In a brand new interview with Greg Schmitt of 88.1FM WESU's weekly syndicated radio show "Noize In The Attic", former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate was asked if he knows anything about original drummer Scott Rockenfield's decision to step away from the band more than two years ago.
"Well, I can tell you that I'm pretty sure he didn't leave on his own accord," Geoff said (hear audio below). "I can tell you that there's lawsuits involved; I know that... He's in kind of a really dark place, and I hope he gets some help, 'cause he's really unraveled, you know? In my opinion. It's too bad — he's an incredibly talented drummer, and unfortunately, he never was happy with that. It wasn't good enough for him."
Asked if he has spoken to Scott since the singer's exit from QUEENSRŸCHE back in 2012, Geoff said: "No, he won't talk to me."
During the same chat, Geoff called the chemistry between the five original members of QUEENSRŸCHE "magic." He added: "And we gave it a really good run for as long as we did. And I have no regrets in that area. I think we made some amazing music; I think we made some milestone albums. We definitely left our mark as a chemistry; a group. And I'm very proud of that… I don't know if bands are meant to last forever anyway. I mean, we gave it 30 years. That's a long time to dedicate yourself to a group of people. So I feel very proud of it. I guess my only regret is that I wish it hadn't unraveled the way it did. It was not a classy way to handle the whole thing, and I don't think that the name or the music should've been diminished like it was. And that's probably the only thing I would change about the whole thing."
Asked if he could ever see all five original members of QUEENSRŸCHE reuniting for a one-off tour, Tate said: "Well, that has happened already — it's been offered, and it hasn't happened." Adding that the possibility of a reunion was discussed on his end, Tate said: "It would be a wonderful thing to give it one more tour — one more good tour — where the band was playing well together and it was a good energy… But you can't heal anything if nobody is willing to get in a room together. And that's been the big problem for the last… well, since 2011."
Back in 2012, video footage emerged of Tate apparently spitting at Rockenfield during QUEENSRŸCHE's concert in São Paulo, Brazil. Tate later claimed that he became angry when the rest of the band fired QUEENSRŸCHE's manager, office assistant and one of the group's guitar techs, "who all happened to be my family members," Geoff told Rolling Stone. "I'm getting ready by my station, ready to go on stage, and Scott looks at me and he smirks and says, 'We just fired your whole family, and you're next,'" Tate claimed. "I just lost it. I tried to punch him. I don't think I landed a punch before somebody grabbed me and hauled me to the side. On my way, I managed to shove [Michael] Wilton, and really, that was it. I cooled down and we did the show, and everything went fine."
That same year, Tate defended his decision to spit on Rockenfield, telling Über Röck that it "is an ancient act of defiance and contempt: it's a symbolic gesture. People have been doing that for centuries and Americans can't wrap their head around that. They think it's juvenile, like it's something a kid does. They can't understand guys getting in a punch-up. They fear that, they're appalled by it. In other countries, Ireland for example, the Irish don't see anything wrong with it at all."
In a 2017 interview, Wilton dismissed talk of a reunion with Tate, saying that he and his bandmates "rebuilt" their career with new singer Todd La Torre "and we wouldn't want to change that." He added: "Everybody has taken Todd into the fold and we are doing great with him. All of the hardcore QUEENSRŸCHE fans are saying that he is the new voice of QUEENSRŸCHE, so we are very, very happy."
QUEENSRŸCHE has released three albums thus far with the ex-CRIMSON GLORY frontman — 2013's "Queensrÿche", 2015's "Condition Hüman" and 2019's "The Verdict".
For the past 27 months, Rockenfield has been taking time off from QUEENSRŸCHE's touring activities to spend time with his young son, who was born in early 2017. Filling in for him has been former KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo.
The drum tracks on "The Verdict" were laid down by La Torre, who has played drums since the age of 13.