Singer Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE) revealed last month that he will support ALICE COOPER on a Canadian tour in November, and will embark on a QUEENSRŸCHE "anniversary tour" in 2013 backed by an "all-star lineup" of musicians.
Tate's personal web site, GeoffTate.com, was upgraded with a new banner that reads "Geoff Tate: The Voice Of QUEENSRŸCHE." In addition, he is billed on the web site for booking agency Monterey International as "QUEENSRŸCHE Starring Geoff Tate: The Original Voice."
In a new post on the Queensryche.com web site, which the singer still controls, Geoff has revealed the lineup of his version of QUEENSRŸCHE. It is as follows:
* Geoff Tate - Vocals
* Rudy Sarzo (ANIMETAL USA, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT, DIO, OZZY OSBOURNE) - Bass
* Bobby Blotzer (RATT) - Drums
* Glen Drover (MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND) - Guitar
* Kelly Gray (QUEENSRŸCHE) - Guitar
* Randy Gane – Keyboards
Says Blotzer: "Geoff and QUEENSRŸCHE and RATT have a long history of touring together and I am very excited about this new project with Geoff and the guys."
Adds Drover: "[QUEENSRŸCHE] is a band that I grew up with and have always respected a great deal. [It] will also be great to play with the other musicians involved that I have never played with before. [I am] really looking forward to to this!"
Comments Geoff: "I'm sure the last few months have been very frustrating for you. I know they have been for me. There are so many questions and so few answers.
"It is said that adversity makes one stronger. Well, I'm definitely in a better place now than I've ever been before. I feel very positive and excited.
"The challenge, when you're in a creative environment, is keeping things fresh and invigorating, and after working with the same people for thirty years, it gets very difficult. You walk into the room, and everybody knows what everyone is going to do. There's no spark, the chemistry is very tried and true and you just keep coming up with the same ways of expressing yourself.
"Today is a new day and I am thrilled to announce the new QUEENSRŸCHE.
"Together we shall embark on a new musical journey that will be a greater extension of where QUEENSRŸCHE has ever been.
"With this new project, with these new people, it's a whole new scene. There are new ideas, different musical backgrounds and a whole new set of parameters. Everyone has ideas you haven't heard before, and everyone is throwing them against the wall and suddenly … the music has a whole new life.
"I look forward to this new life and I hope to see you on tour as all of us come together and begin this new era."
Guitarist Michael Wilton, drummer Scott Rockenfield, bassist Eddie Jackson and Parker Lundgren (guitar) announced on June 20 that they were parting ways with Geoff Tate and recruiting Todd La Torre of CRIMSON GLORY as his replacement.
Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield defeated Tate's motion for a preliminary injunction on July 13 that would have kept them from touring and operating under the band name,
Tate and his wife, Susan, QUEENSRŸCHE's former manager, filed a lawsuit against Geoff's ex-bandmates on June 22 in King County Superior Court over whether he should be awarded the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being dismissed from the group in June. Their complaint states Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson wrongfully fired the singer and are tarnishing the group's brand by attempting to move forward without him.
If the case goes to trial, the date is set for November 18, 2013.
Tate taped a guest appearance on VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" last month for an episode which premiered on August 25.
Asked about the cirumstances that led to the split with his QUEENSRŸCHE bandmates after nearly 30 years of working together, Tate said, "Well, really, it's kind of difficult to explain, 'cause I'm not in their heads. I can only speculate, really. It came out of the blue for me. We've never had any kind of creative differences, or any kind of a situation where we are at odds with each other. It just happened. And I can only speculate that we're in a really tough recession right now all over the world, and I think that when we have economic times like this, it kind of makes people do strange things. That's really the only speculation I can give — that it's a money thing. We have a company together and [now that] they kicked me out, they can split my 25 percent."
On the topic of whether he is planning on fighting to keep the name QUEENSRŸCHE for himself, Tate replied, "It's something that I've worked all my adult life to take care of and build and protect, and I feel like, yes, it's mine." He continued, "[Right now] we both have the name. The judge [who denied Tate's motion for a preliminary injunction that would have kept his former bandmates from touring and operating under the band name. — Ed.] said something very interesting. My lawyer wanted to say, 'Look, we think that nobody should use the name until we have our court date.' And the judge says, 'I don't see anything different about QUEENSRŸCHE or the FOUR TOPS. It's the same situation.' The FOUR TOPS… [laughs] But, basically, there's two QUEENSRŸCHEs now. Or [at least we have] the ability to have two QUEENSRŸCHEs."
Addressing the accusations by his former bandmates that he was controlling QUEENSRŸCHE's musical direction for much of the last couple of decades, Tate said, "Well, I don't know how I would do that. I have one vote. We do everything by voting. 'I think we should do this, I think we should do this…' That's how we do it. So I don't have the power to dictate where we go in that regard."
When "That Metal Show" co-host Don Jamieson brought up the fact that QUEENSRŸCHE's latest album, 2011's "Dedicated To Chaos", was a huge departure from the metallic sounds of the band's early efforts, Tate said, "[It's] redefining what metal is? Thank you. That's what we've always tried to do — we've always tried to not be somebody else's version of what metal is. We've always tried to forge our own path. And how people take that, you never know. You have to just, kind of, write what's in your heart, you know?!"
Asked what he hopes will happen in his ongoing legal battle with his former bandmates, Tate said, "I'd like to sit in a room with those gentlemen and have them tell me face to face what the situation is. Explain their actions. I'd like to know, and actually understand, their point of view. I'd like to see them talk to me face to face rather than through the Internet. . . Communication is a big part of any kind of relationship — you've gotta have it. And if nobody's talking, then nothing's getting settled. And that's where we're at right now — nobody's talking."
Tate recently completed work on his sophomore solo album, "Kings And Thieves", for an October release via InsideOut Music.
Pictured below: Geoff Tate (photo by Stephanie Cabral)