The Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE has signed a worldwide record deal with the Los Angeles-based independent label Cleopatra Records.
Although a lineup for Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE was originally announced in the fall of 2012, things have changed. The band will now feature Tate along with bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, DIO, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT), guitarist Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE 1998-2001), keyboardist Randy Gane and new additions, guitarist Robert Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, HURRICANE) and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET).
Wright takes over for previously announced drummer Bobby Blotzer, who will be returning to RATT as an integral part of the band that made him famous.
"I'm very much looking forward to being involved in the QUEENSRŸCHE project with Geoff," states Wright. "I've always admired his singing and songwriting and working with Rudy Sarzo again is going to be cool! Between this and my other project, DIO DISCIPLES, I look forward to a very busy year!"
QUEENSRŸCHE, with all members cited above, will soon be entering the studio for the first Cleopatra effort due out later this year. Legendary guitar slinger K.K. Downing of JUDAS PRIEST fame will be making a special guest appearance on the forthcoming CD, as will KING'S X guitarist Ty Tabor and Blotzer.
Tabor comments, "I'm very happy that Geoff considered me for this record. It will be great to play with all of these great musicians."
Beginning in early April, Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE will be hitting the road to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band's epic 1988 release, "Operation: Mindcrime", performing all fifteen songs from the album along with other well-known hits and rarities from the catalog they've compiled over the past 30 years.
"I try to surround myself with the best players available and feel our longtime fans deserve nothing less," says Tate. "I expect the forthcoming effort to be one of our best yet."
Tate, who was fired from QUEENSRŸCHE in June 2012 after fronting the group for three decades, last year sought to prevent his former bandmates from touring and operating under the QUEENSRŸCHE name without him. While ruling against Tate, the presiding judge determined that there was no legal hurdle in Tate also using the name with an all-new lineup of musicians. "I don't see any reason that Mr. Tate can't have the benefit, if he gets other members, of whatever name he uses of using the brand," Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira said during the July 13, 2012 court hearing. "I think [doing that would be] inherently confusing, although I'm sure the market can get these things sorted out," she added.
Last November, Tate released his first solo CD in over a decade titled "Kings & Thieves" (InsideOut Music) and toured with his solo band in support of the CD, which included dates with the legendary ALICE COOPER.