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Geoff Tate Opens Up About Queensryche Split, Legal Options + Alleged Knife Fight

Mary Ouellette,

It’s hard to imagine Queensryche without singer Geoff Tate, but with all the controversy shrouding both parties and the tumultuous past few months, that’s exactly where things currently sit, leaving fans scratching their heads.

Last week, Queensryche announced that they had tapped Todd La Torre as their new lead singer, replacing Geoff Tate who has been an integral part of Queensryche for the past three decades. Tate recently spoke to Rolling Stone about being forced out of the group, the alleged knife fight in Brazil, and how he’s not going down without a fight.

While the band cited “creative differences” behind their firing of Tate, Tate seemed befuddled by the idea, explaining, “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.”

So what about the fight that supposedly went down in Brazil in April where an apparent knife-wielding Tate supposedly pushed guitarist Michael Wilton to the floor and pointed the knife at drummer Scott Rockenfield? Tate says there was no knife but punches definitely flew. According to Tate, before their show in Sao Paolo, he sat the band down to confront them about the rumors he had been hearing that they were going to replace him.

The band copped to firing their manager, office assistant and guitar tech – all who were coincidentally related to Tate. After asking them why this was all happening, the meeting came to an end and Tate thought they were finished. He explains what happened next, “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.’” Tate admits, “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.”

Maybe not so fine considering the current state of the two parties. Tate has now taken legal action against them. “We’re in a lawsuit right now and it’s probably gonna get ugly,” said Tate. “I filed a claim a couple of days ago. So it’s all going to the legal system now to sort out who is what, and who owns what, and that stuff.”

Tate also spoke out about the ‘new’ Queensryche playing any shows before the legal matters were taken care of. “Well, they shouldn’t. Definitely. It’s a situation where, in my opinion, they’re doing everything the wrong way,” explains Tate. “If there was a dispute over who is in the band, or who owns the band name, I think that stuff should all be worked out before they try to book gigs with the name Queensryche.”

Shortly after being ousted from Queensryche, Geoff Tate announced a worldwide solo record deal with InsideOut Music.

Read the entire Rolling Stone interview with Geoff Tate here.


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