Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Tale of Two Queensryche


Queensryche's recent drama seen through the eyes of a vested fan.


lead vocalist Geoff Tate,  man at the center of controversy


For the few of you out there who aren't familiar with the drama between the members of Queensryche and Geoff Tate, it has become a long and storied affair. The first notion that the original Queensryche's wheels were falling off was when the following video was released. Geoff Tate berates the crowd for not being enthusiastic enough and tells them they "suck".

View the video link below:

Accusations and Assault

As a fan of most of their earlier albums I was really pissed off when I heard about this incident. The last thing any fan wants to hear is the lead singer of a band you came to watch criticizing you for not feeling their lackluster performance. Sure this could've been just a bad night but the following events would reveal most of what the band was going through with it's lead singer.

The following excerpts are from a statement the band members released after the concert and subsequent dismissal of Tate as the band's lead singer.

"After the Rocklahoma show, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and I decide that it is no longer conceivable that we could go on and continue working and touring with Geoff Tate, and since he was already communicating with us through counsel, we instructed our attorney to inform Geoff Tate of the decision to move on without him and to start discussions on how to do this. This was unsuccessful so we scheduled a directors meeting and informed Geoff Tate of this through the attorneys. At the same time, we announced a couple of shows we were performing in Seattle under the name RISING WEST. We were going to perform the songs from our earlier catalog that we had not been allowed to play over the last 15 years. Our fans were asking for this and we felt it would be a fun thing to do...There is a dissention in the band with Geoff Tate at the helm...Geoff Tate has never written an entire song. He only writes lyrics. QUEENSRŸCHE is a sound; a sound that comes from the music and that music comes from us, not Geoff Tate alone. And, Geoff Tate has refused to be a part of that for some time."

The statement goes on to describe the band members disagreement on misappropriated funds to cover Tate's wife's band on tour, Tate's hidden agreement to sell the rights of their classic "Operation Mindcrime" for a movie option and most shockingly a physical assault on members of the band by the frontman.

Screen Capture of the Tate Spitting Incident

The following is an excerpt from this attack.
"I looked over to see that he (Geoff Tate) had knocked over the whole drum kit and was now spitting at our drummer, Scott Rockenfield, and yelling obscenities at him. At this point, I went over behind the drums to help assist pushing the drums back up on the stage when I heard our singer say, 'Hey, Mike, have a nice show,' and then when I looked at him, he spit right in my face and called me a 'motherf**ker.' As I was wiping my face, feeling violated, Geoff Tate came back at me yelling obscenities, 'F**ker,' 'F**k you, you mother f**ker.' I gave him a look from my towel, he approached me and when I was not looking, he punched me on the side of my face. The punch also hit my right eye which had a contact lens in it. My contact jostled and I was trying to get it back in place so I could see. I told him to get away from me, but he kept pushing his chest into me calling me 'Pussy, f**king pussy! What, are you going to cry?' My eye was watering from my contact, I couldn't see clearly, and I pushed him away. Then Scott Rockenfield (our drummer) came down and told him to get away from me. Geoff Tate then threw another punch at me, but I ducked and it hit Scott Rockenfield right in the face (his mouth area). Scott Rockenfield told him to back off and then Geoff Tate punched Scott Rockenfield again in the face. At this point our tour manager, Fozzy O'Hare, pulled Geoff Tate away and one of our guitar technicians, Kenny Bender, helped me by getting a cold water bottle on my face to stop any swelling or redness. Geoff Tate came back over and called me a 'pussy' and a 'crybaby' again. I told everyone I needed a minute until I was able to get my vision back and I was moved to the other side of the stage until the crew felt they could get the situation under control. I then told my guitar technician, Gino Bishop, to get a towel to wipe off all the spit on my guitar that kept coming from Geoff Tate. From this side of the stage, I could see confusion between the security and our crew. Everyone was shocked and completely caught off guard with Geoff Tate's irrational and violent behavior. Geoff Tate was continuing to move about the stage, trying to get around the security and crew who were trying to block him from any further attacks and trying to get him under control. He continued to rant back and forth, spitting at the band members and their equipment. Fozzy O'Hare was finally able to pull Geoff Tate off stage and took him to where his station is during the performance. At this point, we were not sure if we were going to continue the show or if we would have to cancel due to Geoff Tate's antics and violence. There was communication between Gino Bishop and Fozzy O'Hare as to what to do. Fozzy O'Hare then indicated that Geoff Tate had calmed down and he was ready to do the show. Gino Bishop had a security guard stationed right behind Geoff Tate and one right behind Scott Rockenfield just in case Geoff Tate tried to attack the band members and their equipment again" 

Fan Footage of Tate spitting on the band's drummer was uploaded to youtube.View the video link below:

Queensryche honored their last two touring commitments with Tate following the attack. The last of the two remaining concerts was the infamous "Rocklahoma" where Tate berates the crowd. The remaining members took on a new singer Todd La Torre and renamed their group "Rising West". Tate released a solo album and recruited veteran musicians to create his own Queensryche. Fans heavily sided with "Rising West" urging the band to take on it's previous moniker.

Holding court over Queensryche


A tentative court procedure allowed the temporary use of "Queensryche" for both bands. A court date to declare the proper owner of the name "Queensryche" is set for later this year. Both bands set out to record a new Queensryche album aiming for both to be released in 2013.

Fans Frequently Disappointed

Tate's Queensryche rushed out a subpar album "Frequency Unknown" in April. Many fans were displeased with the sound quality and songwriting of the record. Included on the album were several reissues of classic songs reworked with the new members of the band. The band later offered fans a copy of a better quality mix if they were dissatisfied. The label ultimately decided to start a "Why I hate Frequency Unknown" contest based on fan reaction. Tate proceeded to film a youtube video of himself watching fan reaction and cleverly edited the videos of disgruntled fans, making them look ridiculous.

On June 20th, the winner was announced. "William "Brian" McBride will be treated to a free VIP trip to the June 29 show by Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE in Seattle along with VIP special guest seating, meet-and-greet passes for after the show and a merchandise package worth $250."
Needless to say after watching his "rant" video I can only come to the conclusion that his was the most positive of the videos submitted. Enjoy the concert William, Brian...whoever you are.
Geoff Tate's Queensryche

New Beginnings

The other "Queensryche" (formerly Rising West) will be releasing their own self titled album on June 25. Guitarist Michael Wilton says “It’s a rebirth and it’s a fresh energy and we’re firing on all cylinders,” We can only hope that this release lives up to the legacy that was Queensryche before all this drama.
(formerly Rising West) Queensryche featuring Todd La Torre

BAND(s) Websites:
Geoff Tate's Queensryche =
Queensryche featuring Todd La Torre =

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