Q: This whole situation and court battle over QUEENSRŸCHE is something most of us could never have forseen back in the 90s but yet here we are talking about it sadly enough. Is there ever a day where the whole drama just doesn’t even enter your head?
A: "Oh yeah, quite often (laughs). Yeah, yeah... You know, initially, the first few months that this all started happening was a very difficult time but I’ve kind of gotten past that now and am in a much better place now where things seem a lot more brighter. I had my new solo album, Kings And Thieves and the tour supporting that and that helped, just playing shows and supporting that. I never even think about the former lineup at this point, of course they launched a lawsuit against me that I won basically and from then on, I really haven’t thought about it too much. Our court date isn’t until November, 2013 so I basically have until then until all of that is officially decided, which is quite a ways from now. A lot of water is going to go under the bridge before then, definitely."
Q: You surprised more than a few fans in recent months with your statements that you wouldn’t be opposed to sitting down in a room and just trying to talk rationally with those guys. On an obviously much less important note I have noticed that those guys are often not that accessible from a publicity end. We have reached out numerous times to both Michael Wilton and were actually scheduled to talk to Scott Rockenfield but both times have come up empty-handed. Have you also found a series of unending emails or found them pretty difficult to reach directly? (laughs)
A: (laughs) "Yeah, that’s pretty much been my experience over the years. That doesn’t surprise me. You know John, you’ve probably recognized the fact that I have probably done 99 percent of the interviews over the course of Queensryche’s career. There’s a reason for that, there was a reason for that when I talked to you for the last album and there’s been a reason for that our entire career; I’ve been incredibly careful and diligent about presenting our image in a certain way. I’m recognized, pretty universally, as the spokesperson for the band and there’s a reason for that (laughs). I can reliably do my interviews and put a sentence together and I think I have a very good handle on what it is that I am trying to do within the band as the band leader. I have always thought that we were collectively on the same page about this over the years so when they fired me it came as a complete shock. It was like a kick upside the head that I wasn’t expecting at all, especially at this point in our career where we’ve been a successful band for 30 plus years and have a very respected name around the world. Why in the world would any SANE people launch this whole shakeup and fire everybody who is your support system and everyone who’s involved with you, cancel all your income for the year and cut your head off by firing the face and voice of your band. They have basically sliced their own throat and rubbed the name of the band in the dirt in this quest of theirs and have no sane reason why such madness was necessary. It doesn’t make any sense. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what their whole plan is, what is their plan after the court date, it just doesn’t make any sense."
Read the complete interview at this location.
The Geoff Tate-fronted Queensrÿche are currently mixing their upcoming album with Jason Slater. Guitarist Craig Locicero (FORBIDDEN, SPIRALARMS) has just revealed that he and drummer Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, Forbidden) "have played most of the music" on the album that will also feature bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE), guitarist Kelly Gray (Queensrÿche 1998 - 2001), keyboardist Randy Gane, guitarist Robert Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, HURRICANE), drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO) and guest appearances by K.K. Downing (ex-JUDAS PRIEST), Brad Gillis (NIGHT RANGER), Dave Meniketti (Y&T), Ty Tabor (KING'S X) and Bobby Blotzer (RATT).
Locicero says that the album "is WAY HEAVIER then most anyone is expecting!
Geoff and Jason have been nothing but awesome to us and it gave Paul and I (pictured below) a chance to contribute together on a metal record once again. I was working on it for a few weeks and play on every song. There are kick ass solo contributions from Dave Meniketti, Ty Tabor, Brad Gillis, KK Downing and Chris Cannella. As well as bass played by Rudy Sarzo and more drums from Simon Write. It's some great company to be around and it was an honor to be a part of it.
I know what the perception of the Queensrÿche camp is and I really don't give a fuck. QR was one of my favorite bands from the EP through Operation Mindcrime. When I was approached about doing the record I did contemplate all of the turmoil, but I love a challenge. I accepted the challenge and think Geoff has a kick ass record to deliver the fans...in spite of what some may expect. The songs are cool, classy and in some cases stupidly heavy!
So there you have it. I am not IN Queensrÿche, SpiralArms is still my baby with a killer record to be released very soon. So Geoff has a touring line-up ready to go this Summer. I'm simply stoked to have put some my riff-age in the mix with once of heavy metal's most recognizable and classic voices."
The Geoff-Tate-fronted Queensrÿche will release the full-length via Cleopatra Records later this year.
The Operation: Mindcrime 25th Anniversary tour is slated to begin in April (see below) with the new line-up. The performance will cover all fifteen songs from the album including such fan favorites as 'Revolution Calling', 'Operation: Mindcrime', 'I Don't Believe in Love', and the closing track, 'Eyes of a Stranger'. It will also feature other selections from the Queensrÿche catalog including songs from Operation: Mindcrime II.
25th Anniversary Operation: Mindcrime Tour 2013
6 - Peppermill Casino in West Wendover, Nevada
11 - Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado
12 - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico
13 - Chrome in Las Vegas, Nevada
14 - Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona
16 - Rialto Theatre in Tucson, Arizona
18 - The Canyon Club in Agoura, California
19 - 4th & B in San Diego, California
20 - Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California
21 - Fillmore in San Francisco, California
More dates to be announced.