Geoff Tate says that “it’s kind of a tragedy” the way QUEENSRŸCHE‘s classic lineup fell apart.
Asked in a new interview with Metal Wani if he would consider launching a new project with original QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Chris DeGarmo, Tate said (hear audio below): “We had a really good run for a period of our lives, and that ended, like, 20 years ago. And we both have gone on and done completely different things. And so to meet up again and try to rekindle something that we had at one point isn’t really something I’m able to wrap my head around, honestly. I think that we’re way too far apart — interests, life experience… you name it; we’re, like, miles apart. But I do respect and love what we had done in the past and cherish that time of my life and think it was a very magical time.
“I feel sorry for the QUEENSRŸCHE situation being what it is,” he continued. “The only original members of QUEENSRŸCHE now are Eddie [Jackson], the bass player, and Michael [Wilton], the rhythm guitar player. Scott‘s [Rockenfield, drums] no longer in the band either. So, I don’t know… It’s kind of a tragedy the way that thing ended up.”
In April 2014, Tate and QUEENSRŸCHE announced that a settlement had been reached after a nearly two-year legal battle where the singer sued over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being fired in 2012. Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson responded with a countersuit. The settlement included an agreement that Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson would continue as QUEENSRŸCHE, while Tate would have the sole right to perform the albums “Operation: Mindcrime” and “Operation: Mindcrime II” in their entirety live.
Tate previously described his time in QUEENSRŸCHE as “a strange, strange sort of relationship.” He told The Metal Gods Meltdown: “We weren’t really friends, you know — we were business associates. We had a wonderful entity that we shared called QUEENSRŸCHE, but it wasn’t an equal sort of partnership as far as involvement goes. You know, so there wasn’t a real camaraderie amongst everybody in the band… From my perspective and my involvement, it wasn’t an emotional sort of brotherhood kind of thing that some people might think existed. That wasn’t my reality with them.”
Tate‘s replacement, Todd La Torre, told Metal Wani that QUEENSRŸCHE is “sounding better than it did for over 10 years” now that he is fronting the band. He added: “The fans have certainly voiced that opinion. That’s my opinion, and that’s a lot of opinions we hear every night. And the energy of the other members of the band is way healthier, way happier with [Geoff] gone and me in the band. And that’s just the facts. There’s no stifled creativity, and there’s no kind of leader and followers, if you will, in the band. We all talk and try to make decisions the same, and it’s very democratic. I’m never gonna tell Michael Wilton that his guitar riff is too heavy, for example, and that had happened in the past. The band is way happier, and I think that it’s evident when you watch a live show — not [a clip on] YouTube, but really go to a show and feel what’s happening and see what’s happening. These guys are happy again and they feel like it’s a rebirth of the band and that those dark clouds are well behind them.”
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”.