Drummer Simon Wright (DIO, AC/DC, UFO, DIO DISCIPLES, Geoff Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE) was interviewed by Eric Blair of "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" at the March 17 exclusive VIP listening party for the Ronnie James Dio tribute album "This Is Your Life" and awards gala at the Avalon in Hollywood, California. Check out the chat below.
Asked how it has been playing with Geoff Tate's version of QUEENSRŸCHE, Wright said: "It's going really well. The band is getting tighter and tighter and tighter and stuff, and we've played some great shows."
He added: "You know, it's funny… Ronnie came up… We were having a conversation about something and something, and Ronnie's name came up, and I was talking to the keyboard player [Randy Gane]. And I notice some things in Geoff that Ronnie has as well, and vice versa. [Geoff] is a very genuine, down-to-earth person. He loves to sing, loves to be creative and stuff like that.
"There's a whole big [legal] mess going on at the moment [with Geoff and his former bandmates in settlement discussions over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name], but that's what Geoff is to us — very creative, a very down-to-earth human being. It's great being on the road with him. [The fan reaction] is so good. A lot of the shows are sold out, there's big crowds and everybody's getting in the vibe."
Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE now features guitarist Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE 1998-2001), keyboardist Randy Gane and the band's latest additions, guitarist Robert Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, HURRICANE), Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE, DIO, ANIMETAL USA) and Simon Wright.
"Frequency Unknown", the latest album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, sold around 5,500 copies in its first week of release in the United States to land at position No. 82 on The Billboard 200 chart. Issued on April 23, 2013, the CD was produced by Jason Slater at a studio in Northern California.
Tate and his former bandmates recently requested more time to hammer out a settlement in their legal battle over the rights to the group's name.
King County Superior Court Judge Beth Andrus signed a new order continuing trial date, allowing the parties four more weeks to come to an agreement over the use of the QUEENSRŸCHE name and its associated trademarks.
Tate and his former bandmates were previously granted five additional weeks in two separate trial continuances in January and February to work on the details of their settlement agreement.