Geoff Tate on Former Queensryche Bandmates: ‘I Think They’re Not Very Good Business People’
Queensryche and longtime singer Geoff Tate have gone their separate ways, but the vocalist is disputing the reasons why. Tate says rather than “creative differences,” which was cited by the band in their press release, he says it’s more related to the business side of their operations.
The vocalist says that the point at which things came to a head was when the other band members started to push to take their merchandising to a third party. He tells Billboard, “I think they’re not very good business people. And continuously in our career, they had tried to make bad business decisions and this is just another in a long line of ridiculous, bad business decisions that I had to put my foot down and say, ‘No, this is ridiculous. Can’t do this. This is going to end up costing us more. And what’s smart about that?’”
Tate says that through a majority of their career, he not only led the way on the business side, but also the creative and attempts to get guitarist Michael Wilton and drummer Scott Rockenfield more involved in either process didn’t yield any additional contributions.
“It started day one … It’s always been a constant conversation,” says Tate, referring to attempts for the other band members to take a more active role. The singer says that the recent decision to oust him as well as members of their organization came out of the blue. He adds, “To have creative differences, you have to have multiple parties creating and we don’t have that. It’s me driving the ship, me organizing everything, me deciding what the songs are, what the album is, artwork … you name it. My fingers are on it and have been since we started the band.”
Tate says he understands the desire of the other members to branch out on their own, but where he has an issue is that he feels they should stand on their own and not rely on the music that he created. He adds, “I think that would be the honorable thing to do rather than trying to make a living off what I’ve done, what I’ve created. Especially if there’s a situation where it has to be decided about the name and the legalities. I would think they would have the decorum and the respect for [what was] built over the years to take care of that stuff before they launch into a public arena and claim themselves to be something that they’re not.”
At this point, all communication between Tate and the rest of the band is being done through lawyers. On June 22, the singer filed a lawsuit against the remaining members for wrongful termination. In the interim, the members of Queensryche have replaced Tate with singer Todd La Torre and have already performed Queensryche material under the moniker Rising West.