Queensryche Ready For Life Post-'Mindcrime'

Queensryche has begun working on the follow-up to last year's "Operation: Mindcrime II" in Seattle. Frontman Geoff Tate tells Billboard.com he hopes the as-yet-untitled set will arrive next summer or

Queensryche has begun working on the follow-up to last year's "Operation: Mindcrime II" in Seattle. Frontman Geoff Tate tells Billboard.com he hopes the as-yet-untitled set will arrive next summer or fall.

"We're just into the first couple months of writing for it, and it's a theme record. It's based on modern American life, sort of a social commentary," Tate says. "Musically it's very adventurous for us. It's something we haven't done before. It's going to take a lot of people by surprise, and at the same time I think they're going to be very intrigued by the concept of it."

The band, which hits the road in September with Heaven And Hell and Alice Cooper, will release "Sign of the Times," its second greatest-hits collection on EMI, prior to the tour. Among hits like "Walk in the Shadows" and "Silent Lucidity," the two-disc set contains rarities like songs from Myth, the band Tate sang in before joining Queensryche, that later became demos for early QR tunes like "No Sanctuary."

"Sign of the Times" also includes a recent interview with Tate and former Queensryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo. In it Tate says he and DeGarmo hang out often and write together, but the musical work they've done is on a "casual" basis.

Meanwhile, Queensryche is enjoying the success of its double-CD/DVD package "Mindcrime at the Moore." The live set captures the band playing both "Mindcrime" albums in their entirety on tour last year. Released July 3, the title debuted at a career-best No. 1 on Billboard's Top Music DVD chart.