Queensryche ‘didn’t play’ on Mindcrime II
Criminal intent: But producer claims only Tate, right, appears on album
The producer behind Queensryche’s 2006 album Operation Mindcrime II claims that only singer Geoff Tate and later-sacked guitarist Mike Stone appeared on the album.
Jason Slater was hired for the follow-up to the band’s platinum hit 1988 release, and worked on their next two releases.
He insists drummer Scott Rockenfield didn’t even appear in the recording studio during sessions, and work done by guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson had to be binned.
Slater’s statement, revealed by Blabbermouth, is part of Tate’s court filing in answer to the allegations levelled on him by the band who sacked him last month. The parties are fighting over ownership of the band name and arguing over who has done most damage to the brand’s value.
The producer says: “When I met the band everyone seemed enthusiastic about making the CD, but as we began working, none of the band members except for Geoff Tate were interested in contributing, showing up for recording sessions or participating in any fashion.
“On several occasions, studio time was arranged but none of the band members showed up. This left myself, Geoff Tate, and Mike Stone to write and record the record the record.
“We scheduled two weeks at a local studio to record Michael Wilton. He hadn’t learned any of the songs, so all the time was spent trying to teach him so he could record them. In the end, he wasn’t capable of performing any of the songs accurately enough to be used on the record. The guitars on the record were played by Mike Stone, a session guitarist and myself.
“Scott Rockenfield did not participate in the making of the record at all, and a session drummer was brought in to play on the record. I don’t believe he listened to any of the music until after the record was completed.” Slater says the session musician in question was Matt Lucich, a friend of his.
The producer continues: “We had Eddie Jackson come to the Bay Area, with the intent of recording his bass parts. Again, he hadn’t learned the songs. We couldn’t get much that could be added to the songs, so I played the majority of the bass on the record.”
Slater claims the band “badmouthed the record to the press” until it began receiving positive reviews, at which point they “started taking credit for all the work that had been done in their absence.”
He says they left “all the work to Geoff Tate” on next album American Soldier, and although the played on the record they “put the minimum of effort in”.
Meanwhile, session guitarist Mitch Doran has said online: “If you guys read the rest of the depositions, there are numerous references to the fact that a session guitarist had to be brought in to play on a few Queensryche records post-2005. I am said session guitarist.”
He goes on: “When I was asked to play guitar on their record by Geoff Tate and their then-producer, I had no idea what the rest of their situation was. Ed Jackson showed up and played his ass off. Mike Wilton was never at the studio when I was, and now that I read the deposition that he wrote, he says he was kept away from the studio. I had no idea about any of that, and it was explained to me that Wilton was just not showing up to play. It never made sense to me at all. Neither did Scott not being there. I always thought of Scott as a master drummer. Why then was I programming drums for this record? I was told a lot of stories as to why, but when you are a hungry kid and getting offered good engineer/session guitar work on a tight deadline, you drink the coffee and do the work. Years later I met Scott and worked on some songs with him and Geoff, Scott was always very nice, and indeed the master drummer that I had originally pictured.
“I will say that there were a few screaming arguments in the lobby between Geoff’s manager and the producer, and more than once the producer came in and told me to stop working, while recording Ed playing his bass parts – and not to let the hard drive with the Pro Tools files out of my sight.”