Drama within Queensryche had been building up over the past few months. However, it still came as a surprise to many when the group announced that they would be continuing on without singer Geoff Tate. And according to Tate, it was a shock to him as well.
The singer, who just signed a solo recording deal with InsideOut, spoke out on the split for the first time in an interview with Rolling Stone. When asked about whether there were truly “creative differences,” the reasoning Queensryche originally gave, Tate said the following:
“Well, this is kind of a weird situation too. In the press release they said there were ‘creative differences.’ But to have creative differences, you have to have two entities or more offering up creative ideas. And that just wasn’t the case. Queensryche has always been my idea, starting from the first record. Queensryche is about albums. It’s about concepts and themes, and those concepts were mine. [Laughs] I started out with The Warning, bringing those ideas in for Rage for Order, Operation: Mindcrime . . . all the albums. I write 81% of the music and the lyrics. Of the 144 songs that Queensryche has released, I’ve written 116 of those.
I am the creative energy in the band, especially since Chris left. When he was in the band it was more of a shared thing between him and I. But once he left, the burden was on me. I don’t consider it necessarily a burden. That’s what I do. I’m a creative person. I write everyday and I’m constantly coming up with creative ideas. I present them to the other guys and they go, ‘Yeah, sure, that sounds good to us.’”
Tate also addressed the rumors regarding an incident that reportedly involved Tate pulling a knife on his then bandmates, saying:
“Well, you know how the Internet goes . . . The way it went was, we had a gig in Sao Paolo, and before the show we had a meeting in the dressing room. I asked them straight up about the rumors I’d heard about them replacing me. I was definitely concerned about this. What kind of plan was that? Was it serious? What was going on? They said that they weren’t planning on replacing me, but they had just fired our manager, our office assistant and one of our guitar techs, who all happened to be my family members.
I asked them, ‘Why is this happening?’ They really couldn’t give me a straight answer, or any kind of answer that made any kind of business sense. It seemed like a personal vendetta against me. Anyway, the meeting was short and we went to do the show. I’m getting ready by my station, ready to go on stage, and Scott [Rockenfield] looks at me and he smirks and says, ‘We just fired your whole family, and you’re next.’ 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.”
So in short, Tate claims that his firing came down to business disputes and was “economically driven.” He also says that he believes that they have no legal right to fire him, and that both parties are already in a lawsuit that’s “probably gonna get ugly.” At least we won’t have to worry about seeing two Queensryches on the road (like Great White and LA Guns), since Tate says he has no interest in forming his own version of the group.
You can read Tate’s entire interview with Rolling Stone online. It should be only a matter of time till we hear a rebuttal from whoever is left in Queensryche.