Queensryche split ‘all about money’
Geoff Tate says he was ousted from Queensryche over money matters, and warns the upcoming legal battles are “going to get ugly.”
The prog metal giants last week announced they’d replaced the singer with Todd La Torre following a period of “creative differences.” But Tate says that’s not true – and the band’s behaviour added up to a “personal vendetta” against him.
And he reveals his side of the story about events which led to rumours of a knife fight circulating online.
He tells Rolling Stone: “To have creative differences you have to have two entities or more offering up creative ideas. That just wasn’t the case. Queensryche has always been my idea. Of the 144 songs Queensryche has released, I’ve written 116 of those. I present ideas to the other guys and the go, ‘Yeah, sure, that sounds good to us.’”
He insists Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren never raised any grievances with him at any time, and they were all supportive of the band’s recent projects including their cabaret tour and recent album Dedicated to Chaos.
Rumours arose earlier this year that Tate had drawn a knife on another member of the band in Brazil after overhearing plans to sack him. But he explains: “There was no knife involved. Before the show we had a meeting and I asked them straight up about the rumours I’d heard about them replacing me. They said they weren’t planning on replacing me, but they had just fired our manager, our office assistant and one of the guitar techs – who all happened to be my family members.
“I asked them, ‘Why is this happening?’ They couldn’t give me a straight answer, or any answer that made any kind of business sense. It seemed like a personal vendetta against me.
“We went to do the show. I’m getting ready by my station and Scott looks at me, smirks and says: ‘We just fired your whole family – and you’re next.’ I just lost it. I tried to punch him. On my way I managed to shove Wilton, and, really, that was it.”
Tate is now preparing to fight his ex-bandmates in court. He argues they don’t have the right to fire him and carry on under the Queensryche name, and warns: “We’re in a lawsuit right now and it’s probably going to get ugly.”
He believes his ex-bandmates’ motivation was purely financial, explaining: “I’m a 25 percent holder in our companies. I think it’s just business – cut me out and split 25 percent and hire some young guy that’s going to work for a weekly wage so they make more money. It’s just ridiculous.
“I’m not angry; I’m more hurt by it all. This has been my life’s work. To have them do what they’re doing and kick me out? I didn’t realise these guys were those kind of people. It’s shocking to me.”
The singer warns Queensryche fans that they may not get what they pay for if the new lineup attempts to perform under the name. “I’ve always tried to do different things with the live shows, trying to make them interesting and unique and different, rather than just five guys up there playing songs,” he says.
“I tried to create a theatrical environment for the presentation and I think people like that. Without me, that won’t happen – I can guarantee that.”