Ending months of speculation following a band confrontation in Brazil and their singer later insulting the audience at Rocklahoma, Seattle metal legends Queensrÿche and their frontman Geoff Tate have parted ways after 31 years together. The group recently performed two gigs in Seattle as Rising West with Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre, and he has now become Queensrÿche’s new vocalist. Drummer Scott Rockenfield made an exclusive statement to Christa Titus at Billboard about the situation.
“Over the past few months, there have been growing creative differences within Queensrÿche,” reported Rockenfield. “We want our fans to know that we hoped to find a common resolution, but in the end parting ways with Geoff was the best way for everyone to move forward in a positive direction. We wish him the best of luck with all of his future endeavors. We can’t wait to bring Queensrÿche to our fans with Todd behind the microphone.” He added that scheduled Queensrÿche performances — including opening some dates for the Scorpions this summer — “are on hold at [the] present time and revised routing is being worked on. Fans can check the band’s website for all of the latest tour information as it [becomes] available.”
Billboard was not able to obtain a comment from Tate about his reactions to the events. The singer is scheduled to play the Shiprocked cruise festival that takes place between November 27th and December 1st.
While the Queensrÿche split undoubtedly disappoints many longtime fans, the silver lining here is that Tate can focus on his second solo album, which will probably explore a wide range of musical styles as his solid, self-titled first album did, while Queensrÿche can put out the balls-out metal record that fans expected with last year’s Dedicated To Chaos but did not receive.
Expect more news from both parties about their plans in the near future.