VICIOUS RUMORS Guitarist Responds To Singer JAMES RIVERA's 'Outrageous' Claims

VICIOUS RUMORS guitarist Geoff Thorpe spoke to "The Classic Metal Show" on Saturday, December 8 about the alleged altercation that took place between him and vocalist James Rivera at the conclusion of the band's European tour, ultimately causing Rivera's departure from VICIOUS RUMORS. An excerpt from the chat follows:

The Classic Metal Show: Why don't we start with giving you the floor to give the VICIOUS RUMORS side of the story (regarding the incident previously reported by James Rivera)?

Geoff Thorpe: Basically, what happens on the road… there's a lot of things with a band where it's just like a business. In that relationship, it should remain private. I didn't come on the air tonight to slag James Rivera or to put anybody down that's ever been in VICIOUS RUMORS. I'm proud of every lineup we've ever had. What happened on the road… You know… there were a lot of horrible things that happened. There was too much alcohol. There was too many people. There was 18 people on a bus for a month. What we're talking about here is a really bad case of cabin fever. Like I said my friends, I came in here to spread some metal, and to let everyone know that VICIOUS RUMORS is alive and well. We're doing a little bit of rebuilding right now. We've got some amazing new material for our next CD, and we're planning on coming out strong in 2008.

The Classic Metal Show: A lot of times when a bandmember leaves a band and there's a lot of trash-talking, it doesn't help the person or the band they are leaving. Do you think that James leaving the way he did hurt VICIOUS RUMORS?

Geoff Thorpe: I don't think it hurt VICIOUS RUMORS. I think it hurt James Rivera a little bit. I was surprised that a guy that has been a professional singer in the business for that long would… It's not the way I would have handled things. We really appreciate the work that James put into the band, and the work that we did together. But if you look at the length of VICIOUS RUMORS' career and the amount of time James spent in the band, it was really a very small part of our history. For him to go out publicly and say that, now that he's gone, the band's over and we're done with, it's just a little outrageous. When you talk that much trash and you play the victim, I think people can see through it.

The Classic Metal Show: You were described as the Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley [of VICIOUS RUMORS]. Which one are you?

Geoff Thorpe: That was the best thing I've ever been called in my life. Huge KISS fan, so that was great of James to say that to me. I know that one of the things that he was complaining about was the way I was treating people and the other bands. If you go to our website, there's pictures of me wearing the other bands' T-shirts on tour. Sometimes our crowd was waiting out in the lobby for us to go on, and I would go out and get them and say, "Come on in and check out the show. You've got to support all these bands." There were nights that our T-shirt guy had to go to dinner, and I sold merchandise for the other bands. I didn't charge them for it. I just like to keep things professional, and the most important thing on the road is that hour and a half that we're on stage. I don't really care about the other 23 hours of the day. That hour and a half is what's important to me, and if things aren't going right or if things are going late, or it's a weeknight and the headliner has to go on late, that's just wrong. I treated the bands fairly. I have a very good reputation in the industry. I have a lot of friends in the industry and all over the world. It's too bad that it had to go down like this between James and I and James and the band, because the metal world is quite small and we all know a lot of the same people. We would never come out and say that now that James has left VICIOUS RUMORS, his career is over, or try to turn people against him. This is just one of those things that happened, and it happens in any relationship. The best thing to do is to move on and do the best you can and move forward, and that's what VICIOUS RUMORS is doing.

The Classic Metal Show: Well, Geoff, I'm just going to ask you point-blank here. James' biggest thing was that he claims that you smacked him in the head with a bottle. Is that true or untrue?

Geoff Thorpe: It's like I said, my friend, there's lots of crazy things that happened on that last night. It was cabin fever that came to a pitch. A lot of mistakes were made across the board by everybody, including myself. Things happen, man. Stuff got crazy. All I know is we're moving on. I apologized to James if he got hurt. He didn't want to accept my apology, and that's OK. We all made mistakes. It's time to move on, and that's all I can say about it.

The entire interview can be downloaded in MP3 audio format at this location.

"The Classic Metal Show" is heard every Saturday from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. EST at www.cmsradionetwork.com.

James Rivera discussed his departure from VICIOUS RUMORS on the November 17 edition of "The Classic Metal Show". Download the 20-minute interview in MP3 format at this location (7 MB).

James Rivera's statement regarding his split with VICIOUS RUMORS can be found at this location.

Rivera appears on VICIOUS RUMORS' latest album, "Warball", which came out in the U.S. in October 2006.

Fan-filmed video footage of VICIOUS RUMORS' September 8, 2007 concert at the Join in Noordwijk, Holland can be viewed below.

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