Longtime hard and heavy metal journalist Paul Gargano, who currently works as a product manager for Century Media Records and InsideOut Music, has submitted a sworn declaration in support of Geoff Tate's motion for preliminary injunction to prevent Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren from using the name QUEENSRŸCHE for their new group.Wilton, Jackson, Rockenfield and Lundgren announced on June 20 that they were parting ways with Tate and recruiting powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre of CRIMSON GLORY as his replacement. The new QUEENSRŸCHE lineup has already performed live, having played two shows in their home city of Seattle under the name RISING WEST. Tate recently signed a worldwide recording contract with InsideOut Music, the label for which Gargano also works as an A&R scout (in addition to his aforementioned product-manager duties).
Tate is currently finishing production on his first InsideOut Music release. The album is planned for release this fall, with details to be announced in the coming weeks. In his declaration, a copy of which was obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Gargano writes, "I have been in the hard rock and heavy metal music industry my entire career. I started as rock critic for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and spent ten years as editor of Metal Edge magazine, which covers the hard rock and heavy metal music industry. I am now the co-owner and executive editor of that magazine. In addition, I have been in the recording industry for many years, spending more than a decade as an artist manager and public relations and marketing specialist. I am now product manager with related recording companies Century Media Records and InsideOut Music, and handle all day-to-day operations for the InsideOut label in North America. I also do Artists & Repertoire for the entire company, which means that I scout, sign, and guide rock bands signed by the labels. "Through my experience as a writer and producer of hard rock and heavy metal music, I have become familiar with the band QUEENSRŸCHE. I first got to know the band in the early 1990s. Since then, I have reported on their albums, their tours, and their reputation in the music industry, conducted dozens of interviews with the band, written liner notes, label copy and marketing assets for their albums, interviewed the band on their DVDs, and also spoken as an expert about the band on both VH1 and MTV. Fans and people in the music industry know the role Geoff Tate has played for QUEENSRŸCHE. In addition to lead singer, he is the principal songwriter and voice of the band. It is fair to say that to many fans, recording industry professionals, booking agents, and promoters, Geoff Tate 'is' QUEENSRŸCHE. "Through my experience, I have also had a number of opportunities to see what happens to bands like QUEENSRŸCHE after those bands attempt to replace their lead singer. Even worse, when they do so in an acrimonious manner. The bands WARRANT, SKID ROW and L.A. GUNS come to mind, but there are many others. The bands always suffer and do considerable damage to their careers and legacy. They lose fans and fewer promoters will be interested in booking their shows. The promoters who are willing to work with them book them to smaller venues, for less money. The sale of the band's merchandise also suffers, with fewer people willing to pay for the band's merchandise after their name and legacy has been damaged. "I believe that the decision by Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson, and Michael Wilton to issue a press release stating that Geoff Tate is no longer in QUEENSRŸCHE and that QUEENSRŸCHE will tour and record music with a new lead singer, Todd La Torre, will significantly hurt the QUEENSRŸCHE name and brand. QUEENSRŸCHE will lose fans and fewer promoters will take them seriously, causing damage to the band's name, and harming their future potential as both a live and recording act. The fact that Rockenfield, Jackson, and Wilton canceled remaining shows makes promoters even less likely to book them, and further harms the band's reputation in the music industry — especially since they are passing themselves off as QUEENSRŸCHE, and making decisions that people assume Geoff Tate is a part of. "In my opinion, based on my experience in the industry, the best course of action to take at this point would be to stop any tours or recordings by anyone in the name of QUEENSRŸCHE until this litigation can be resolved." Photo below courtesy of PaulGargano.com