IN A world exclusive interview with Kerrang! this week, Queensryche revealed detailed plans for the release of the band's fourth album, a follow-up to 1988's critically acclaimed and highly successful 'Operation:Mindcrime'.
Entitled 'Empire', and scheduled for worldwide release through EMI on August 27, the album will
contain 11 tracks. Full track listing is as follows:
Produced, as was '...Mindcrime', by Peter Collins and recorded at his studios in Vancouver over the last few months, the first thing Queensryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo made plain when he spoke by phone to Mayhem this week, was that this was "definitely not a concept album. This ain't 'Operation:Mindcrime Part Two'. That would be kinda crass. The Return Of Nikki .. AAAARRRGGHH! This next album needed to be something fresh and different, and that's what we've put together. It all fits nicely together, but it's a combination of some very diverse material."
"It's also a much more 'up' album, lyrically, than the last album. The last album was very dark and bleak lyrically. This one has a lot more color; it's still gritty and streetwise, but there's a different overall feeling to the material. 'Empire', the title track, is probably the most similar track to some of the stuff on '...Mindcrime'. The empire we're talking about in that song is a drug empire. It's about this kid facing the frustration, of trying to get somewhere in the world."
"But that's just one isolated track on the album. It's not all doom an' gloom. For instance, 'Best I Can', which opens the album, which I wrote the lyrics to. It's about a young boy who has a tragic accident as a child, and has to overcome his handicaps to make something of his life, and overcome what others perceive to be a handicap. It's a song, basically, about beating the odds."
"'Silent Lucidity' is probably one of the most genuinely out there things we've ever done. It's about what they call 'lucid dreaming'. Or 'dream-control'. Basically, just opening up the doors to your subconscious mind, and learning how to master your dreams. Actually be able to steer and control them."
Chris admits another track, 'The One And Only', was written with a certain Kimberly DeGarmo in mind. "I wrote it not long after we got married last year, so yeah, I guess you could say that one was for her. I certainly didn't write it for anybody else," he giggles.
And, in these ever more green-conscious times, there's even a song about the state of the environment: 'Resistance'. "Geoff Tate wrote the lyric to that one. It's about the world being the one thing we all share, we all need, and that people need to come to the realization that, you know, one action affects another even if we're on opposites sides of the world."
There will be a single lifted from 'Empire' to precede the album's release in August. But as yet, DeGarmo says, "We haven't got a clue what it'll be." Plans for the next Queensryche tour remain vague at the moment. But the possibility is the band will kick-off their next world tour with dates in Britain and Europe this Autumn, with a large-scale American tour to follow after wards.
While the band have been in Vancouver, they have also recorded a track, 'Last Time in Paris', for the soundtrack to a new movie called 'Ford Fairlane', starring risque US comedian Andrew 'Dice' Clay and Priscilla Presley, and includes a brief appearance from Vince Neil of Motley Crue.