Things have imploded in the Queensryche camp, which isn’t exactly surprising given the rumors lately (singer Geoff Tate drew a knife on a bandmate…what?!? Facebook wars by family members?! Four members start their own band and do Queensryche tunes?!).
After 30 years, Queensryche and Tate have officially parted ways; taking the mic is Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre (pictured right), who joins Queensryche’s Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren.
“Over the past few months, there have been growing creative differences within Queensryche,” says a diplomatic Rockenfield. “We want our fans to know that we hoped to find a common resolution, but in the end, parting ways with Geoff was the best way for everyone to move forward in a positive direction. We wish him the best of luck with all of his future endeavors. We can’t wait to bring Queensryche to our fans with Todd behind the microphone.” All scheduled Queensryche concert dates are on hold and “revised routing” is being worked on.
Geoff Tate opened up a bit with RollingStone.com this week about the split with Queensryche: “We’re in a lawsuit right now and it’s probably gonna get ugly,” he said. “I filed a claim a couple of days ago. So, it’s all going to the legal system now to sort out who is what, and who owns what, and that stuff.”
Regarding what kicked off the downfall, he said, “It mainly started with a disagreement about economics, about moving our merchandising to a third party. We had control over our own merchandising company for years and years and we ran it ourselves. It’s a very successful entity, and the other three guys wanted to take it out of our hands and hand it over to somebody else and pay them more money to operate it, which just seemed liked a ridiculous business idea to me. That’s really where the disagreement started.”
He also explained the reports of him brandishing a knife at guitarist Michael Wilton backstage at a gig in Brazil. “The way it went was, we had a gig in Sao Paolo, and before the show we had a meeting in the dressing room. I asked them straight up about the rumors I’d heard about them replacing me. I was definitely concerned about this. What kind of plan was that? Was it serious? What was going on? They said that they weren’t planning on replacing me, but they had just fired our manager, our office assistant and one of our guitar techs, who all happened to be my family members.”
He continues, “I asked them, ‘Why is this happening?’ They really couldn’t give me a straight answer, or any kind of answer that made any kind of business sense. It seemed like a personal vendetta against me. Anyway, the meeting was short and we went to do the show. I’m getting ready by my station, ready to go on stage, and Scott [Rockenfield] looks at me and he smirks and says, ‘We just fired your whole family, and you’re next.’ I just lost it. I tried to punch him. I don’t think I landed a punch before somebody grabbed me and hauled me to the side. On my way, I managed to shove [Michael] Wilton and, really, that was it. I cooled down and we did the show, and everything went fine.”
He denied the knife rumors: “No. No knife involved,” he responded, when asked point-blank. “You can’t really get knives into foreign countries. Tate went on to say that he believes the reason he was axed was “economically driven.” “I’m a 25 percent holder in our companies,” he said. “I think it’s just business in their minds. Cut me out and then split 25 percent and hire some young guy that’s gonna work for a weekly wage so they make more money. It’s just ridiculous.” Check out the entire Q&A here.