Mindcrime."

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