Geoff Tatewho has spent much of the last two years on the road to celebrate the 30th anniversary of QUEENSRŸCHEit is “Empire” and “Rage for Order” albums, confirmed “The Jasta Show” that his backing band plays the music a semitone lower to accommodate his aging voice.
“I can’t hit those high notes like that in standard tuning anymore. Jesus Christ. I mean, don’t put on a show,” he laughed (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “I could do it on my own if I just wanted to sing the song, but do it night after night, no. You’re gonna kill yourself. I could barely do it when I recorded it. [Laughs]”
According Tate, going down a semitone “doesn’t make much of a difference at all” in terms of how the music is portrayed and fan enjoyment of the live shows. “It’s mainly to save the singer’s voice”, the former QUEENSRŸCHE explains the singer. “And also, my backup singers have to play all those notes too. And we do it night after night after night. It’s hard for you as a singer to do that. So you find ways to…step makes a huge difference because that you are not just killed yourself to hit the note, and you can do it consistently seven days a week. But if you’re set to a standard setting, I think you’ll probably only get three shows before you have to pause. And economically, it’s just really, really hard to do, to make it work. So we shoot about seven days a week, if we can help it. It depends on the trip.”
In 2014, Tateis the substitute in QUEENSRŸCHE, Todd La Toursaid that the fact that he sings the band’s songs in their original key is one of the reasons he managed to convince so many QUEENSRŸCHE fans follow Geoffit’s the start.
“We don’t drop-tune,” he said. “When I joined the group, [the other guys in QUEENSRŸCHE] said, ‘Hey, if you want us to go down a semitone, if that’s easier for you, don’t be afraid to ask us.’ And I said, ‘No. I want to do this in the best way possible to represent the songs as they really go, and if it’s a struggle for me, I just have more work for me to do. But let me keep trying to do this. So I think the fact that those old songs weren’t played [in the last few years with Geoff in the band]…I mean, some of them were played, but a lot of times they were cut or the songs weren’t played in their entirety, like “Paths of Madness”; we play this song in its entirety. We play ‘NM 156’ in its entirety. And these fans, they really like to hear that. So the fact that it wasn’t happening, and then when I came into the band it started happening, it really made it easier, I think, for the fans to come together and say, ‘Awesome !'”
Earlier this month, STRYPER leader Michael Doux admitted that he and his bandmates no longer tried to perform their songs in the original key.
“We finally went down a semitone (D) and I found that not only is it much easier to hit the ‘high’ notes, it’s just much easier to sing those songs,” he said. “We did a run of 18 shows and I did it without any vocal issues. I was able to maintain my range and high end and sing much more consistently night after night.”
Three years ago, IRON MAIDENit is Bruce Dickinson said he was proud of the fact that he and his bandmates performed their songs in the original key. “We don’t detune, like some other people do,” he said. “We don’t do any of that. I guess if one day we have to do it, we have to, but we don’t have to do it now, and I think the songs sound better because of it. They’re intended to be played in this key.”
SCORPIO singer Klaus Meine say it Phoenix New Times in a 2017 interview that the aging process has forced him and his bandmates to cut back on their touring activities – they no longer play three shows in a row or even attempt to perform some of the previous songs in the original tone. He said, “When you listen to songs from ‘Blackout’As ‘No one like you’, [or] “Big City Nights”it’s physically impossible [now] do these songs in the original keys. You want to play these songs, but you want to survive 100 gigs a year. So some of the songs we play in different keys, but the energy is still there. You are always on top of your voice. Even now you have to go to the edge, but maybe the edge has moved a bit.”