Indy: The newly released Operation: Mindcrime II is the sequel to the 1988 concept album Operation: Mindcrime. That's a bit of a gap. What took so long to do the sequel?
Tate: The idea was to do the sequel to Mindcrime after [the 1990 CD] Empire. But that plan just completely changed after the success of Empire. It became such a huge record for us commercially and financially and put us in kind of a different headspace ... I wanted to write a record about what we were going through, about the feeling and what happens to you when you achieve the goal that you've been working for, for years ... So we wrote Promised Land [in 1994]. Because of that record, that kind of took us on a different path.
Indy: What brought you back to Mindcrime all the years later?
Tate: One day, I was kind of looking through my hard drive and looking at all the stuff I have kind of in the works. And there sat that little file called "Nikki" [a central character in the Mindcrime story]. I opened up and started reading through it and got really inspired about returning to the story again.
Indy: We did an interview in January 2005 where you said you thought it was very likely that Operation: Mindcrime II would be the last Queensryche CD. Do you still feel that way?
Tate: You know, almost after every record I feel that way, because, honestly, you never know that when you all get together in that room, [you are] going to come up with something ... Right now, we've just started throwing around some ideas. So there might be another Queensryche record in the near future.
At Denver's Fillmore Auditorium, Sept. 29.