Geoff Tate is getting used to the sense of self-interest that comes with being a solo artist.
“I spent 30 years signing everything I did as Queensrÿche,” says Tate, who parted with the ’90s progressive rock band in 2012.
“Now I have to get used to saying ‘I’ instead of ‘we,’ ” he says.
He’s had practice in the past few months as the singer prepared to record and release an album with his new band, Operation: Mindcrime, and embark on various tours of Europe and the United States.
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“That’s kind of been my life, encapsulated,” says Tate, who is in Fresno with the band Wednesday, Feb. 3, at Strummer’s.
Tate last played Fresno in 2014 on his final tour as Queensrÿche.
In September, the singer released “The Key,” his first album since losing the recording and touring rights to the Queensrÿche name and catalog in a legal battle that took two years. It is the first in a trilogy of connected albums that will be released over the next three years. Tate is finishing the mixing on the second album and has most of the third album recorded, he says. If all goes as planned, each will be released one year apart.
So fans can expect a second installment in September of this year, he says.
Tate is known for crafting these kinds of sprawling concept albums with Queensrÿche, but with “The Key,” the singer finally found a story that could hold up to a trilogy.
It came at a time when he was feeling particularly prolific, he says. Without giving too much away, the albums deal with human invention and a computer program that allows people to look at reality in a new way. This first album sets up the conflict that arises from such a discovery.
That conflict will rise and resolve over the new two albums, Tate says.
Musically, “The Key” doesn’t stray far from what Queensrÿche fans might expect.
“I don’t play guitar,” Tate says.
So he reached out to guitarist Kelly Grey and keyboardist Randy Gane to help in the writing process. Tate has known and worked with both musicians since the late 1970s.
“They listened to it and got excited about it and started making notes and adding things,” he says. The rest of the band, which includes ex-AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, organically assembled as the recording went on.
Those players also make up the core of Tate’s touring band.
The name and faces of the band have changed, “but the songs remain the same,” Tate says.
That is particularly true for the band’s live set, which includes portions of Queensrÿche’s most popular album, 1988’s “Operation: Mindcrime.” Tate retained the rights to perform the 1988 concert album and its followup “Operation: Mindcrime II.”
“It’s always been my musical journey,” he says.
Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime
- 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3
- Strummer’s, 833 E. Fern Ave.
- Tickets: $23
- 559-485-5356, strummersclub.com