Robyn Vagnozzi of Screamer Magazine recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On his legal battle with his former bandmates over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name:
Tate: “Well, we’re in a court case now. They fired me, basically. They can’t, legally, because we have a corporation together — we have three corporations together, and they can’t legally do that. And so it’s what’s called a ‘corporate dispute’ now. We have a court date that’s set for November of next year. And in the meantime, we’re in litigation, basically, so anything can happen. So what originally happened was they started a side project — which is fine. We’ve all had the agreement we can all do side projects over the years. And Scott‘s [Rockenfield, drums] done a number of them and so has Michael [Wilton, guitar], and I’ve done a solo project, and that kind of thing. And so I was getting ready for this new album and doing a short acoustic tour. And they decided that they were going to put together a side project called RISING WEST, which is fine. But then they found out that they couldn’t book any shows because that name doesn’t have any value. And so they fired me and went after the name, QUEENSRŸCHE. And, of course, they can’t do that legally. So I had to file what’s called an injunction to try to get them to stop using the name. I spent a fortune taking them to court and filing this case. And at the end of the day the judge decided that, ‘Hey guess what? Both parties can use the name QUEENSRŸCHE for the rest of the year. And so we have our court date. And so my whole plan kinda backfired, in a sense, because I was just saying, ‘Hey let’s not use the name, either of us, until we decide what we’re going to do.’ But they wanted to keep doing it. And so as of right now the judge gave us permission for both parties to use the name QUEENSRŸCHE. So in the spring I’m launching a new QUEENSRŸCHE and now we’re booking dates for it. And both ‘QUEENSRŸCHEs’ will be touring. Somebody is going to win the name next November, in 2013, and whoever wins the name has to pay the other party off the value of what the name is worth at that point. So either I’ll be getting a large sum of money or they will. It’s a terrible, awful situation and it’s not what I chose to do. It’s definitely not the way that I envisioned my band and my life’s work ending on that note. I envisioned us all being elderly gentlemen sitting around the park playing checkers going, ‘Hey, you remember back in the day when we did this?'”
On how he assembled his version of QUEENSRŸCHE:
Tate: “When the judge said that we could both use the name QUEENSRŸCHE, I thought long and hard about how to go about doing that. And so I’m kind of a list maker. I got out a piece of paper and a pencil and I just kind of started making lists of what I wanted to try to accomplish with it. First and foremost, I wanted to have really great players. I wanted to be able to stand on that stage with people that would really throw everything they had into the music, because that’s what I do. And so I wanted to find people that were amazing players. Secondly, I wanted to find people that I had a relationship with already or I was friends with or I really respected their work. Rudy Sarzo [QUIET RIOT, DIO, OZZY OSBOURNE] and Bobby Blotzer [RATT] I’ve known for 30-plus years. We’ve been friends all these years, and always talked about making music together, so when this thing came up, I called them and luckily they were able to move their schedules around and make it all work. We’re both very excited about the prospect. Glen Drover [MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND] I’ve known for a while and I came at him more as a fan. I love his guitar playing. He’s just a really special guitar player and a very fluid player. And I thought that he and Kelly Gray, would be a really interesting guitar team because they’re complete opposites in their style. Glen is very fluid and Kelly, every time he picks up a guitar he picks a fight with it — it’s just this chunky, kind of forceful style, and I thought that would be an interesting juxtaposition of styles. So that’s kind of my game plan, was to do that and I put together a great live band that people would want to see and that I’d want to play with. Glen and Rudy and Bobby are strictly for the upcoming QUEENSRŸCHE dates and I have a different group of people who are supporting me on my solo tour.”
Read the entire interview from Screamer Magazine.