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Post Info TOPIC: Queensryche Singer Geoff Tate Breaks His Silence on Being Fired


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Date: Jun 26 17:21:12 2012
Queensryche Singer Geoff Tate Breaks His Silence on Being Fired


Rolling Stone has conducted an interview with former Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate.  Below are some excerpts from the interview:

 

Queensryche fans were stunned earlier this month when the news surfaced that the group had fired lead singer Geoff Tate. In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, Tate reveals that he was equally stunned to learn that he was being forced out of the group he began playing with three decades ago. "Weve all known each other for 30 years," he says. "Our kids have all grown up together. Weve been to barbecues together, and weddings, and divorces, and births of our children. For it to end in such a hostile way, its just mind-boggling. I just dont understand it."


 

When exactly did the tensions within Queensryche first surface?
Well, with every band there's tensions that arise over time. You've got different personalities all mixed together and there's always that kind of thing going on. We'd never been a band that had lots of tensions. We've had challenges with making records and with personnel changes. When Chris DeGarmo left the band in 1998, it was a pretty big hit for us. But really, this new thing is kind of out of the blue. I wasn't expecting anything like this at all. 

 

How did this new thing begin?
I think it really began around February of this year. It mainly started with a disagreement about economics, about moving our merchandising to a third party. We had control over our own merchandising company for years and years and we ran it ourselves. It's a very successful entity, and the other three guys wanted to take it out of our hands and hand it over to somebody else and pay them more money to operate it, which just seemed liked a ridiculous business idea to me. That's really where the disagreement started. 

 

Where did things go from there?
It forced us into trying to talk sense into them, our manager and myself and our business manager, trying to get them to see this was not a good deal. Why were they so adamant about taking money out of our pockets and handing it to somebody else? Our manager found another company that would do it for considerably less and they ultimately went with that. 

 

How about musically? Were you guys seeing eye-to-eye on the sound of the band at this point?
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 OrderOperation: 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."

 


 I've read lots of accounts about what happened in Brazil in April. The story on the Internet goes that you overheard them plotting to fire you and then you pushed Michael to the floor and pointed a knife at Scott. What actually happened?

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.

 

 The guys recently formed a side project called Rising West that was entirely devoted to playing material from the first five Queensryche albums. It seems to imply they didn't like the more recent material. But they never actually said to you that they preferred the sound the band had in the Eighties?

Hmmm . . . I looked at that forming of that band as a side project. I was surprised that all four guys went in the same direction. That didn't make such sense to me. That felt like some kind of calculated move, but I can't even speculate what they were thinking. But if they want to do a side project, I'm all about that. I've very supportive of everybody in the band doing side projects.

 

But this is a side projects devoted to songs that you wrote
Well, that is a little weird. I would think if they were gonna do a side project, they should probably write some new songs and present them as a group, and then play some Queensryche songs too. If they wanna do that, that's cool. But to do only Queensryche material and only material that I wrote . . . I don't know. It's kind of a slap in the face.

 

Honestly, I'm not angry over this. I'm more hurt by it all. This has been my life's work. It's been 30 years building this name and this image of the band. All the lyrics and the directions of the albums and the concepts, that is all from me. And to have them do what they're doing and kick me out God, I didn't realize that these guys were those kind of people. It's shocking to me.

 

 

What's gonna happen now?
Well, we're in a lawsuit right now and it's probably gonna get ugly. 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.

 

 

 

Are they gonna be able to play dates as Queensryche before this is resolved?
Well, they shouldn't. Definitely. It's a situation where, in my opinion, they're doing everything the wrong way. 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.


 

It would seem to many that firing the lead singer is sort of a suicide move. When people buy a ticket to a concert they tend to want to hear the original singer. 
It doesnt make any sense at all. It's typical of these guys to have a very short-sighted look on everything. Why on earth would they cancel all remaining Queensryche shows? How are they gonna survive economically? And then, by that action, youre completely alienating the promoters, who you work with closely to book shows for you. So now the promoter is left holding the bag, and that doesnt make the promoter want to work with you again. So here they fire everybody in our organization and dont hire anybody to take care of the business, all the websites, all of our merchandising companies, all that stuff. Theres nobody running it right now. They locked it all up, and theres nobody running that stuff. Then they fired our publicist, our booking agent, they canceled all the shows, so now they have no income. What are they doing?

 

 

It doesnt make any sense at all. And thats whats so difficult to stomach about the whole thing. If they had some sort of grand plan that all made sense, I could understand. [Laughs] And Im forced to engage in a lawsuit with them now. This is not something I want to do at all. I want to make records and I want to tour and live a creative life. I dont want to be bogged down in some legal hassle. My God, but theyre forcing me into it. I have no other way to go. I cant give up my lifes work and walk away from it. These are my ideas, my concepts, my life, that Im writing about. What are they gonna do hand it to some kid to sing?



Read the entire interview at this location.
 

 

 

 



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