Take a Bullet

Album: Kings and Thieves (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • While Geoff Tate songs approach a broad range of ideas, he prefers to filter his thoughts, however abstract, through personal experience. "I think there is something to be said for writing about what you know," he told vintagerock. "You write about what’s important to you. Often times the best kinds of songs come from that."

    "Take a Bullet" exemplifies this songwriting approach, taking a universal concept and exploring it through Tate's own experiences. It's a heavy, thunderous peace of alt-rock, while on the lyrical side of things Tate angrily confronts a friend, or possibly friends, over an unspecified betrayal.
  • A likely interpretation of the song is that its written to his former bandmates from Queensrÿche. Tate, the primary creative force for the act, was booted from the band in 2012. The rest of the band cited creative differences, while Tate claimed that it was done so the remaining members could receive larger shares of the band's profits.
  • Tate explained his songwriting process on the musical side of things to Ultimate Classic Rock. "It’s got this real heavy groove to it, which is infectious. It has this real deliberate kind of groove that I find infectious, and because it was kind of a mid-tempo track, vocally you could do a lot of rhythmic singing in it, singing against the beat and filling in the holes with phrasing, which I really like to do." He also added that the song was about trust, betrayal, and what you should do to stand up for a true friend.
  • Tate wanted Kings and Thieves to be an album that translated very easily into dynamic, impactful live performances. To this end, he chose to limit his sonic palette to traditional rock sounds. He credits Pink Floyd, Rainbow, and Deep Purple with influencing the record's aesthetic.

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