Queensryche Play Unique Shows For 'American Soldier' Tour
"We do that every tour, film and record," frontman Geoff Tate -- whose wife, Susan, manages Queensryche -- tells Billboard.com. "You never know when you're going to need something at some point. Usually when we stop and get home and have some time to reflect on the project and look at footage and see what we have, then we make a decision about what we might do with it."
The tour will likely be of enduring interest to Queensryche fans. Prior to hitting the road the band polled fans on its web site about what they'd like to hear from its 26-year canon. Weighing their results the group is not only showcasing "American Soldier" but is also playing suites of songs -- and, over the course of multi-night stands in some cities, every track -- from its 1986 album "Rage For Order" and 1990's "Empire." (The "Operation: Mindcrime" albums, which Queensryche performed in their entirety in 2006-2007, were exempt).
"It's pretty cool," Tate says of the results, adding that the group was particularly surprised "Rage For Order" was chosen. "We had to go back and re-familiarize ourselves with the music, some of which we haven't played since those albums for came out. We get to look back at our past and question, 'What the heck were we thinking here?!,' so we've modified some things. It's been a real fun experience."
The shows also feature extensive film and video support, and the four Queensryche members are bolstered by additional musicians -- including the Tates' 10-year-old daughter Emily, who recreates her guest vocal part on "American Soldier's" "Home Again."
"We've been doing some home schooling on the road, which, for busy parents, is quite a handful," says Tate, who has four other daughters. "But we're making it work. The other day Emily had a whole math section on fractions. I'm terrible at math. Her mom is a whiz but she was doing business calls, so I asked Scott (Rockenfield), our drummer, if he knew anything about fractions. He said, 'Yeah, I get that completely,' so he helped tutor her through fractions."
Queensryche is on the road until June 6 in North America, then begins a European run on June 15, returning for a few more U.S. dates in July, August and September.