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Geoff Tate’s the lead singer for Queensryche sings about the strugle of being a soldier and his experiences with his father, who served in the Marines and the Air Force, durring the band concert at the House of Blues San Diego, April 23. The , band recently visited the Marine Corps Exchange, on base, to sign autographs and promote their new album, “American Soldier.”

Photo by Lance Cpl. Justis T. Beauregard

Q&A with Geoff Tate

23 Apr 2009 | Lance Cpl. Justis T. Beauregard

Queensryche, a band that sold over 20 million albums, recently visited the Marine Corps Exchange to sign autographs and promote their new album, “American Soldier,” a project that examines war from the soldier’s perspective.

The CD features sound clips of service members talking about their experiences from World War II to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Many of the lyrics from the album come from the lead singer Geoff Tate’s personal experiences with his father who served in the Marines and the Air Force. Tate sat down with Flight Jacket combat correspondent Lance Cpl. Justis T. Beauregard after the band’s concert at the House of Blues San Diego, April 23.

FJ: What have you learned while making this album?

GT: This was probably one of the most fulfilling records for us to make. Usually we write records about us, what we experience, how we feel about things and our perspective. This is the first time we’ve written something from someone else’s perspective.

In this album we are acting as biographers in a sense, collecting other people’s stories and analyzing their lives and their experiences.

It was very interesting to talk to other people while making this album, to know how they feel about things. The military was something that I grew up with, and didn’t know much about. My dad was career military but we never really talked much about his experiences. It was kind of a way to relive my past and my childhood in a sense.

I also learned about gratitude and about being grateful for the sacrifices that other people make for me. For all of us who aren’t in the military, we tend to take it for granted. We don’t worry about occupying forces kicking in our door at night and taking our kids and defending our patch of ground because someone else is watching our back and doing it for us, I’m grateful for that.

FJ: What did you think about your visit to the air station?

GT: Awesome, great people with a very warm welcome.

Again, back to the memories of when I was a kid living on bases, going to the exchange and shopping. It was kind of a place where people went and met and gathered, talked about deployments and coming home - it was kind of their social environment.

FJ: How often have you visited military bases since realeasing the new album?

GT: Probably at least once a week, I would say.

FJ: Do you have any plans for United Services Organization concerts?

GT: We’re talking to several organizations right now about going to the Middle East this summer to perform for the troops there. Hopefully that will happen; we have our fingers crossed.

FJ: How does it make you feel to give back to the men and women who defend the country?

GT: It’s the least we can do really. I think one thing we can say about this record, it’s the soldiers’ stories, it’s their words, and it’s their voices. Other soldiers will hear it, listen and see a bit of their life.

I think no matter what conflict you’re involved in, no matter what generation you’re from, we all experience very similar things and that’s what we were writing the songs about, the common things that troops go through. I think all service members can relate to it and maybe it will be the kind of thing that people can bond over and can at least open up a dialogue and talk about.

For example, when my father came back from Vietnam he was a different guy and I didn’t understand what he had gone through. I didn’t understand what he had experienced and why he couldn’t talk about it. I hope this record will be one of those things that will bring people together. When someone’s mom or dad goes off to war and they come home as a different person - as a kid you don’t understand so it will be a healing thing for people in a sense.

The new album American Soldier is available at the Marine Corps Exchange here.