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The Tale of Two Queensrÿches

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The "original" Queensrÿche, with new frontman Todd La Torre (center)

The "original" Queensrÿche, with new frontman Todd La Torre (center)

During their thirty-plus year recording and touring career, Queensrÿche came to define the term "progressive" metal. Anchored by the trademark twin-guitar heroics of Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton and the jaw-dropping vocal acrobatics of Geoff Tate, Queensrÿche was known as "the thinking man's metal band" thanks to such heady opuses as 1984's The Warning, 1986's Rage For Order, and 1988's epic concept album Operation: Mindcrime. 1990's Empire proved to be the band's mainstream high point, scoring triple platinum sales and a Grammy-nominated single with the Pink Floyd-ian "Silent Lucidity."

Many fans consider 1994's Promised Land to be the Ryche's last truly essential work. Since then, the band has fought an uphill battle to remain relevant. Guitarist Chris DeGarmo—one of the band's major songwriters—left the group after 1997's under-performing Hear In The Now Frontier and soon Queensrÿche was churning out one underwhelming album after another (Q2K, anyone? Tribe? American Soldier? Nah, I didn't think so) with a rotating cast of replacement guitarists.

Trouble in Paradise? Queensrÿche in the Mid-2000s.

Their album sales may have been on the decline in the early 2000s, but Queensrÿche were still a powerful draw on the concert circuit. By this time it was fairly common knowledge amongst fans that Queensrÿche was Tate's family business as well as his band. His wife Susan had been the band's manager for a number of years and his daughter Miranda (who was married to QR guitarist Parker Lundgren at the time) was in charge of their merchandising and other business affairs. The rest of the band members, while seemingly OK with these arrangements on the outside, had apparently begun harboring resentments which inevitably came to a head. The final straw may have been the ill-fated "Queensrÿche Cabaret" tour of 2009-10, in which the band performed in a circus-like atmosphere with acrobats, strippers, fire breathers and drag queens on stage with them. Reviews of the "Cabaret" tour were savage and the absolutely dismal performance of 2011's Dedicated To Chaos album - the lowest selling of their career - likely didn't help much.

Geoff Tate's "You guys suck!" rant at Rocklahoma 2012

Things get ugly...

Unlike many of their '80s rock brethren. Queensrÿche was never a band that chased headlines or courted controversy. Perhaps this is why it was such a surprise when reports of strife in their camp suddenly began hitting the rock press on a regular basis in mid-2012. An April report claimed that Tate pulled a knife on his band mates (!) backstage prior to a concert in Brazil, as they'd apparently chosen that time to inform him that his wife and daughter had been fired from their management duties. Queensrÿche went on with the show regardless, but Tate took his rage out on drummer Scott Rockenfield by spitting on him repeatedly throughout the concert. Two American gigs in May 2012 - at the "M3" and "Rocklahoma" retro-rock festivals - were marked by lifeless performances and finally, a bizarre onstage rant by Tate at Rocklahoma, where he berated the audience and told them, "You guys suck!" Clips of Tate's rant quickly made their way to YouTube and became a viral video sensation. The question "What the hell is up with the Ryche?" soon became a hot topic on metal Internet forums. Fans didn't know it yet, but Rocklahoma 2012 would be the last time Geoff Tate took the stage as a member of Queensrÿche.

"Rising West" performs "Queen of the Reich"

Enter... Rising West: Queensrÿche in 2012.

As if things weren't weird enough already, the remaining members of Queensrÿche booked two shows in early June 2012 at the Seattle Hard Rock Cafe under the name "Rising West" - a supposed "side project" fronted by Todd La Torre, a powerhouse vocalist and lifelong Ryche fan best known as a member of veteran progressive metal act Crimson Glory. Rising West performed a set of classic songs from the band's first five albums (i.e. the material that long time fans really want to hear!) and by all accounts, they went down a storm. Tate, meanwhile, used musicians from his solo project to fill some outstanding concert dates opening for the Scorpions.

Goodbye Geoff, Hello Todd

In late June 2012, it was official: Geoff Tate had been fired and Todd La Torre was the band's new vocalist. This was not really a surprise to anyone who'd been following the saga thus far. It had been quite obvious from the beginning that the "Rising West" gigs were not intended to launch a side project, they were a tryout to see if La Torre could handle fronting the group. Tate immediately filed suit in court hoping to halt the band's use of the "Queensrÿche" name. Several volleys of back-and-forth legal paperwork followed -- Tate claimed that he'd been unjustly fired from his position, while Queensrÿche charged that Tate had made working conditions within the band unbearable. Despite all the drama, the "new" band continued to move forward. Queensrÿche's first official show with La Torre took place in July 2012 at Minnesota's "Halfway Jam" festival, where they garnered rave reviews from audience members and fellow performers alike. Michael Sweet of Stryper, whose band also appeared at the Halfway Jam, witnessed the set and later remarked on Stryper's Facebook page that Todd had "breathed new life into the band."

Geoff Tate's  "other" Queensrÿche, including Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot) and Kelly Gray

Geoff Tate's "other" Queensrÿche, including Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot) and Kelly Gray

A Tale of Two Ryches

In October of 2012, a Washington State judge declared that until Tate's lawsuit was settled, there was no legal barrier preventing him from performing under the "Queensrÿche" name, saying, "I don't see any reason that Mr. Tate can't have the benefit, if he gets other members...of using the brand." While the judge did warn that such a move might be "inherently confusing" to fans, he felt sure that eventually "the market can get these things sorted out." With that in mind, Tate wasted no time in announcing his own "all-star" version of Queensrÿche, which was to feature Bobby Blotzer of Ratt on drums, guitarists Glen Drover (ex-Megadeth) and Kelly Gray (a longtime Tate associate and onetime Queensryche member), bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Dio, Ozzy Osbourne) and keyboardist Randy Gane. Naturally, the idea of two competing versions of "Queensrÿche" was met with skepticism by most fans. (As one particularly astute message board poster on put it, "Blotzer can barely play Ratt songs, how's he gonna play Queensrÿche songs?")

Dueling Albums

In January 2013, Geoff's version of Queensrÿche (or "Tate-ryche," as many fans had begun calling it) announced that they'd signed a deal with Cleopatra Records and had begun work on a new studio album -- despite being plagued by near-constant lineup changes. Guitarist Glen Drover and drummer Bobby Blotzer both exited the Tate-ryche fold by late 2012 and were replaced by Robert Sarzo (an ex-member of Hurricane and brother of bassist Rudy) and former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, respectively. Tate also announced that his debut for Cleopatra would feature cameo performances by a number of "celebrity guests" including former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing, former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland, Ty Tabor of King's X, former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph, Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis and Y&T's Dave Meniketti... all of which begged the question, did anybody in Tate's supposed "band" actually play on the record?

Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche's FREQUENCY UNKNOWN album cover. Note the prominent "F.U."...

Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche's FREQUENCY UNKNOWN album cover. Note the prominent "F.U."...

Meanwhile, the "original" Queensrÿche continued recording their first studio album with Todd La Torre on vocals, working with producer James "Jimbo" Barton, a veteran of the Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, and Promised Land sessions. reported that Todd had resigned from Crimson Glory in early February of 2013 and made the Ryche his full time gig.

On March 4, 2013, the "La Torre version" of Queensrÿche announced that they'd signed a new recording contract with Century Media Records -- one of the leading record labels in the metal and extreme music field. Their extensive artist roster includes such bands as Iced Earth, Lacuna Coil, and Arch Enemy.

Not to be outdone, mere hours after his former bandmates' news hit the Internet, Geoff Tate announced the title and release date of his "Queensrÿche's" new album. The "Tate-ryche" album, titled Frequency Unknown, contained 10 new songs, plus four newly-recorded versions of QR classics as "bonus tracks." Tate's camp also revealed the cover art to the new album... a fist wearing prominent metal rings shaped like an "F" and a "U." Real classy, Geoff.

"COLD" From "Frequency Unknown"


While Geoff continued his Operation: Mindcrime anniversary tour and replaced a few more band members, the Todd La Torre fronted version of the band unveiled the cover and track listing to their album in late April 2013. Drummer Scott Rockenfield said of the self-titled album, "this gets said often by a lot of bands, but we have recorded some of our finest music in years...the addition of Todd has revitalized this band in ways we never knew."

On May 1st, 2013, the first-week sales for Frequency Unknown were revealed. The album sold approximately 5,500 copies in the U.S. during the first seven days of its release, achieving a rank of #82 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Frequency Unknown sold slightly less in its first week than 2011's Dedicated to Chaos (approx. 8,000 copies) and was a far cry from the first-week sales of 2009's American Soldier (21,000) and 2006's Operation: Mindcrime II (44,000).

The self titled Queensrÿche album by the La Torre lineup was released on June 25th and it moved approximately 13,500 copies in its first week, reaching the #23 position on Billboard.

In other words, that judge was correct -- the market had indeed sorted things out, and the fans were voting for the La Torre fronted lineup with their wallets.

"Queensrÿche" self titled album cover

"Queensrÿche" self titled album cover

At Last...There Can Be Only One!!

On April 28, 2014, both sides of the battle announced that they'd settled their differences without taking things into court, ending nearly two years of animosity and mud slinging.

According to the Seattle Times, Geoff Tate and his former bandmates reached an agreement that officially makes the La Torre-fronted band "the sole entity recording and touring as Queensrÿche." In exchange, Tate has been given the exclusive rights to stage "complete" live concert performances of the Operation Mindcrime I and II rock operas (the "other" QR can continue to play individual songs from those albums in their live sets, but cannot perform either album in its entirety). Tate described this as similar to Pink Floyd's situation when Roger Waters was given exclusive performance rights to The Wall when he split from the band. "Mindcrime was my thing and my story, so it's appropriate that I keep that."

Tate embarked on a brief "farewell" concert tour under the Queensrÿche banner in August 2014 to fulfill concert commitments that he'd already booked prior to the settlement. At the conclusion of that tour, he changed the name of his band to "Operation Mindcrime."

Geoff Tate's Operation Mindcrime: "Re-Inventing The Future"

As of this writing (March 2019), Operation: Mindcrime's third album, The New Reality, was released in December of 2017, and Queensryche's third album with Todd La Torre, The Verdict, came out in 2019 through Century Media Records.

Obviously it's been a fairly bizarre couple of years for all of the musicians involved in this drama, but it looks like both sides have put the past behind them and are now ready to continue forging ahead doing what they do best - creating and performing music.

"Arrow of Time" from "Condition Human"

"Queensryche" (2013)

© 2012 Keith Abt


Ronnie James Haldford on June 13, 2019:

I heard few weeks ago the trilogy of Tate. The quality of the sound is terrible. I don't know what happened with this great musician. The lyrics and music from these three albums is terrible. I heard him in Avanstacia and the voice is great, but in these three albums form Operation Mindcrime, he looks that he lost his voice.

Joe Baca on August 01, 2015:

That Tater tune is actually pretty good! Looks like we might get good material from both camps after all.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on August 01, 2015:

Updated with info on both Queensryche and Tate's upcoming new albums...

mike k on October 05, 2014:

LOL love some of these posts. of course the new Queensryche album sounds like Queensryche. Not 1 original note, and a guy hired to be a Geoff Tate impersonator. Fact being that There is no one left in the band to create anything other then recycling the very same songs with modified lyrics. It's in to bash Geoff, but without him, they are merely just a coverband, covering old songs with new words. Face facts, all the music was created by Tate and Degarmo. Not 1 original thought in these other clowns heads. And LaTorre. Liked him in Crimson Glory, because he sounded like Tate, and now he is Tate. And people will like him, because he does Tate. Smart move on their part, because the voice of Tate, and Degarmos brilliance is the closest these guys will ever come to being musicians. Just proved that Queensryche truly can't survive without Tate.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on July 31, 2014:


Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 29, 2014:

UPDATED since the battle for the Queensryche brand name has FINALLY been settled!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on September 06, 2013:


Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on July 03, 2013:

Hi Freedom - I guess we'll see how it all shakes out. At least now I shouldn't have to update this Hub again till the court case in November. Haha

FreedomMetal from Somewhere In Time on July 03, 2013:

Updated again - lol!!!!!!! As expected, Tater got his a$$ handed to him in record sales (and he has been in concert attendance too - playing to 1/4 to 1/2 fill small theaters and clubs.)

Killer album from The Ryche!!!! I didn't think I would like it as much as a do - I initially thought it would be a good, return to form. I haven't listened to much else since my copy arrived (something else I didn't expect to happen either!) Of course, as short as the album is (70's/early 80's album length), it makes it easy to listen to it again (and again.)

Todd sounds great on the album! Yes, he does sound like Tate on some of the songs, and he sounds like himself on others. You can hear his influences in his vocals - (Dickinson, Alder, Halford and The Vest.) The good news is they have already been writing for the next album \m/

As far as the law suit, the judge that made the comment about the "market sorting itself out" was replaced shortly after the ruling that allowed Tate to pretend to be Queensryche. If that was the real issue, it's long over. But, it's really a corporate business case and that was over long before it started. The band was smart enough to pull business documents together years ago that outlines how to handle these situations - which left Vestical out in the cold with only the ability to bill himself as Geoff Tate, formerly of Queenryche for 1 year (kind of like a prenup.) Hopefully the new judge actually understands business law.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on July 03, 2013:

Thanx for your comment, Scott. I have yet to hear the ToddRyche album in its entirety but I've had Tate's F.U. for a while now and aside from three tracks ("Cold," "Slave" and "Everything") I thought it was pretty "meh." The ToddRyche CD is next on my shopping list.

...and hey, first week sales figures for the ToddRyche album were released today so I updated this piece with that info!!!

Scott on June 29, 2013:

I've listened to both albums now. Neither measures up to even Q2K, which by the way is music I liked and some of it a lot. Sacred Ground and Burning Man get cranked in my car all the time. What I find upsetting on this page is that people seem to want to give Scott, Eddie, and Michael the benefit of the doubt, but crucify and castrate Geoff. I just looked back over their entire discography to see who wrote most of the material. I'd say 75 -80% of it is Geoff's either alone or with another songwriter. Fans of the LaTorre version seem to want blame Tate for taking over and being the driving force behind the band in the last 10 years. I think it was because he had to. Look at the liner notes for HITHF. ALL songs by DEGARMO/TATE. Every last one of them. Feels like it was actually the other way around. They were hanging on GT's coattails not he on theirs. Bottom line is that both new albums are listenable. If you give Todd too high of marks I think its because you hear a little bit more than is there. He's good, but do you really think he's Tate good? When the songs a bit slower and the vocal control for the lower register is needed, he doesn't have it. For those that think GT has lost it, I urge you to let go of your anger and go see for yourself. You'll get lost in Mindcrime done by the guy who wrote it. Peace out and I hope you all are just like me and want good music (Rock) to have a renaissance!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 30, 2013:

I'm thinkin' the CDs need to come with a score card... can't tell what's going on in this saga without a score card!!

Georgie Lowery from North Florida on April 29, 2013:

If you buy both cds, get extras and don't open the other two!

Jeez, Louise this is getting confusing!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 29, 2013:

Updated (yet again) with latest info from both the TateRyche and ToddRyche camps... including a peek at the ToddRyche album cover!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 24, 2013:

Glad you liked it!!

StitchTheDamned from Clifton Park, NY on April 24, 2013:

Wow! This is incredbly interesting. Thank you for the post!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 23, 2013:

Updated because the "Frequency Unknown" album by Geoff Tate's Queensryche was released today!!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 23, 2013:

^^ Yep, I heard about this, Jeff. I imagine that it went down something like this:

Drummer Simon Wright: "I'll be right back, Geoff, I'm just gonna run across the street for.... a pack of cigarettes. Yeeeaaaahh, a pack of cigarettes. That's it."

(Simon runs outdoor, hops in a taxi, speeds away, never returns...)

Jeff on April 22, 2013:

To make things even more interesting..

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 07, 2013:

Tate's game plan is simple: he wants to be the first one to get an album out under the "Queensryche" name so when they go to court he can say to the judge, "See your honor? I was there first!" ... never mind that the album was a rush job, recorded by a bunch of hired gun musicians, none of whom are in his actual "band."

He's more concerned about keeping the name than about releasing anything of quality.

Keith Ham from Niagara Falls, Ontario on April 07, 2013:

queequeensrychehahah: I don't think that bands make as much money as you think, more than often they make back, sometimes barely, what they spent and just use that to make another record - hoping they still make money off the last so that they might support themselves better. Pink Floyd, if you read Nick Mason's book, was completely broke after a while and The Wall and Darkside of the Moon had them bankrupt despite their popularity. The only one to make money off The Wall was Rich Wright because Roger kicked him out and only kept him on as a hired artist.

queequeensrychehahah on April 07, 2013:

Tate's version is just a middle finger out of spite to the band and the fans. It's a money grab, he's admitted as much. Record an album to confuse everyone, but no one's buying it. Plus 2 people already left his original lineup and then they can't get a guy to remix his crappy sounding album originally mixed by the old producer that started recording his solo projects disguised as Queensryche albums starting with Mindcrime 2. And lets face it both bands are cover acts. Like Megadeth to Metallica to GN'R when their most popular lineups broke up. They're all controlled by nutjobs since their original members left and now they're nothing more than cash grabs.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 04, 2013:

That could've been EMI. Back in the day seven or eight album deals were the standard in the record industry... but it was rare to see a band ever complete a deal like that and come out the other side, they'd usually break up before they could deliver that many albums... which is why certain bands end up releasing so many "Live" albums or "Greatest Hits" compilations. Haha

Keith Ham from Niagara Falls, Ontario on April 04, 2013:

I heard that they had a record deal which forced them to write 8 records within a certain amount of years somewhere back... And they'd been struggling for sometime to get out of it.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 04, 2013:

@ Keith - which contract are you referring to? They've been signed to several different labels over the past decade or so. When their original label, EMI, went bust in the late 90s they moved to Atlantic for one album ("Q2K" in 2000) and since then they've released material via Sanctuary Records and Rhino Records.

Keith Ham from Niagara Falls, Ontario on April 03, 2013:

I wonder if this split was due to the contract they were forced into years ago which nearly destroyed the band several times... The one which forced them to create countless albums at some unrealistic rate.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 03, 2013:

Updated! Tatesryche has released a sneak peek album track "COLD" via YouTube! Check it out above!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 03, 2013:

They did a mini "Mindcrime" set when I saw them on the Promised Land tour in 1995, too.

...and the idea of a sequel to "Music From the Elder" absolutely terrifies me. Haha

Lorne Carter from Fayetteville, Arkansas on April 03, 2013:

Actually last time I saw the Ryche was when they did their three part show comprised of Rage for Order, American Solder and Empire. Going in and knew not to expect it, and still it was a great show. In fact of the 4 times I’ve seen the Ryche only 2 times did they do songs from Mindcrime. (Empire tour where they did it in its entirety and the Hear in the Now tour) Of course the first time was when they opened for Ratt in 86 before Mindcrime.

So don’t think they’ve flogged it as much as the public has demanded it. How many years did fans geek out at the mere mention of Mindcrime part II? And after all if they don’t deliver it who will? Besides has Pink Floyd / Roger Waters ever been condemned for flogging “The Wall?” How many times has the Who broke out “Tommy?” I’m sure if Music from the Elder had been any kind of success Kiss would have toured behind it 5 times and had 3 sequels and a prequel.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 03, 2013:

Thanks for the comments, all.

@ evo68 -you've got a point. They've been relying on/flogging "Mindcrime" on tour for far too long!

Skydiver777 on April 03, 2013:

I wish the original guys would stop all of this crap and put their differences aside and play the music the music we all love with the original lineup.

evo68 on April 03, 2013:

tate lost my respect when he showed very little respect towards the fans at rocklahoma.I do think he is going through a midlife crisis lol.all that insania rubbish,and as brilliant as mindcrime is,how many more time can a band tour an album.I live in england and ive seen mindcrime 3 or 4 times now on 4 different tours in the last 20 years.It might not seem too bad to some people but i think it is kind of playing on the fact that,Empire aside ,everything that followed mindcrime was pretty much crap.You could have made one good album out of the lot.if you're gonna live in the past,play the stuff that got you your fan base in the first place,you know the stuff so im not gonna list it but everything up to mindcrime.I believe wiltons QR are doing exactly that and for me they will get my vote every time but i will listen to tates QR out of interest but i don't expect much as im not a fan of his solo stuff and for me this is essentially a solo album.Please note,this is only my opinion and have not come on here to put anyones nose out of joint,lol

Charles Velasquez on April 02, 2013:

A brilliant campaign to put QR back on the map. What better way to get the pubic looking at you again. RYCHE ON! A FAN FOR LIFE!!!!!

Nik Braswell on April 02, 2013:

F*** Tater. I saw the real Queensryche (with 3/5 of the original members) in Corpus Christi, TX (Oct, 2012) It was the show I had wanted to see for over 18 years.

shaun on April 02, 2013:

Great article

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Hey Freedom!! ToddRyche played in New Jersey (my home area) a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately I wasn't able to check them out -- a friend of mine did and his report was very similar to yours, i.e. that the band seemed to be having fun on stage again, which he hadn't seen in quite a few tours.

FreedomMetal from Somewhere In Time on April 02, 2013:

Saw Queensryche (the real one, not Tater and tot's Vestryche) last month and it was an amazing gig! Todd NAILED it and the band was on fire. They had something that has been missing for years - chemistry on stage! Aside from La Torre, Parker Lundgren has really proven himself. He and Whip have great chemistry on stage and is by far the best 2nd guitarist since DeGarmo left the band (the real reason was revealed in the court docs, which was because of Geoff Tate's behavior.)

DeGarmo has been a class act, staying away from the drama. The closest we will probably ever get to a statement from Chris is what Scott Rockenfield said during an interview with Eddie Trunk - that Chris stayed friends with most of the band and has been supported of the changes in Queensryche. Still, would LOVE to see DeGarmo hop on stage with boys during Queen Of The Ryche as a BIG "Frequency Unknown" to Tate.

He could have really let loose on Tate, but has stayed classy - which is the same thing the band has done about firing Tate. I met the band after the show and they all kept it classy and wouldn't slam Tate. They were all very thankful to the fans for their support.

I haven't this excited about a new Queensryche album since waiting for Empire to arrive in stores! Can't wait to hear it!

As far as Frequency Unknown - I won't be spending a dime on that POS!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Hi Ginfire - I'm digging "Redemption" as well, haven't heard much of the GT album yet aside from some brief snippets on iTunes, and those were pretty low quality so I didn't hear enough to make a call on it one way or the other. I'll give Geoff this much, he's got an impressive roster of players on his record, but that doesn't make it a true "band," if you know what I mean.

ginfire on April 02, 2013:


Well I listened to 3 or 4 of the samples from the new Geoff Tate Queensryche and I listened to the new QUEENSRYCHE song called Redemption in full and there is no comparison IMHO. Queensryche sounds like Queensryche but not one of the samples from GT's version sounded anything like Queensryche with the exception of GT's voice. GT's Queensryche sounds like a decent GT solo CD while the new QR song sounds like true Queensryche = BRILLIANT...again, IMHO.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

CRyche - obviously it's all about name recognition. Lots more people know the name "Queensryche" than "Rising West," or "Geoff Tate" or "Geoff and the Tater Tots" or whatever. If one side or the other gave up the name they'd be starting over from scratch.

CRyche7 on April 02, 2013:

I have been reading everything that has happened and I have been a longtime Queensryche fan, my only question is: Now that DeGarmo has left the band and Tate has been fired, Why don't the remaining members keep the name Rising West and Mr. Tate stay a solo act? I like the sound of the new Queensryche with LaTorre, but it will not be Queensryche

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

@ Eric - The way things have been going, I'm half expecting that a third Queensryche centered around the long-absent and greatly missed Mr. DeGarmo will make its debut any minute now. :)

Eric on April 02, 2013:

And yet neither has Chris De Garmo, who was in it for the period that the band was good. So are either band really Queensryche?

AI on April 02, 2013:


Though I do not agree with your whole post, I admire your passion for music and the genre. I do agree that Promised Land was the last album that had a great sound and vibe to it too, but can't believe that it was all due to Geoff Tate. I also can not agree that Chris Degarmo was Queensryche more than any other member of the group, (especially after saying that no one member is the band). Chris left the band to become a pilot, minus some guest appearances on other people's discs like Jerry Cantrell's. I also do not agree with calling Rudy Sarzo or Simon Wright hired guns, when instead Geoff Tate was able to pull in some friends and play. Again, I just agree to disagree and still have to back Geoff Tate. But like I said, I do admire your passion and respect your input. Good debating with you......

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Daniel - wow, sometimes I don't need to post at all. You totally nailed how I feel about this whole thing too. Haha. Nice one!!

Daniel on April 02, 2013:

To Al -

I just have some observations from reading your comment. In my mind, Queensrÿche has never been about just one person. In the classic era it was about the collective. Everyone contributed to the creation of the music. By the time that stopped, the magic slowly went away (Promised Land is the last one with that "band feel").

If there is one person who can be said to be Queensrÿche, it should be Chris DeGarmo.

About the Tate band, it is not really a band. It's a bunch of hired hands who will go out and play Operation Mindcrime. The new Tate album "Frequency Unknown" was written by producer Jason Slater and session musicians recorded it. It's similar to the last three QR albums where that band feel is all but missing.

I think that Simon Wright has played drums on 1 or 2 tracks and Sarzo has played a little bit bass. Most bass was played by producer Jason Slater.

Queensrÿche is no man's ego trip and that is why I support the Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield version. They have been there since before there was a Queensrÿche and once upon a time, Wilton was a great song writer. The new song "Redemption" very much sounds like a Wilton song and a lot of the old QR elements are present, along with a more modern heaviness.

Wilton, Jackson, Rockenfield, Lundgren and LaTorre are Queensrÿche to me. They sound like the band should have sounded after Promised Land, and they are once again a band.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Thanks for stopping by, Al. I agree with you, many bands have suffered with "Lead Singer's Disease" over the years, Queensryche is only the latest.

AI on April 02, 2013:

I can not believe how uneven the vote was of which Queensryche to support! I am absolutely blown away. As I read the comments after the article, I see that many people's reasons are things like they feel Geoff Tate is strange or unappreciative of his success. I got a news flash for all you who are saying this and side with the "wanna-be" Queensryche, ALL SINGERS ARE STRANGE. ALL FRONTMAN HAVE COMPLEXES AND EGOS! That's what makes them all so great. You think the existing members of Van Halen really like David Lee Roth? NO!!!!! But, he was the ultimate frontman, and an awesome singer for their music at the time. Geoff Tate is Queensryche. We have seen this band break up thing happen to so many GREAT metal bands (LA Guns, Motley Crue-which of course got back together later, Skid Row, Dokken, and the list goes on and on). As a TRUE fan, this sucks! I get how hard it is to be around someone day in and day out, but what happened to the love of music. Maybe that is a naïve or blind cliché statement, but I have it and would like to think that some of the great musicians I look up too, also have it. All this drama is disappointing is all. The break up of Queensryche, and whether or not Geoff Tate was in the right or wrong does show one thing to consider..... Look at the band he put together. He put together an all-star line up that includes some of rock and metal's best, Rudy Sarzo from Ozzy Whitesnake fame and Simon Wright from AC/DC and Dio line ups.... Do any of you REALLY think that musicians of their caliber would get with a "dictator", a "tyrant", a "diva", a "has been", and I could keep going with the things I have read that people have said about Geoff. My thoughts are, NO WAY, they would never do that to themselves. Because guess what people? They aren't hurting for money or playing opportunities. My vote and 100% support goes to Geoff Tate and his band, the REAL Queensryche. Period!!!!!!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Hi Lorne - good points, all of them. Thanks for your input.

Lorne Carter from Fayetteville, Arkansas on April 02, 2013:

Nice write up

I would add that in a day and age where you have multiple acts touring under the same moniker (LA Guns, Great White etc come to mind) it’s not the courts but the public that usually decides who wins.

Case in point a lot of people don’t consider the current lineup of GnR the real GnR. Yet, Chinese Democracy still went platinum. (Yes it disappointed in sales but 99.8% of today’s releases will if their compared to Appetite for Destruction’s sales and influence. ) and GnR are filling up arenas and headlining festivals. I think Slash has a better product out there between the new music and live concerts but he’s only doing theaters and clubs. So I’m in the minority.

Give it a few years, the controversy won’t go away as long as there are two versions of the band, just as fans have been begging for Chris Degramo to come back to the fold for decades. But I think in a few years you’re going to see a clear winner.

I can’t judge until I hear both records, but the safe money is betting against Geoff Tate. Better singers have flopped as solo artist or fronting their version of a band (Steven Tyler, Paul Stanley, Vince Neil and Mick Jagger come to mind) and it seems only David Coverdale can reinvent the all-star band line-up and succeed. Not that I can’t be wrong or am rooting against Tate, but history isn’t on his side.

Donna Deist on April 02, 2013:

( sorry i accidentally hit send beforei could finish my comment)

great music from the band. i really honestly feel that Michael , Eddie or Scott don't receive enough recognition that they truly deserve. we have to remember that without them , Queensryche would not exist. they are extremely talented in everything they do. maybe this split is a very good thing. without Geoff or Chris , it gives the world a chance to see how talented these guys really are. the fact that they have lasted this long says a lot about them. i've always admired the fact that they aren't out for fame or Glory , they're just doing what they love to do. i honestly hope that these guys will make music for many years to come.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

@ Donna Deist - no worries.

Donna Deist on April 02, 2013:

guys in my last post please don't get me wrong. i have always liked Geoff as a singer and he did do some great things with the band. everything that i wrote in my previous post still holds true but it's not meant to attack him as a person. what i don't like about him especially in recent years , is how he & his family have used the band to promote themselves.

as for Chris Degarmo , i have always liked him. he was & probably still is my favorite band member. i've also learned to appreciate the band with or without Chris. since chris departed , i've heard some

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

@ Mike - I'm not a lawyer but if I had to make a guess, I'd say that at the very least whichever side loses the battle over the Queensryche name would have to withdraw their album from the market and eventually reprint/re-release it under a "new" name. So hey, I'm gonna buy both CDs cuz one of them will be a collector's item sooner or later! Haha.

@ Dr. X - please let us know if Mr. DeGarmo responds to your plea. I'd love to hear what he has to day.

@ Baldmark - "If I told them once, I told them a thousand times, put Geoff Tate's name ABOVE the puppet show!!!" Hahahaha

Baldmark on April 02, 2013:

Another example of having someone's wife or significant other run a band; SPINAL TAP!!!

Dr X on April 02, 2013:

Thanks for allowing me to comment about this silly band drama fatfreddy. I just added Mr. DeGarmo as a friend on face book and sent him the following plea.

Please feel free to post this if you wish.


For the sake of us fans who absolutely love the "DeGarmo" version of Queensryche, can you please find a way to help put an end to the new dual Queensryche drama?

I understand why you left the band in 1997. Due to the size of Geoff's ego there was no room on stage, nor on the tour bus for any other band member.

There are those of us fans out here that know who made the Original band so good. I think that it is sad that there are now two bands, using the same name basically making a living off of doing covers that you wrote and performed so well.

I hope the note finds you doing well and in good spirits.

Best Regards,

Greg Johnson , Waxhaw NC.

Mike on April 02, 2013:

In November the courts decide which of the 2 camps legally gets the name. Does that mean if Toddryche wins, they inherit the rights to FU? Or vice versa if Tateryche wins do they claim rights to the upcoming Toddryche album? Given both camps are tied to the same QR band name 'brand' this looks like it has the potential for being an issue.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Hi OpenRiverTech - I just took a look at Cleo's web page out of curiosity and wow, "basic" isn't even the word for it. Haha.

I did find it funny that L.A. Guns is listed on their page, as they're another band who also recently went through the "two bands, same name" legal drama that Queensryche are currently experiencing.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Hi Dr. X... since this drama started, I've often wondered how Mr. De Garmo must feel about the whole thing. I'm sure somebody has probably approached him for a comment at some point, but it appears that he's been keeping his mouth shut, which is probably for the best. Thanks for stopping by.

OpenRiverTech on April 02, 2013:

@FatFreddysCat Cleopatra's reputation is not at all what it used to be. It does not help that they list artists on their page to make it seem as if they hold a recording contract when in actuality in some cases they just gained rights to reissue a record that has been out of print as in the Case of B.B. King. I may be nit picking but geez, lol

Dr X on April 02, 2013:

The Real Mindcrime here is that neither band is the "real" band without Chris Degarmo.

He was the driving force behind the band when they were actually relevant.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

@ OpenRiverTech - as I understand it, Cleopatra Records used to have a pretty decent rep in the electronic/industrial music scene. I don't know if that holds true anymore, but when it comes to their hard rock/metal releases (on the "Deadline" sub-label) their roster has been inconsistent and their CDs tend to look rushed/cheap. I've owned several releases on that label (usually multi-artist compilations or tribute albums) and their booklets are shoddy and full of spelling errors and other goofs.

@ Donna Deist - thanks for stopping by, it'll be interesting to see how the duel between the two QR camps plays out, once both sides release new music... Last time I checked the poll that's included with this article, the LaTorre line up was kickin' the Tate version's ass by a margin of nearly 3 to 1.

Donna Deist on April 02, 2013:

i've been a QR supporter for years & i'm still trying to make sense of all this bullshit that Geoff started even while he was still with the band. after "American Soldier" , i almost lost interest in the band completely. now i'm glad that the band has split. While Todd is definitely not Geoff (Thank God !!! ) , i honestly believe that Todd has breathed new life into the band . for the first time in a long time , i'm actually very excited to hear the next album , knowing that i won't be dissappointed.

Geoff , you were fired from the band for a reason & i honestly think that it's time for you to move on. i do hope that the judge does not allow you to use the queensryche name. in the last 5- 10 years , all i've seen was you trying to promote yourself , not the band. so i'm not surprised that the band fired you & decided to make a new name for themselves. i honestly think they have much more of a legal right to use the Queensryche name than you do. while you've created some great songs inside & outside of Queensryche , and in recent years i've also been disappointed with many of your project , especially Caberet. i may listen to some of your songs ( out of curiosity ) after your album is released but i honestly don't know if i'll be buying your album.

OpenRiverTech on April 02, 2013:

I think it is funny that TateRyche signed with Cleopatra Records...I mean That company is really shady looking...seriously. Have you seen the artist page? When you clink on some of the artists it just takes you to a shop page to purchase a shirt. I mean c'mon if you have a deal with these artists living or not, wouldn't you want to promote them better. This almost constitutes proof of the damage he has done to the QR brand. Maybe they will headline some Cleopatra Summer Fest with Tiffany and Vanilla Ice. I can see Geoff trying to pull off some virtual duet with Miles Davis...That is if Cleopatra Records actually had anything to with the Jazz Great other than selling a poster or CD they got off of amazon

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Hey Ex-Seattle... I agree with all of your points. We'll see how this mess all turns out later this year when the two sides go to court, of course.

Ex-Seattle on April 02, 2013:

I've been watching this whole soap opera from first report of a fistfight and at this point I think it's pretty clear what happened (over the last decades) and what is going to happen.

My thoughts:

1. Tate ruled QR with an iron fist. He is a legendary voice and I'm sure the band felt that they could not replace him and continue, so they let him. DeGarmo left because of Tate. Tate didn't allow the band to contribute to music and after a while they stopped trying to contribute.

2. Tate bled the band dry by hiring his family. Other singers have hired their wives and led bands to destruction in similar fashion. NEVER hire a wife as a manager. (Chris Cornell?)

3. Tate's first solo album was great. I love it. He should just be a solo act, but he seriously needs to hire a good song writer, take some time off touring and figure out who and what he is and what the music should be.

4. Todd is super. He is not Tate, he is Todd. He can sing the old music, but the new music is what matters. Redemption is a great song and I think that people will embrace the band for what it is today.

5. The judge will laugh in Tate's face.. QR will be Eddie, Michael, Scott, Todd and Parker.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on April 02, 2013:

Hahahaha!! Hi Jim -- thanks for the comment, and the chuckle.

Jim on April 02, 2013:

Geoff hasn't been able to sing worth a squat since Empire and even then you could hear his home made wine (whine?) was already killing his voice.

The Geoff's head got big when he was compared to Halford and Dickenson. Tate is neither. Not any more.

Now he's just like one of those beat poets in a little martini bar spraying nonsensical poetry all over an audience while some guy in a funny hat plays a pan flute in the background.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 31, 2013:

Hi Joe - thanx for stopping by as always. Ya can't blame Rudy Sarzo for taking the gig (I mean, where have you seen him lately?)... but you're right, adding him to a "band" doesn't really do much to increase their marquee value. You never hear anyone say "Duuuude, is RUDY SARZO playing with them? I gotta see that!"

Joe Cogan on March 31, 2013:

They lost interest for me after "Empire", and I see little reason to think that either unit will produce anything of interest without (VERY astute comments above) Chris DeGarmo involved. (BTW, does it make me a bad person to observe that Rudy Sarzo showing up usually indicates a band has Jumped the Shark?)

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 30, 2013:

Updated yet again. Scorecard, get your scorecard. Can't keep track of what's going on in Queensryche land without a scorecard!!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 28, 2013:

Geoff Tate's Queensryche stepped in it again today, so of course I had to update yet again... haha

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 27, 2013:

Updated (yet again) with more chaos from the Geoff Tate camp...

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 25, 2013:

Updated with a YouTube of the new Queensryche (w/Todd LaTorre) track, "Redemption" in its entirety!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 07, 2013:

Hahaha, you've got a point there Brian. Poor Bobby.

Brian Marshall on March 07, 2013:

I think the real victim in this situation is Bobby Blotzer. I mean how sad is it that he can't even keep a steady gig with a group of washed-up troubadours?

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 04, 2013:

Hey Freedom... my curiosity will probably get the better of me and I'll end up buying both CDs...cuz one of them is going to lose the rights to the band name sooner or later, which will make their CD a collectible. Haha.

FreedomMetal from Somewhere In Time on March 04, 2013:

And you already did the Tate update too. I find it ironic that a man who admitted to attacking his band mates releases an album cover with a fist and FU front and center.

I didn't plan to buy The Geoff's album, I don't see how using the same songwriter and producer as O:MC II, American Soldier, DTC will make a better album. But, you make a good point and I might just buy both since once will go out of print after the lawsuit and I'd out my money on The Geoff's to be the one out of print after he loses in court.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 04, 2013:

Updated (for the second time today!) with new scoop on Geoff Tatesryche's upcoming album release!!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on March 04, 2013:

Updated YET AGAIN with new release date info about the upcoming "ToddRyche" album....

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on February 23, 2013:

Updated with a YouTube sneaky peek of a new Todd Latorre-fronted Queensryche song, "Redemption!"

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on February 15, 2013:

Updated with some new scoop on "Geoff Tate's Queensryche"

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on February 08, 2013:

Yeah, it would appear that both sides are racing to be the first to the market with a new album under the "Queensryche" name ... the big question is, which one will actually be listenable?

FreedomMetal from Somewhere In Time on February 08, 2013:

The Geoff seems to have started recording his Scabryche album - he may have hired a bunch of "special guests" to do a quick solo, but the "talent" team behind it is the same people that brought you American Soldier, O:MC II and the album that The Geoff said would "redefine metal", Dedicated To Chaos. Expect more of the same, with a Brad Gillis solo here and a KK Downing solo there.....

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on January 25, 2013:

...and he's bringing his brother along on guitar!

Since both Rudy and his bro were involved w/Quiet Riot at one time, maybe the band should be called "QuietRyche"

Joe Cogan on January 25, 2013:

Rudy Sarzo... heh, I'm not surprised: he gets the call every time a metal band is replacing their bassist.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on January 25, 2013:

I hear ya Freedom. I must admit, I had to laugh when I heard that TateRyche had signed to Cleopatra Records... that label is the music industry equivalent of the French Foreign Legion, i.e. joining up with them might make you feel important but nobody else will care. Haha

FreedomMetal from Somewhere In Time on January 25, 2013:

The Geoff's version is a train wreck..... you just can't turn away! He couldn't find a second guitar player, so Rudy called his brother. Blotz either couldn't handle the parts or realized that dealing with Steven Pearcy is easier than dealing with The Geoff. The Geoff is rushing to get something out under the Queensryche name before the court date, his last chance for a cash grab since his solo career has fizzled. There is no way he'll win the name of the band, he was 1/4 of the partners and he was fired. A majority of partners can do that in the business world. He will be paid out per an agreement, but he doesn't get to run off with name.

Other news - Todd La Torre posted on his FB page that he's laying down the vocals for the new album this week. My guess is the Queensryche album is out on a much bigger label long before Fakeryche releases anything.

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on January 25, 2013:

UPDATED with latest info on the changes in the Geoff Tate camp...

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on December 27, 2012:

Thanks for stopping by, Globez. I guess we know which version of QR you voted for in the poll.

Globez on December 27, 2012:

I can't see how peeps can compared this false setto tribute singer to Geoff Tate! I know he's not the singer he was when he was in his 20s-30s, but come on now! I was in a Queensryche tribute band that was as good as this.. There was also a Queensryche tribute band I use to think was pretty decent called "Z lot Z".. It's sad that they sound more like Queensryche than Queensryche now! Geoff, even in his old age is in a league of very few! One other who comes to mind is the great Bruce Dickinson! People are hating on Tate cause he spit on Rockenfield and punched Michael Wilton?? Seriously?? Who gives a rats ass!! Don't ya usually like a band for how they sound?? If that's what makes ur mind up about a band then I think u got a little to much of an emotional connection to the band.. Which is kinda gay to be honest! Besides, they fired him, were sneaking behind his back, fired family members and never went to the guy and complained about music direction or anything.. It was very shady snake'ish stuff to do.. In my town ya got shot for shit like that! I'm glad Geoff stuck of for the Queensryche brand and didn't just back down from it.. Yet everyone is turning their back on him! What kinda fans were u? One day not long ago u guys wanted to give Geoff a knob job, but now ur hating him! Bunch of lame phonies! Good luck with ur tribute band.. I'll wait for Geoffs version of Ryche.. And ya all will be jumping on the bandwagon when it smokes the "Real" version of Queensryche! That is so laughable!! The Real version of Queensryche.. Haha the version that wrote a song and a half of their material!! What a joke!

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on December 11, 2012:

UPDATED with new details about the ongoing Queensryche legal mess...

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on September 05, 2012:

Dang, Shawn... maybe you ought to write some Hubs of your own, haha. I agree with you, honestly. Tate has always been "the voice" of Queensryche, but if you listen to any of the post-DeGarmo stuff it quickly becomes obvious that Chris DeGarmo was its soul.

...and for the record, I actually kinda like "Hear in the Now Frontier." :)

Shawn Dudley from Los Angeles, California on September 05, 2012:

Nicely written. This whole mess is just laughable to be honest, I have very little faith that either version can release anything interesting.

I know it's not the popular opinion, but the heart and soul of Queensryche was Chris DeGarmo. In many discussions with QRs original sound engineer (who toured with them and also produced the Live In Japan '85 re-recording sessions at Abbey Road) he consistently told me that DeGarmo was the real creative force behind the group. DeGarmo wrote a large share of the music, he arranged the parts written by others, supervised the recording sessions, put together the set lists for their live shows and essentially was the strongest musician in the band. Let's also not forget that Chris wrote "Silent Lucidity", the main reason Empire sold 3 million copies and why they were launched out of the metal realm into mainstream arena attractions. (QR was still an opening act prior to Empire...).

He gets down-played now because people blame him for "Hear In The Now Frontier", so what, it was a common thing in the mid-90s to try to adapt to stay relevant in a scene where metal, guitar solos and anything remotely progressive was considered passe'. Go take a look at DeGarmo's songwriting credits on the EP, The Warning, Rage For Order, Operation Mindcrime, Empire and Promised Land...and ask yourself why NOTHING they've released since his departure has been worth a fuck.

Wake me up when DeGarmo joins one of the these two competing Queensryche's, till then, I'm happy with my memories of a time when they were a trend-setter, not a has-been group trying desperately to hold onto a tiny fanbase full of people who haven't really cared about them for 15 years.

They've gotten more press off this "feud" than they have in the past decade for their forgettable music. Maybe that was the point?

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on September 03, 2012:

Thanx Freedom 'n' Georgie... as new developments in this soap opera occur, I'll do my best to keep it updated.

Georgie Lowery from North Florida on September 03, 2012:

To me, Tate always seemed kind of, well, strange. I never thought he appreciated any of the success they found.

Great Hub. I'll be watching for you to write one about the legal mess.

FreedomMetal from Somewhere In Time on September 03, 2012:

Finally!!!!!! The Fatfreddyscat's Queensryche article!!!!!! I voted for the real Queensryche BTW (the one that owns 75% of the corporation and fired the violent 25%)

Keith Abt (author) from The Garden State on September 03, 2012:

Thanks for your comments, folks ... and in case anybody's curious, the Todd LaTorre version of the band is currently leading in the poll... cast your vote!

Craig Hartranft from Southeastern Pennsylvania on September 03, 2012:

After seeing that Rocklahoma video, I couldn't care less what happens to Geoff Tate ... what a dope!

Nat Amaral from BC Canada on September 03, 2012:

That's true. It also happened for Motley crue for a while.