INTERVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
Queensryche has been in the headlines during the past few years because of major changes in the line-up. As the legal case is nearly over, it is time to look to the future for what it holds for the legendary band. The band has started working on the follow-up to the self titled Queensryche album and at the Sweden Rock festival Metal-Rules.com got the great opportunity to talk with the founding member and guitarist Michael Wilton and the vocalist Todd La Torre.
GEOFF TATE TO EMBARK ON FAREWELL QUEENSRYCHE TOUR BEGINNING IN JULY
AFTER FRONTING IMMENSELY POPULAR BAND FOR MORE THAN THREE DECADES
QUEENSRYCHE CO-FOUNDER AND ORIGINAL VOCALIST HEARD ON ALL THE HITS
OF THE PAST TO CARRY ON INTO THE FUTURE WITH THE MUSIC HE HELPED
MAKE FAMOUS ALONG WITH OTHER CREATIVE ENDEAVORS
More than thirty years after setting forth on the musical journey that would become known as Queensryche, singer GEOFF TATE — one of rock’s quintessential front men and the lead vocalist heard on all Queensryche hits — will be performing his farewell tour as “Queensryche” beginning in late July (see below for full itinerary).
The announcement of the tour, Queensryche Starring Geoff Tate – The Farewell Tour, comes hot on the heels of the recent amicable settlement with his former band mates Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield, who will be continuing with the band name.
With Geoff at the helm of Queensryche, the band experienced incredible success, garnering four Grammy nominations, performing in 46 different countries and selling over 20 million albums worldwide.
“One thing that’s really important for fans to know is that this never went to court,” comments Geoff Tate, who will be continuing as Geoff Tate: The Voice of Queensryche once the summer farewell tour is complete.
As part of the agreement between the original members, Geoff will have the exclusive right to perform the concept albums Operation: Mindcrime and Operation: Mindcrime II as unique performances.
For the past several months, Geoff and his version of Queensryche (comprised of bassist Rudy Sarzo, guitarist Robert Sarzo, guitarist Kelly Gray, drummer Simon Wright and keyboardist Randy Gane) have been performing the fan favorite on their 25th Anniversary Mindcrime Tour (with special guest Sass Jordan as “Sister Mary”) in front of sold out audiences everywhere.
“It’s sort of similar to the Pink Floyd situation where Roger Waters retained The Wall,” comments Geoff. “Mindcrime was my thing and my story, so it’s only appropriate that I keep that… The others will be touring as Queensryche and I’ll be continuing on as me.”
The popularity of the theatrical back-to-back presentation of the Operation: Mindcrime saga (I & II) was exemplified when the performance was captured for the 2007 double DVD/CD set, Mindcrime at the Moore, that hit #1 on Billboard’s Top Music DVD Chart and eventually reached gold status.
For the forthcoming tour, Geoff’s version of Queensryche will be performing all the hits along with some rarities to celebrate the music he’s enjoyed making over the past thirty years.
Although the name will change, the line-up of stellar musicians performing with Geoff after this “farewell” tour is expected to remain the same.
Tickets go on sale for the majority of shows this Friday, May 2nd and this Saturday, May 3rd.
“So, here it is, another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over… or has it just begun?”
— Queensryche’s “Silent Ludicity” —
QUEENSRYCHE STARRING GEOFF TATE / 2014 FAREWELL TOUR DATES
Wednesday, July 30 – Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, California
Thursday, July 31 – The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California
Friday, August 1 – Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, California
Saturday, August 2 – House of Blues in Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, August 3 – The Canyon Club in Agoura, California
Thursday, August 7 – Strummer’s in Fresno, California
Friday, August 8 – Theatre Deville in Vacaville, California
Saturday, August 9 – Downtown Amphitheater in Morgan Hill, California
Tuesday, August 12 – Music Marathon Works in Nashville, Tennessee
Wednesday, August 13 – Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh, North Carolina
Thursday, August 14 – The Chop Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina
Friday, August 15 – Ziggy’s by the Sea in Wilmington, North Carolina
Saturday, August 16 – Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Sunday, August 17 – Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia
Tuesday, August 19 – Trees in Dallas, Texas
Wednesday, August 20 – Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Texas
Friday, August 22 – Rialto Theatre in Tucson, Arizona
Saturday, August 23 – Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona
Sunday, August 24 – Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Tuesday, August 26 – The Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah
Thursday, August 28 – The Cotillion in Wichita, Kansas
Saturday, August 30 – Tailgaters in Bolingbrook, Illinois
Legendary Seattle rockers, Queensrÿche are almost done with their ‘mini movie’ including tracks from their current self titled album. The tracks, “Spore” “Midnight Lullaby” “A World Without” and “X2” provide the score to a 10 minute story, dubbed Queensrÿche: Ad Lucem expected to be released later this month.
Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records are offering new and improved mixes of the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE’s new album, Frequency Unknown.Customers who purchased the original mix version and are dissatisfied with the audio can e-mail the label a scan of your actual receipt for the physical CD to Queensryche@cleorecs.com and they will send you a replacement disc at no charge. No questions asked. Read the rest of this entry »
Live at Phoenix Concert Theatre March 7th, 2013 ( Toronto)
Review by Claudia Foote
Pictures by Pat Crawford from Radical Images
Remember when your heart quickened in anticipation of attending a concert? That period of time where you are counting down the time until you entered the venue and felt that charge of energy that you shared with everyone around you. Strangers yet connected by a commonality. LIVE MUSIC of a favourite band. This concert was no exception.
The year is 2013 and revolution is calling once again for Queensryche front man Geoff Tate, who is leading the charge with the band’s forthcoming studio effort titled, Frequency Unknown, due out April 23 on Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records.
Although “F.U.” might be perceived as a fitting tribute and salutation, it is, without question, a no-holds barred album of new music featuring original Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate along with an entirely new line-up consisting of bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot/Ozzy Osbourne/Whitesnake/Dio/Blue Oyster Cult), guitarist Robert Sarzo (Hurricane), drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC/Dio), guitarist Kelly Gray (Queensryche 1998 – 2001) and keyboardist Randy Gane (Myth).
For Frequency Unknown, Tate and company invited a few of their friends to come join in on the recording “fun” for what will mark Queensryche’s thirteenth studio album.
An album containing ten new hard-hitting, distinctively Queensryche songs, four newly-recorded Queensryche classics and an array of well-known guests including guitarists Chris Poland (Megadeth), Dave Meniketti (Y&T), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger), Ty Tabor (King’s X), K.K. Downing (Judas Priest), Craig Locicero (Forbidden) and Chris Cannella along with drummers Paul Bostaph (Slayer/Testament) and Evan Bautista.
Also appearing on the album will be bassist Jason Slater, who has worked on several previous Queensryche projects with Tate including Operation: Mindcrime II and American Soldier.
Slater co-wrote some of the songs on Frequency Unknown with Geoff Tate and is also the album’s Producer.
“I think that the idea of having guest appearances evolved from the time constraints we had imposed on the project,” states Tate. “And I must say that I was humbled by the enthusiasm and excitement of all the players that contributed.”
Frequency Unknown Track Listing
Give it to You
In the Hands of God
Life Without You
The Weight of the World
I Don’t Believe in Love
Jet City Woman
Although times have changed for Geoff Tate, his hard rock wavelength, as represented on Frequency Unknown, remains the same.
With Geoff at the helm, Queensryche has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, toured in approximately 50 countries and received four Grammy nominations.
He remains one of the most well-known and respected vocalists in the history of hard rock and heavy metal.
Fun for all metal heads to sink their teeth into?
Feel free to feast.
Please note: Beginning on April 6th at the Peppermill Casino in West Wenover, Nevada, the band will be hitting the road to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of its epic 1988 release, Operation: Mindcrime. The performance will include all fifteen songs from the album (including “Revolution Calling,” “Operation: Mindcrime,” I Don’t Believe in Love” and “Eyes of a Stranger”) along with other well-known hits and rarities from the catalog they’ve compiled over the past 30 years (see current tour itinerary below).
Operation: Mindcrime was recently named one of the Top 10 Concept Albums of All Time by Guitar World magazine.
25TH ANNIVERSARY OPERATION: MINDCRIME TOUR 2013*
April 6 – Peppermill Casino in West Wendover, Nevada
April 9 – Belly Up in Aspen, Colorado
April 10 – Mesa Theater in Grand Junction, Colorado
April 11 – Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado
April 12 – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico
April 13 – Chrome in Las Vegas, Nevada
April 14 – Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona
April 16 – Rialto Theatre in Tucson, Arizona
April 17 – The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California
April 18 – The Canyon Club in Agoura, California
April 19 – Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California
April 20 – Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California
April 21 – Fillmore in San Francisco, California
April 22 – Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California
April 24 – Emo’s in Austin, Texas
April 25 – The Concert Pub North in Houston, Texas
May 16 – Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
May 17 – The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois
May 18 – St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin
*More dates to be announced.
For more information on Queensryche, please visit the following:
Former MEGADETH and KING DIAMOND guitarist Glen Drover — who left Geoff Tate’s version of QUEENSRŸCHE before playing a single show with the band — will join the Todd La Torre-fronted QUEENSRŸCHE on stage this coming Thursday, March 7 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to perform the QUEENSRŸCHE classic “Take Hold Of The Flame”.
In a posting on his Twitter account, Glen wrote: “Going up onstage with the REAL QUEENSRŸCHE and play ‘Take Hold Of The Flame’ this thursday at the Phoenix in Toronto. Going to be fun stuff!”
Band comprised Of Todd La Torre, Michael Wilton, Parker Lundgren, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield heading out on “Return To History World Tour”
(March 4, 2013 – New York, NY) – Legendary Seattle rockers QUEENSRYCHE are poised to regain their place as hard rock/heavy metal royalty in 2013. The band has just signed a new label deal with Century Media for the release of their latest studio album. The album is slated for release on June 11 and marks the debut album from the lineup comprised of Todd La Torre (Vocals), Michael Wilton (Guitars), Parker Lundgren (Guitars), Eddie Jackson (Bass) and Scott Rockenfield (Drums). The band premiered a snippet from a new song called “Redemption” from the upcoming release on Eddie Trunk’s radio show on February 22. The 90-second snippet can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/P8iaNZBUK9c. QUEENSRYCHE join Century Media’s diverse roster comprised of some of music’s most recognizable talent, including IN FLAMES, IN THIS MOMENT, LACUNA COIL and ARCH ENEMY to name a few.
“QUEENSRYCHE is excited to begin writing this next chapter of our career with Century Media. Their passion and love for music has been apparent since early discussions and we are pleased to call them partners on this journey,” states bassist Eddie Jackson. “We are also thankful for all of the fans who have supported us from day one and helped us get to where we are today. Todd, Scott, Parker, Michael and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for each and every one of you.”
QUEENSRYCHE will also be heading out on their “Return To History World Tour” this March and April. The tour kicks off on March 5th in Dubuque, IA and makes stops in 9 different countries wrapping up on April 26th in the Netherlands. The band will also be taking to the high seas on this year’s “Monsters Of Rock Cruise” and “Sweden Rock Cruise.” The 23 date trek will make stops in New York, Tennessee and Florida as well as in Canada, United Kingdom and Germany amongst others. Tickets for all shows are currently on sale.
QUEENSRYCHE first burst onto the music scene in 1982 with the release of their self-titled 4 song EP Queensrÿche. They very quickly gained international recognition and performed to sold-out audiences around the world. With the follow up first full-length album The Warning in 1984, and the ground breaking 1986 release of Rage For Order, QUEENSRYCHE continued to prove their worldwide dominance as one of the most respected and creative bands of the 80’s. In 1988 the band turned out yet another monumental album Operation: Mindcrime, which would go on to become one of the TOP 10 best selling concepts records of all time, and set the stage for continued sold out performances around the world. With the release of the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Empire in 1991, the band earned multiple Grammy Award nominations and won the MTV “viewers choice” award for the #1 chart topping hit “Silent Lucidity”. During the next ten years, the band continued to release albums and tour the world to sold-out audiences. QUEENSRYCHE has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and have continued to break new ground and push their creative process.
QUEENSRŸCHE, fronted by ex-CRIMSON GLORY vocalist Todd La Torre in place of original singer Geoff Tate, are currently working on a new studio album. On February 22nd, a 90 second clip of the new song ‘Redemption’ was aired on Eddie Trunk’s Friday Night Rocks radio show, broadcast via New York’s Q104.3 FM. The song sample can be heard below:
In the latest episode of Gear Addicts, Queensrÿche’s Scott Rockenfield talks about the band’s upcoming studio album and first with Todd La Torre.
“The final stages of the record are being done now,” the drummer says. “The excitement that we have right now is because it’s a visit to the past. The whole transition for us was all about musical and creative direction. In a nutshell, I would say what we’re doing on the new record is much more like our early stuff like the EP until Mindcrime and Empire. Metal, hard rock, good song structure, incredible performances (laughs). We’ve really dug in deep.”
The news will come as a shock to some while others will shrug it off saying “It’s about time..,” but BW&BK has been informed directly that after approximately three years as the frontman for Florida-based progressive metal band CRIMSON GLORY, vocalist Todd La Torre has officially resigned.
La Torre was introduced to Crimson Glory by Matt La Porte (JON OLIVA’S PAIN / CIRCLE II CIRCLE), becoming an official member in 2010. He helped to ignite and give new life to the legendary band that had been on hiatus for nearly ten years, and mourning the loss of original vocalist Midnight. Crimson Glory emerged back into the world arena metal scene with very high praise and acceptance. La Torre toured as the new voice of Crimson Glory throughout Europe in celebration of the band’s 25th Anniversary with great success. Talk of a new album was highly anticipated and the band appeared to be firing on all cylinders.
“We were writing the new album and things were looking good, says La Torre. “We had interest from two major European labels, which was very promising. I was very honored and proud that we were on the rise, and the fans were embracing all that we were doing. We had wonderful momentum and we were working within an important window of time within which the new record should have been recorded and released to have the most impact given the bands resurgence. Unfortunately, the record never materialized despite my best efforts.”
“My involvement with Queensrÿche had nothing to do with the album progress,” he continues. “I haven’t been contacted to write with Crimson Glory for over six months. As a band, our writing sessions were slow, eventually becoming non-existent before I ever joined Queensrÿche. During the specific timeframe that I was in talks with Queensrÿche, members of CG were simultaneously occupied by other external and internal endeavors that apparently absorbed the time and/or will away from CG, which is not fallacious per se, but it proceeded in passivity. The main reason for my resignation from Crimson Glory is primarily due to its inertia status.”
“Crimson Glory was the catalyst that exposed me to the world as an undiscovered vocalist, and I am very thankful to them. Special thanks also to the amazing fans for their acceptance and support of not only Crimson Glory, but their continued support to me as an artist. Lastly, I sincerely wish my friends in Crimson Glory the absolute very best, both personally and professionally.”
For information and updates on La Torre and Queensrÿche, check out the following sites:
QUEENSRŸCHE have announced their Canadian debut with Todd La Torre (in place of original singer Geoff Tate) on March 7th at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, ON.
Catch Queensrÿche live at the following shows:
29 – Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ
31 – Fremont Street Experience – Las Vegas, NV
12 – Kewadin Casino – Sault Ste. Marie, MI
19 – Speaking Rock Casino & Entertainment Center – El Paso, TX
27 – Auditorio BlackBerry – Mexico City, Mexico
7 – Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON
8 – Bergen Performing Arts Center – Englewood, NJ
9 – Penn’s Peak – Jim Thorpe, PA
10 – The Emporium – Patchogue, NY
12 – Wildhorse Saloon – Nashville, TN
14 – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi – Biloxi, MS
15 – The Ritz Ybor – Tampa, FL
16 – 20 – Monsters Of Rock Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL
22 – House Of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL
30 – Mohegan Sun Casino – Uncasville, CT
11 – Sweden Rock Cruise – Stockholm, Sweden
13 – Club Teatria – Oulu, Finland
KINGS & THIEVES, the inspiring new album from legendary Queensrÿche vocalist GEOFF TATE, is available today via InsideOut Music. After selling over 20 million albums, receiving four Grammy nominations, and releasing fourteen studio albums, TATE has become one of the most respected vocalists of his time. KINGS & THIEVES will be TATE’s second solo album and first solo effort in over a decade. Fans and press alike have fallen in love with GEOFF TATE’s expertly crafted lyrics, unique progressive style and breathtaking vocals. KINGS & THIEVESonce again shows why TATE is one of the most influential forces in mainstream rock and metal.
KINGS & THIEVES is available at most major outlets including:
GEOFF TATE is currently touring in support of KINGS & THIEVES, including a two-week Canadian run with metal legend ALICE COOPER. More shows are constantly being added, and a list of currently confirmed dates can be seen below.
Interview with Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson & Scott Rockenfield
Conducted by Robert Williams
Video Editing and Photography courtesy of Sandra Torres
Seattle’s progressive metal legends Queensrÿche have recently been under the watchful eyes of the global metal community, due in no small part to a momentous shift in personnel with the exit of longtime vocalist Geoff Tate and the introduction of the band’s new vocalist Todd La Torre (Crimson Glory). A mountain of controversy surrounding the departure of the band’s famed former vocalist resulted in court proceedings between both parties over the use of the band’s name and likeness, not to mention a brief war of words exchanged in the press. When I learned that I would be speaking with founding members Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the chat but found myself somewhat relieved that the band had decided to take the high road and focus our conversation on their current plans with their new vocalist Todd La Torre, what it’s like for them to once again perform their early material in concert and of course a more revitalized return to metal, in general, following the uninspired modern hard rock of last year’s “Devoted To Chaos”. The band were in high spirits, excited about things to come and as evidenced by their performance later that night at the South Texas Rock Fest In San Antonio, Texas I’d say, rightfully so.
The below quote from RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer was posted on Facebook:
“Hey peeps, I really appreciate the loads of positive feedback about the grouping with Geoff and company. A lot of questions about the state of Ratt surfacing as well. Those should be directed in the direction the usual suspects in Ratt’s disappearance, Warren (DeMartini) and Stephen (Pearcy). I’ve exhausted myself for two years with those two. I’m sorry for all the b.s. they have fed false info to fans. Not meant to be mean, just exhausted with unreasonable people.”
As reported earlier, Bobby Blotzer of Ratt has joined GEOFF TATE’s QUEENSRŸCHE along with bassist Rudy Sarzo (ANIMETAL USA, ex-WHITESNAKE), guitarist Glen Drover (ex-MEGADETH), guitarist Kelly Gray (ex-Queensrÿche) and keyboardist Randy Gane.