Geoff Tate says that “it’s such a shame to see what’s happened to” QUEENSRŸCHE since his exit from the group.
Asked in a new interview with the “Cobras & Fire” podcast if “time has healed any wounds” with him and his former bandmates, Tate responded (hear audio below): “Oh, I don’t know. I couldn’t speak for them. I can tell you that… well, we have had one meeting, and that was me instigating it. I was on tour [two years ago] with AVANTASIA, and they were headlining this festival in Barcelona. And I was with my friend Ronnie Atkins from PRETTY MAIDS, and his band, PRETTY MAIDS, was gonna be playing in the afternoon, so I went out to watch ’em play. And when I got to the site, someone said, ‘Hey, your old band is playing.’ And I could hear what sounded like me [laughs] singing. So I went and checked them out, and I went up to each guy afterwards and said hi. But they haven’t reached out and they haven’t returned communication of any kind. So it’s pretty much dead in the water.”
He continued: “It’s such a shame to see what’s happened to them now. They don’t have Scott [Rockenfield, drums] anymore, they don’t have me, they don’t have Chris [DeGarmo, guitar] — they just have the rhythm guitar player [Michael Wilton] and the bass player [Eddie Jackson] now.”
When the interviewer commented that fans would like to see their favorite bands stay together forever, Tate said: “I was telling Chris the other day on the phone, I said, ‘Maybe we should start a QUEENSRŸCHE tribute band — me, you and Scott.’ [Laughs] ‘What do you think?’ [Laughs]”
In April 2014, Tate and QUEENSRŸCHE announced that a settlement had been reached after a nearly two-year legal battle where the singer sued over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being fired in 2012. Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson responded with a countersuit. The settlement included an agreement that Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson would continue as QUEENSRŸCHE, while Tate would have the sole right to perform the albums “Operation: Mindcrime” and “Operation: Mindcrime II” in their entirety live.
Tate previously described his time in QUEENSRŸCHE as “a strange, strange sort of relationship.” He told The Metal Gods Meltdown: “We weren’t really friends, you know — we were business associates. We had a wonderful entity that we shared called QUEENSRŸCHE, but it wasn’t an equal sort of partnership as far as involvement goes. You know, so there wasn’t a real camaraderie amongst everybody in the band… From my perspective and my involvement, it wasn’t an emotional sort of brotherhood kind of thing that some people might think existed. That wasn’t my reality with them.”
Tate‘s replacement, Todd La Torre, told Metal Wani that QUEENSRŸCHE is “sounding better than it did for over 10 years” now that he is fronting the band. He added: “The fans have certainly voiced that opinion. That’s my opinion, and that’s a lot of opinions we hear every night. And the energy of the other members of the band is way healthier, way happier with [Geoff] gone and me in the band. And that’s just the facts. There’s no stifled creativity, and there’s no kind of leader and followers, if you will, in the band. We all talk and try to make decisions the same, and it’s very democratic. I’m never gonna tell Michael Wilton that his guitar riff is too heavy, for example, and that had happened in the past. The band is way happier, and I think that it’s evident when you watch a live show — not [a clip on] YouTube, but really go to a show and feel what’s happening and see what’s happening. These guys are happy again and they feel like it’s a rebirth of the band and that those dark clouds are well behind them.”
QUEENSRŸCHE has released three albums thus far with the ex-CRIMSON GLORY frontman — 2013’s “Queensrÿche”, 2015’s “Condition Hüman” and 2019’s “The Verdict”.