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Geoff Tate Fires Back At Queensrÿche, "Are They Gonna Hand It To Some Kid To Sing?"

In a rebuttal interview on Rolling Stone.com, former Queensrÿche singer Geoff Tate, who was recently sacked from the band, fired a return volley towards the band he was in for thirty years. In the interview, Tate stated that the band fired him via legal letter to his lawyer and that an ongoing lawsuit is in the works which will "get ugly."

The following are some excerpts from the full article:

On the firing:

Q: Do you know why they decided to push you out of the band?

Well, I think it's economically driven, mostly. I'm a 25 percent holder in our companies. I think it's just business in their minds. Cut me out and then split 25 percent and hire some young guy that's gonna work for a weekly wage so they make more money. It's just ridiculous.

Q: You'd think they'd make more money with you in the band. Now they're going to be presumably splitting up a smaller pie.

It doesn't may any sense. [Laughs] Neither does taking a very successful merchandising company and giving it over to somebody else and then paying them more money to run it. It's bad business. It's short-sightedness, and it's just ridiculous.

Q: It would seem to many that firing the lead singer is sort of a suicide move. When people buy a ticket to a concert they tend to want to hear the original singer.

It doesn’t make any sense at all. It's typical of these guys to have a very short-sighted look on everything. Why on earth would they cancel all remaining Queensryche shows? How are they gonna survive economically? And then, by that action, you’re completely alienating the promoters, who you work with closely to book shows for you. So now the promoter is left holding the bag, and that doesn’t make the promoter want to work with you again. So here they fire everybody in our organization and don’t hire anybody to take care of the business, all the websites, all of our merchandising companies, all that stuff. There’s nobody running it right now. They locked it all up, and there’s nobody running that stuff. Then they fired our publicist, our booking agent, they canceled all the shows, so now they have no income. What are they doing?

It doesn’t make any sense at all. And that’s what’s so difficult to stomach about the whole thing. If they had some sort of grand plan that all made sense, I could understand. [Laughs] And I’m forced to engage in a lawsuit with them now. This is not something I want to do at all. I want to make records and I want to tour and live a creative life. I don’t want to be bogged down in some legal hassle. My God, but they’re forcing me into it. I have no other way to go. I can’t give up my life’s work and walk away from it. These are my ideas, my concepts, my life, that I’m writing about. What are they gonna do – hand it to some kid to sing?

On the incident in Brazil:

Q: I've read lots of accounts about what happened in Brazil in April. The story on the Internet goes that you overheard them plotting to fire you and then you pushed Michael to the floor and pointed a knife at Scott. What actually happened?

Well, you know how the Internet goes . . . The way it went was, we had a gig in Sao Paolo, and before the show we had a meeting in the dressing room. I asked them straight up about the rumors I'd heard about them replacing me. I was definitely concerned about this. What kind of plan was that? Was it serious? What was going on? They said that they weren't planning on replacing me, but they had just fired our manager, our office assistant and one of our guitar techs, who all happened to be my family members.

"I asked them, 'Why is this happening?' They really couldn't give me a straight answer, or any kind of answer that made any kind of business sense. It seemed like a personal vendetta against me. Anyway, the meeting was short and we went to do the show. I'm getting ready by my station, ready to go on stage, and Scott [Rockenfield] looks at me and he smirks and says, "We just fired your whole family, and you're next." I just lost it. I tried to punch him. I don't think I landed a punch before somebody grabbed me and hauled me to the side. On my way, I managed to shove [Michael] Wilton, and really, that was it. I cooled down and we did the show, and everything went fine.

There was no knife involved?

No. No knife involved. You can't really get knives into foreign countries.

On the incident in Rocklahoma:

Q: In May Queensryche played Rocklahoma and you told the audience that they sucked. What happened there?

Over the last 30 years I've played thousands of shows. Sometimes the audience needs some direction. [Laughs] They need to be kicked in the ass a bit, and the Rocklahoma audience this year was one of those audiences. They needed to be challenged. They needed to get called out. They needed to get fired up.

As a frontman, that's part of my gig. I do that. I am in control of the audience. I'm pushing them. I'm pulling them. I'm riding them at times. That was just me getting the audience fired up. They needed it. They were really a lackadaisical audience that looked really confused. They didn't know what they were supposed to be doing.

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13 Comments on "Geoff Tate Fires Back At Queensrÿche"

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ZMA's avatar


1. ZMA writes:

"I don’t want to be bogged down in some legal hassle. My God, but they’re forcing me into it. I have no other way to go."

Yea, sure they did Tate.......sure they did.

# Jun 27, 2012 @ 3:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar


2. BrianMN writes:

“With age comes wisdom”…..but not in this case.
I think it’s a valuable lesson along with Great White, LA Guns, GNR, etc….
When these bands first form they’re all “brothers” and all that stuff but as soon as a band hits the big time money usually destroys the group.
That’s why it’s so important to have contracts drawn up.
All the legal matters should be decided BEFORE everything implodes.
Get the name of the band copyrighted and a patent filed so everyone is clear who owns the name and the rights that go along with it.
How much you want to bet Metallica and Slayer all have extensive contracts as to who actually owns/gets what?
It’s sad but that is the business side of things.
It’s better to get all that crap out of the way when the band starts instead of waiting thirty years down the road and you suddenly find yourself booted out of the very band you helped create.
Now we’ll end up with two Queensryche’s and both of them will be equal parts a$$.

# Jun 27, 2012 @ 4:02 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar


3. hellrat writes:

Goddamn, the frikken clown seems to actually believe he is imperative to the band's future potential....pffft, self-absorbed fvcking tool

dude has been an anchor in the mud to QR for a LONG time...bout time they cut that chain and freed their vessel of the fvcking DRAG

I for one am looking forward to the new material sans the voiceless kook

NP---Neue Regal---RFO

# Jun 27, 2012 @ 4:08 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
coldiem's avatar


4. coldiem writes:

As a front-man, it is never your job to tell the audience that they suck. You can make passive comments about it being quiet or something, but directly insulting the crowd is a good way to get people to hate you and your band.

I've been to plenty of shows with sh!tty crowds, and the good front-men either work their magic without insulting everyone, or they just keep their damn mouths shut and play. People come to concerts to hear music, not be insulted.

Yeah, maybe you've played thousands of shows, but don't forget that most of your fans have attended a very, very small fraction of those shows. And there's probably someone in the crowd who is a huge fan of your's that is FINALLY able to see you live after waiting for years. How do you think that fan feels when you tell them they suck? What a d!ck.

# Jun 27, 2012 @ 4:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar


5. R10 writes:

Hard to believe im listening to "Operation:Mindcrime" while i read this,but i am. Queensryche hasn't been Queensryche for soooo long. Fvck,if some "sound alike" singer can get them back on track,im all for it! That album they put out last summer was downright horrid! Im ashamed i spent 10$ on it! It was truly that bad!

# Jun 27, 2012 @ 5:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar


6. Blindgreed1 writes:

@coldiem: As a front man, I can say that your statement isn't necessarily true. It's all in HOW you degrade your crowd. Ole Geo went the wrong way with it.

# Jun 27, 2012 @ 5:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
spiral_architect's avatar


7. spiral_architect writes:


# Jun 27, 2012 @ 5:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. pytc writes:

He is an idiot. But outside of the fans who closely follow these events, the mainstream fans wont know the difference and think he's telling the truth. All spin, nothing new here. He is a master craftsmen of Public Relations deception. Given the fact he's not "political anymore" and Mindcrime never was about "politics" or was it? Spin, my man, spin.

# Jun 27, 2012 @ 6:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
9. ellefe writes:

boo-fvcking-hoo, Geoff. He sounds like a delusional narcisist. it has been the tate family variety show for too long. I will not be missing his wife and her daughter 'dancing', their other kid singing, and the saxaphone. The other guys should have expressed ideas and opinions all along, but I'm glad they eventually found their backbones.

# Jun 28, 2012 @ 12:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. Jon from London writes:

All very sad, I've been a Queensryche fan for 25 years and though we all feel we have a right to cast our aspersions on the band - do we really? 'Dedicated to Chaos' wasn't a typical Queensryche record and having listened to it a few times it's still not one of my favourites but so what, 'HITNF' took a few listens as did 'Q2K' but after the golden era of 'Mindcrime - Promised Land' they have still in my opinion made quality records. Tate is one of the greatest front men of all time, I suppose we'll never really know the truth and is it any of our business anyway? I can understand people wanting change but why remove Tate for a young sounding Tate playing old Queensryche tunes? Wierd.

# Jun 28, 2012 @ 12:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. DJ Johnny W. writes:

Personally, I really haven't been into QR since Chris DeGarmo left the band. He was the uniqueness of the band. Geoff Tate is a magnificent singer and front man and part of the QR history. I think he deserved a little more respect.

# Jun 28, 2012 @ 7:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. Gedlee writes:

Let's face it, Queensryche will be nothing without Geoff Tate. One of the iconic voices in rock. They will suck. I wouldn't ever see myself going to see a Queensryche show with some replacement singer that's for sure....

# Jun 28, 2012 @ 8:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. Lucinda Tate writes:

Geoff Tate is Queensryche. You can put anyone else u want in his place and not in a million years will ANYONE come close to his sound.

# Jul 1, 2012 @ 1:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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