Speculation had been strong in recent weeks that a parting of the ways was on the cards, with the rest of the band revealing they’d formed a splinter group called Rising West featuring Crimson Glory frontman La Torre at the mic.
Drummer Scott Rockenfield says in a statement: “Over the past few months there have been growing creative differences within Queensryche. 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 endeavours. We can’t wait to bring Queensryche to our fans with Todd behind the microphone.”
The band have put all scheduled performances on hold and say updated schedule information will be announced in due course.
Rockenfield, along with bandmates Michael Wilton, Eddie Jacskon and Parker Lundgren, played two shows under the Rising West name in their home town of Seattle earlier this month. They complained they weren’t being given access to Queensryche’s website and social media channels to promote the events, while Tate’s solo shows and win business were being fully promoted.
Last week Tate performed a band show as a solo artist after some members of the prog metal giants failed to appear “for personal reasons.”
On Tuesday the singer told fans: “Just hang in there. Everything’s moving along and everything’s looking good.”
In an interview before the news was confirmed La Torre said: “The fans like to say, ‘Geoff Tate is Queensryche.’ He was the voice of Queensryche, undoubtedly. He’s regarded as one of the best metal singers of all time. In my opinion, he created a style of singing. I had not heard anyone phrasing things and singing in the way that he did, and it was very captivating to me.
“But let’s not forget: Eddie Jackson is a writer and an original member. So is Scott Rockenfield on drums. So is Michael Wilton on guitar.”
La Torre intends to continue working with Crimson Glory, explaining: “There is a mutual respect between both bands – it’s a win-win situation for all involved. The fans of Queensrÿche that are unaware of Crimson Glory are in for a treat when they review the material.”
-Classic Rock Magazine