Singer Geoff Tate — who was fired from the Seattle progressive rock band QUEENSRŸCHE in 2012 after fronting it for three decades — has apologized to the group's fans for the "totally distasteful" war of words that played out in the press and court documents following the split, saying that there will be a "bright side" once a settlement has been reached over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name.
During an appearance on last night's (Friday, March 7) edition of "Eddie Trunk Rocks" (formerly "Friday Night Rocks") radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM, Tate addressed QUEENSRŸCHE fans directly, saying: "Thank you for all the amazing letters and support people have given me in the last couple of years. It's been inspiring.
"I feel so sorry for people that have loved this band and watched this totally distasteful situation happen in the press."
He continued: "It's so confusing for people, 'cause they can't discern what is hype and what is Internet rumor versus what is truth and what's a court case. In any other court case, there's so much untruth that gets said because people are trying to win. And the fans really get caught up in the middle of it. It's a very frustrating, confusing situation and I'm so sorry that it had to play out this way. But there will be a bright side, I promise everybody, and I'm looking forward to that as much as I'm sure they are."
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. If they cannot reach an agreement during that period, the five-day, non-jury trial is set to begin on April 7.
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.
Tate and his wife, Susan, QUEENSRŸCHE's former manager, filed a lawsuit in June 2012 asking the judge to award them the rights to the band's name in exchange for Tate paying Eddie Jackson (bass), Michael Wilton (guitar) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) the fair market value for their interests in the QUEENSRŸCHE companies. Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson filed a countersuit against the Tates in which they accused Geoff of creative obstruction and violent behavior, and Susan Tate of questionable business practices.
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.
Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE now features Tate along with 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 drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET).
"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.