Guitarist Craig Locicero (FORBIDDEN, SPIRALARMS) and drummer Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, FORBIDDEN) are among the featured musicians on the forthcoming album from the new lineup of the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE. The CD, which is currently being mixed by Jason Slater, is due later in the year via the Los Angeles-based independent label Cleopatra Records.
Says Craig: "Whelp, I guess the cat is out of the proverbial bag. Nikki Blakk [of the San Francisco, California radio station 107.7 The Bone] has announced that Paul Bostaph and I have played most of the music on Geoff Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE record. It is being mixed by Jason Slater as I type this and it is WAY HEAVIER then most anyone is expecting!
"Geoff and Jason have been nothing but awesome to us and it gave Paul and I a chance to contribute together on a metal record once again. I was working on it for a few weeks and play on every song. There are kick-ass solo contributions from Dave Meniketti [Y&T], Ty Tabor [KING'S X], Brad Gillis [NIGHT RANGER], K.K. Downing [JUDAS PRIEST] and Chris Cannella. As well as bass played by Rudy Sarzo and more drums from Simon Wright. It's some great company to be around and it was an honor to be a part of it.
"I know what the perception of the QUEENSRŸCHE camp is and I really don't give a f*ck. QUEENSRŸCHE was one of my favorite bands from the EP through 'Operation: Mindcrime'.
"When I was approached about doing the record, I did contemplate all of the turmoil, but I love a challenge. I accepted the challenge and think Geoff has a kick-ass record to deliver the fans...in spite of what some may expect. The songs are cool, classy and in some cases stupidly heavy!
"So there you have it. I am not in QUEENSRŸCHE, SPIRALARMS is still my baby with a killer record to be released very soon. So Geoff has a touring lineup ready to go this summer. I'm simply stoked to have put some my riffage in the mix with once of heavy metal's most recognizable and classic voices."
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.
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.
Pictured below: Paul Bostaph and Geoff Tate
Pictured below: Craig Locicero and Paul Bostaph
Pictured below: The new lineup of the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE