BigMusicGeek.com: Despite him being rather far removed from the group, do you still have a functional relationship with Chris DeGarmo? What were the main motivating factors behind him leaving the group amid their main commercial peak?
Geoff Tate: “Yes. I’ve always had a relationship with Chris. I just spoke to him last week. …I can’t really answer for him, but from my perspective, he just got sick of it all, ya know? It’s really difficult to keep a band together when they hate you, are resentful of you and are jealous of you. There’s only so many days that you can walk in there with a happy face and say ‘Okay, guys’ (laughs), ya know? He just got worn down by it all and wanted to do something different with his life. He was in an economic position to do something different with his life and he just did it. Speaking to me, he said ‘Look, I’ve really enjoyed this and what we’ve created together and I cherish our partnership, but I really need to do something different with my life. We’ve had a really good run, but it’s time for me to move on and do something different’. You can’t argue with someone for wanting to live their life. Life is short. The road that you get on when you’re twenty years old and think you’re going to travel for the rest of your life…there’s always that crossroads where if all the stars align, maybe you’ll take that left turn instead of a right. He just got off the road. …He wanted to do something different and he went and did it.”