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Queensryche London Bridge Studios.jpg
Queensryche in London Bridge Studio with producer James "Jimbo" Barton 2012
Background information
Origin Bellevue, Washington, United States
Years active1980–present
Labels206 Records, EMI, Atlantic, Atco, Sanctuary, Rhino, Roadrunner, Century Media
Associated acts Slave to the System, Spys4Darwin, Soulbender, Sledgeback, Operation: Mindcrime
Website queensrycheofficial.com
Past members
Queensryche performing at the Sauna Open Air Metal Festival on June 11, 2011, in Tampere, Finland. Left to right: bassist Eddie Jackson, lead vocalist Geoff Tate, drummer Scott Rockenfield, and guitarist Michael Wilton. Queensryche, paalava, Sauna Open Air 2011, Tampere, 11.6.2011 (30).JPG
Queensrÿche performing at the Sauna Open Air Metal Festival on June 11, 2011, in Tampere, Finland. Left to right: bassist Eddie Jackson, lead vocalist Geoff Tate, drummer Scott Rockenfield, and guitarist Michael Wilton.

Queensrÿche /ˈkwnzrk/ is an American heavy metal band. It formed in 1980 in Bellevue, Washington out of the local band the Mob. [1] The band has released 15 studio albums, one EP, several DVDs, and continues to tour and record. The original lineup consisted of guitarists Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo, drummer Scott Rockenfield, bassist Eddie Jackson, and lead vocalist Geoff Tate.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Bellevue, Washington City in Washington, United States

Bellevue is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. As the third-largest city in the Seattle metropolitan area, Bellevue has variously been characterized as an edge city, a suburb, boomburb, or satellite city. Its population was 144,444 in a 2017 census estimate.

Washington (state) State of the United States of America

Washington, officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named for George Washington, the first president of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State, to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, which is often shortened to Washington.


Queensrÿche has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million albums in the United States. The band received worldwide acclaim after the release of their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime , which is often considered one of the greatest heavy metal concept albums of all time. [2] [3] Their follow-up release, Empire , released in 1990, was also very successful and included the hit single "Silent Lucidity". The band has received three Grammy Award nominations for songs from both albums. In 1998, drummer Rockenfield received an individual Grammy nomination.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

<i>Operation: Mindcrime</i> studio album by Queensrÿche

Operation: Mindcrime is the third studio album by the American progressive metal band Queensrÿche. Originally released on May 3, 1988, the album was reissued on May 6, 2003 with two bonus tracks, and again in 2006 as a deluxe box set.

Concept album album with a theme

A concept album is an album in which its tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is typically achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of "uniform excellence" rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif. The exact criterion for a "concept album" varies among critics, with no discernible consensus.

In 1998, lead/rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter DeGarmo left the band for personal reasons. Over the years, his replacements have been Kelly Gray, Mike Stone, and Parker Lundgren. Following a highly publicized backstage altercation before a show in São Paulo, Brazil, in April 2012, Tate was fired from the band and replaced with then-Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. In response to his dismissal, Tate and his wife Susan (who served as the band's manager from 2005–2012) filed a lawsuit in a Washington court, claiming that he was wrongfully terminated. The ruling in the preliminary injunction was that both parties were allowed to use the name Queensrÿche until a court ruling or a settlement decided who would get to use the name. [4] A settlement was reached on April 17, 2014, [5] in which founding members Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson were awarded the rights to the band trademark, continuing to play with the lineup that additionally includes singer La Torre and guitarist Lundgren. [6]

Kelly Gray (musician) American record producer and guitarist

Kelly Gray is an American record producer and guitarist. He currently plays in former Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate's band Operation: Mindcrime.

Mike Stone (musician) American musician

Mike Stone is an American heavy metal guitarist, best known for his previous involvement in the progressive metal band Queensrÿche. He joined Queensrÿche for their 2003 Tribe tour, and made his first appearance on the 2003 album Tribe, with writing credits for the song "Losing Myself". Stone was the guitarist for the rock band Speed-X, and currently the guitarist and backup vocalist of the alternative punk rock band, The Stick People.

Parker Lundgren American guitarist

Parker Lundgren is an American guitarist, best known for being in the progressive metal band Queensrÿche, which he joined in 2009.

During the time, both parties could use the name Queensrÿche, Tate created his own lineup featuring former guitarist Gray and musicians from bands including Blue Öyster Cult, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Dio, AC/DC and Quiet Riot. [7] [8] This version of Queensrÿche with Geoff Tate released the album Frequency Unknown on April 23, 2013, [9] while Queensrÿche (with La Torre replacing Tate) released their eponymous album on June 24 and 25, 2013 (European and American release date, respectively). [10] Both bands toured in 2013 and 2014. [11] [12]

Blue Öyster Cult American hard rock band

Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band formed on Long Island, New York in 1967, perhaps best known for the singles "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Burnin' for You", and "Godzilla.” Blue Öyster Cult has sold more than 24 million records worldwide, including 7 million in the United States alone. The band's music videos, especially "Burnin' for You," received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, cementing the band's contribution to the development and success of the music video in modern popular culture. In addition to their most famous singles, the band have become well known for songs such as “Astronomy”, “Black Blade”, “Veteran of the Psychic Wars”, and “Shooting Shark.”

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne, also known as The Prince of Darkness, is an English vocalist, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and recorded the group’s final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city Birmingham, England in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".

Whitesnake British hard rock band

Whitesnake are a hard rock band formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style. By the turn of the decade, the band's commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an' Willing (1980), Come an' Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the last of which was their first to chart in the US and is certified 2x platinum.


From the Mob to Queensrÿche (early 1980s)

The foundations for Queensrÿche began in the late 1970s. Guitarist Michael Wilton started the band Joker with friends in 1978, and they were joined by guitarist Chris DeGarmo in 1979. [13] In 1980, Wilton met drummer Scott Rockenfield at Easy Street Records in Seattle, [14] and they formed the band Cross+Fire together. [15] They covered songs from popular heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and practiced in the garage of Rockenfield's parents [14] which they called "The Dungeon" and fitted with egg cartons as acoustic cladding. [16] Before long, DeGarmo and bassist Eddie Jackson joined Cross+Fire, and the band name was changed to The Mob, after the Black Sabbath song "The Mob Rules". [17] In need of a singer for a one-off performance at a local rock festival, they recruited Babylon frontman Geoff Tate. After Babylon broke up, Tate performed a few shows with The Mob, but left because he was not interested in performing heavy metal covers. [18]

Michael Wilton American guitarist

Michael F. Wilton also known as The Whip, for how fast his fingers "whip" around the guitar fretboard, heavy metal and hard rock guitarist and songwriter, best known for being a lead and rhythm guitarist and songwriter in the progressive metal band Queensrÿche, which he co-founded in 1982.

Christopher Lee DeGarmo is an American heavy metal and hard rock guitarist and songwriter, best known for being a lead and rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist, and primary songwriter in the progressive metal band Queensrÿche from their formation in 1980 until 1998, and with whom he played during their most commercially successful period. He briefly returned for collaborations in 2003 and 2007. DeGarmo was a member of Jerry Cantrell's band during his 1998 solo tour, and also contributed to his 2002 album Degradation Trip. In 1999, he co-founded the short-lived supergroup Spys4Darwin with Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney. Since departing from Queensrÿche, DeGarmo has made his living as a professional private jet pilot. In recent years, he has been making music with his daughter Rylie DeGarmo under the name The Rue, and collaborated with Alice in Chains on their 2018 album Rainier Fog. DeGarmo was nominated for three Grammy Awards as a songwriter.

Scott Rockenfield, also known as SRock, is an American drummer and composer. He is best known as the drummer for the progressive metal band Queensrÿche, which he co-founded in 1982, and the hard rock band Slave to the System.

In 1981, The Mob put together sufficient funds to record a demo tape. [19] Still without a singer, Tate was once again enlisted to help, much to the disapproval of his then-current band, Myth. [19] The group recorded the four songs "Queen of the Reich", "Nightrider", "Blinded", and "The Lady Wore Black", the latter of which Tate had written the lyrics for. [19] For an entire year, they brought their demo to various labels and were rejected by all of them. [19] The Mob were ultimately offered a management contract by Kim and Diana Harris, the owners of Easy Street Records. [19] [20] However, as Tate remained committed to staying in Myth, the band reluctantly searched for another singer. [19]

Demo (music) song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release

A demo is a song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas in a fixed format, such as cassette tape, compact disc, or digital audio files, and to thereby pass along those ideas to record labels, record producers, or to other artists.

Queen of the Reich song by The Mob, later Queensrÿche

"Queen of the Reich" is a heavy metal song first recorded in 1981 for a demo tape by "The Mob", later known as Queensrÿche. "Queen of the Reich" was first recorded on Queensrÿche along with "The Lady Wore Black", "Nightrider", and "Blinded".
The song is also featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Because the name "The Mob" was not available, their manager urged them to choose a different name. [20] They reportedly ran out of ideas, and decided to name the band after the first song on their demo tape, "Queen of the Reich". [19] The spelling "Queensreich" was modified to prevent association of the band with Nazism; [21] "ryche" is a Middle English cognate to "Reich" which, like the German word, can mean "realm", "kingdom" or "empire". The name "Queensrÿche" is written with a metal umlaut over the letter 'y'. As the band later joked: "The umlaut over the 'y' has haunted us for years. We spent eleven years trying to explain how to pronounce it." [22] The umlaut is used on all of Queensrÿche's releases, except for their 2011 album, Dedicated to Chaos .

Kim Harris sent the demo tape and a band photo to a friend who wrote for Kerrang! magazine, resulting in a glowing review. [19] On the strength of the growing buzz that surrounded them in both the United States and Europe following this review, the Harrises released Queensrÿche's demo tape as a self-titled EP on their independent label 206 Records in 1983. [20] [23] After the EP garnered international praise, receiving much airplay and selling an unusual number of copies for a small independent release, [19] Tate agreed to leave Myth and become Queensrÿche's permanent lead singer. [15] [19]

On June 29 and 30, 1983, Queensrÿche was the opening act for Zebra in Portland and Seattle respectively. [19] Kim Harris knew A&R manager Mavis Brodey of EMI-America from the time she was the music director of KZOK-FM, and he convinced her to come to one of these shows. [24] Brodey offered Queensrÿche a contract with EMI, spanning 15 years and encompassing seven albums. [15] EMI re-released the EP Queensrÿche to moderate success, peaking at No. 81 on the Billboard charts. The band toured with Quiet Riot through the south and with Twisted Sister to the East Coast and Canada, and opened for Dio in Seattle. [19]

Queensrÿche's logo, the so-called Tri-Ryche (written without an umlaut on the 'y'), also stems from the band's early years. Artist Wes "Grizz" Griswold, who made the artwork for the Queensrÿche EP, used to sign his work with a doodle morphed from a crude drawing of a peregrine falcon. [25] He also used it for the stage set and backdrop of Queensryche’s first tour, which he designed. [26] After the band was signed, the record company adopted the doodle as the band's logo. [25] However, the Tri-Ryche has never been trademarked by Queensrÿche due to a long-standing controversy over who actually created the Tri-Ryche. [26] Todd Rockenfield, the brother of Queensrÿche's drummer, who designed the typeface of the word "Queensryche" on the front and back of the EP, claimed the design of the Tri-Ryche in its eventual form was his, [26] and the band acknowledges his role in the development of the Tri-Ryche. [16] The Tri-Ryche is prominently featured on most of Queensrÿche's album covers. Queensrÿche would later also use the word "Tri-Ryche" when founding the Tri-Ryche Corporation in 1989. [27]

The Warning and Rage for Order (1984–87)

After the EP tour, Queensrÿche travelled to London to record their first full-length album. The band worked with producer James Guthrie, who had worked with Pink Floyd and Judas Priest. Released in September 1984, The Warning showed the band in an early stage of development, playing classic heavy metal songs. It peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard album chart, a moderate commercial success. While none of the singles released from The Warning charted domestically, "Take Hold of the Flame" was a hit for the band outside the U.S., and particularly in Japan. [28] The band's first full-scale U.S. tour (in support of this album) was as the opening act for Kiss on their Animalize tour.

Rage for Order , released in 1986, introduced a much more polished look and sound for Queensrÿche, while the band was pressured by their management to adopt an image more closely associated with glam metal. [16] Tate later described the period as 'we were really into [that] image and we failed miserably'. [29] However, the album itself was slightly more progressive than the band's previous releases, having a layered and complex musical structure, and featuring keyboards as prominently as guitars. [30] A video was filmed for the song "Gonna Get Close to You", written and originally recorded in 1984 by Dalbello. The song "Rage for Order" was written and demoed for the album, but it was not included on the final release. The main riff from this song was worked into an instrumental piece played during some shows on the tour in support of this album, and eventually morphed into the track "Anarchy-X" on their next album.

Operation: Mindcrime, Empire and mainstream success (1988–93)

In 1988, Queensrÿche released Operation: Mindcrime , a narrative concept album that proved a massive critical and commercial success. The album's story revolved around a junkie named Nikki, who is brainwashed into performing assassinations for an underground movement. Nikki is torn over his misplaced loyalty to the cause and his love for Mary, a reformed hooker-turned-nun (vocals by Pamela Moore), who gets in the way. The band's progressive metal style was fully developed on this album. [31] The band toured through much of 1988 and 1989 with several bands, including Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses and Metallica. The album gained critical acclaim and achieved gold status. [29]

The release of Empire (1990) brought Queensrÿche to the height of their commercial popularity. [29] It peaked at No. 7 and sold more than three million copies in the United States, more than their previous four releases combined (it was also certified silver in the UK). The power ballad "Silent Lucidity", which featured an orchestra, became the band's first Top 10 single. The arrangements on Empire were more straightforward than the band's previous efforts. [29]

The subsequent "Building Empires" tour was the first full-fledged tour to feature Queensrÿche as a headlining act (the band had previously headlined a tour in Japan in support of Operation: Mindcrime, and had headlined a handful of club and theater shows in the U.S. between 1984 and 1988, and the UK in 1988). The group used its headlining status to perform Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety, as well as songs from Empire. The tour lasted 18 months, longer than any tour the band had undertaken before or has since. The tour also added a black page to the band's history, when during a show in a sports hall in Ichtegem, Belgium on November 20, 1990, a scuffle in the audience resulted in an American fan stabbing a Belgian fan fatally in the chest. Tour manager Howard Ungerleider immediately stopped the show as the band was only playing the seventh song on the set list, "Roads to Madness". [32] A live album, recorded May 10–12, 1991, was released later that year as Operation: Livecrime . The tour also included an MTV Unplugged appearance at Warner Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles on April 27, 1992.

Promised Land (1994–96)

After taking time off to deal with the burnout resulting from the tour and with other personal issues, the band released Promised Land in October 1994 (a companion CD-ROM, featuring a Promised Land-themed game and other interactive features, was released in March 1996). It was a dark and intensely personal album, reflecting the mental state of the band at the time. Although the album debuted at No. 3 and was eventually certified platinum, it was clearly not the commercial success Empire had been. As one review noted, "After the very commercial, very catchy, and overall very good Empire, Queensryche took a rather abrupt left turn and put out Promised Land...Promised Land is definitely an acquired taste as there is quite a lot less metal here than on previous releases...[it] is quiet, subtle and brooding, filled with melancholy and even a hint of genuine darkness." [33]

As with many other heavy metal and hard rock acts, Queensrÿche's commercial fortunes waned with the surge in popularity of genres such as alternative rock and grunge (which coincidentally got its start in Seattle, of which Bellevue—where the band was formed—is a suburb).

Major changes (1997–98)

Queensrÿche released their sixth full-length studio album, Hear in the Now Frontier , in March 1997, to mixed critical and fan reception. The album debuted at No. 19 but quickly vanished from the charts. The musical sound and style of the album was more basic and stripped down than anything the band had released to date, and some[ which? ] fans and critics pointed to the grunge musical style as being a major influence on the record. Despite the reaction, the singles "Sign of the Times" and "You" received substantial airplay.

Compounding the disappointing sales of the album were issues that plagued the band on the subsequent tour. Less than one month into the Hear in the Now Frontier tour, Tate became seriously ill and the band was forced to cancel concert dates for the first time. In an even bigger blow, the band's longtime label, EMI America Records, went bankrupt during the same period. Queensrÿche was forced to use its own money to finance the remaining two months of the tour. The band played a handful of December shows in South America because of contractual obligations, and it was during this time, late 1997, [34] that founding member Chris DeGarmo announced he was leaving Queensrÿche. However, his departure was not announced to the public until January 24, 1998. [35] Members of the band have later cited burnout and a desire to pursue interests outside of Queensrÿche as reasons for his departure. [36] [37] For example, Rockenfield has said: "He wanted to pursue other things. He felt like he had done what he wanted musically in his life, and wanted to move on." [38] After leaving Queensrÿche, DeGarmo began a full-time career as a professional business jet pilot. His involvement with music has since been sporadic. He remains highly regarded in the eyes of Queensrÿche's fan base.

Continued experimentation (1998–2002)

DeGarmo was replaced by guitarist and producer Kelly Gray. Gray's connections with Queensrÿche went back to the early '80s, when he was the guitarist for Myth, which was also the band Tate fronted prior to joining Queensrÿche. Gray had previously worked as a producer for bands such as Dokken and Candlebox. Queensrÿche recorded one studio album with Gray, Q2K from 1999, which was also the first album for their new label, Atlantic Records. Musically, Q2K bore little resemblance to the progressive metal of the band's past, and also displayed a similar stripped-down sound as Hear in the Now Frontier. Tate has described Q2K as a continuation of the experimentation of Hear in the Now Frontier. Declining popularity forced the band to tour in clubs and theaters, rather than in the larger arenas and outdoor amphitheaters where they played before. Following the Q2K tour, Rockenfield and Gray formed the side project Slave to the System with band members from Brother Cane and recorded a self-titled album.

After the release of a greatest hits collection in 2000, Queensrÿche embarked on another tour, this time in support of Iron Maiden. This enabled the band to play Madison Square Garden for the first time. Unhappy with the lack of support they felt they received from Atlantic Records, Queensrÿche moved to Sanctuary Records in 2001. In July of that year, the band performed a handful of dates at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington. The shows were recorded and released in September 2001 as Live Evolution , the band's second live album. In 2001 and 2002, Tate worked on his self-titled first solo album, which was released on June 25, 2002.

Gray was fired from the band in May 2002, [39] which according to Rockenfield was "because of [his] personal abuse habits and ongoing problems". [15] [40]

Tribe (2002–04)

The band entered the studio as a quartet in the spring of 2003 to record their eighth full-length album, while a compilation of greatest hits was released as part of the Classic Masters series on March 9, 2003. In April, they announced they had been joined by Chris DeGarmo, although his future status with the band was uncertain. In July, Queensrÿche released its first and only album of new material on the Sanctuary label, Tribe . DeGarmo, who played on and co-wrote four songs, neither officially rejoined the band nor took part in the supporting tour.

Queensrÿche found a replacement for Gray in Mike Stone, who had previously worked on Tate's solo album. [41] Stone accompanied the band on the Tribe tour as second guitarist to Wilton's lead, though he never was a full member of the band. In June 2003, Queensrÿche launched a co-headlining tour featuring another progressive metal band, Dream Theater. The two bands alternated the opening and closing slots, and ended the shows by playing a handful of songs together. Fates Warning was the special guest for the tour. A recording from this tour was released to CD and DVD as The Art of Live , which included two covers performed with Dream Theater.

Over the course of the five album releases ('Q2K', 'Tribe', 'Operation: Mindcrime II', 'American Soldier' and 'Dedicated To Chaos') after DeGarmo left, the band had gone through three guitar players, five record companies and four management firms. Q-Prime had taken over management duties before 'Operation: Mindcrime'; they were eventually replaced by Ray Daniels during the 'Q2K' sessions, who was then subsequently replaced by Lars Sorensen. [42] Following the Tribe tour, Lars Sorensen was dismissed, and Geoff Tate's wife Susan was promoted to band manager, after having worked as an assistant manager for the band since 2001. [43] In this period, Wilton spent time recording the self-titled album of his side project Soulbender.

Operation: Mindcrime II (2004–07)

In July 2004, Queensrÿche announced its plans to record a follow-up to 1988's Operation: Mindcrime . To generate fan interest in the upcoming album, the band hit the road in the fall of 2004 with the "An Evening With Queensrÿche" tour. The tour opened with a shortened greatest hits set, followed by a revised production of Operation: Mindcrime with live actors and video; Pamela Moore reprised her role as Sister Mary. The band played a pre-recorded version of "Hostage," a track from the upcoming album, through the PA as an encore after the end of their set. The second leg of the tour began in early 2005. Before embarking on a third leg in the fall of 2005, Queensrÿche toured with Judas Priest across North America, playing an hour-long set consisting mostly of the band's older works and one song from the soon-to-be released sequel, entitled "I'm American".

Operation: Mindcrime II was released internationally on March 31, 2006. The album was Queensrÿche's first for their new label, Rhino Entertainment, to which it signed in 2005. Ronnie James Dio provided the vocals for Dr. X, the villain. The album debuted at No. 14, the highest chart position for a Queensrÿche album since 1997. The group embarked on a headlining tour in support of the album, joined by Pamela Moore in her role as Sister Mary. [44] The tour featured performances of both Mindcrime albums in their entirety. Dio appeared at the Gibson Amphitheatre show in Universal City, California to perform his vocals as Dr. X on "The Chase", and was shown on a video screen at the other shows. [45] Dio's appearance was recorded, and included as an extra on the 2007 DVD release Mindcrime at the Moore .

Declining popularity (2007–12)

On August 9, 2007, the band announced that it would release a new greatest hits album, entitled Sign of the Times . The album was released on August 28, 2007, and a special collector's edition featured a bonus disc including various demos and a new song, "Justified", featuring Chris DeGarmo on guitar. On November 13, 2007, the band released an album of covers entitled Take Cover . The album contains covers of songs by Queen, U2, The Police, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, and Pink Floyd, and was the band's second release for Rhino Records.

On February 3, 2009, Stone announced the end of his association with Queensrÿche to focus on his side project Speed-X, although court declarations later revealed Geoff and Susan Tate fired him for "making too many grand demands", without discussing their decision with the other band members. [20]

Wilton recorded both lead and rhythm guitar on the band's eleventh studio album, American Soldier , released on March 31, 2009. The concept album regards war from the perspective of those on the front lines of American wars from World War II through to the present, especially the Iraq War. [46] Parker Lundgren (formerly of The Nihilists and Sledgeback, who also played on Tate's solo tour and was in a relationship with Tate's stepdaughter Miranda) [20] replaced Stone on the ensuing tour. [47]

In late 2009 and early 2010, the band toured for The Queensrÿche Cabaret.

In November 2010, Queensrÿche played several shows for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. While at a U.S. military position, explosive shells began falling on the base as the result of a bomb attack. Contrary to some news reports stating that some band members were injured, Tate has said in several interviews that he was misquoted and none of the band members suffered any injuries. [48] [49]

The band's twelfth studio album, Dedicated to Chaos , was released on June 28, 2011 on Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records, [50] to which the band had signed on August 25, 2010. [51] The album was a drastic departure from the band's previous efforts, featuring a greater emphasis on the bass and drums, and with minimal guitar work. The album was released to mixed reviews and was the lowest charting full-length album for the band in its history.

According to Tate, Queensrÿche was already writing new material for a follow-up to Dedicated to Chaos as of June 2011, [52] and were discussing re-recording Operation: Mindcrime in late 2012, so they could do something special for a 25th anniversary edition. [16] [53]

Rising West and split with Geoff Tate (2012–2014)

In the period 2012 to 2014 the four members of the band had a confrontation about management and merchandise that resulted in a split and a legal tussle over the name. For a period both camps performed under the band name until a settlement was reached. For a short period Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson performed as Rising West together with a new vocalist Todd La Torre. Guitarist Parker Lundgren was not part of these legal proceedings but continued to work with Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson. In 2014, the latter obtained the legal rights to the name of the band, while Tate received the rights to the concept behind Operation:Mindcrime.


Drummer Scott Rockenfield and singer Geoff Tate performing with Queensryche in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 14, 2012. Tate would repeatedly spit at Rockenfield during this show. Queensryche no Brasil-8.jpg
Drummer Scott Rockenfield and singer Geoff Tate performing with Queensrÿche in São Paulo, Brazil on April 14, 2012. Tate would repeatedly spit at Rockenfield during this show.

In a band meeting on April 12, 2012, [55] which Tate did not attend, the band fired both Tate's stepdaughter, Miranda, from running the fan club, and his wife Susan, their band manager since 2005. [20] According to Wilton, the reasons were that "the last 3 years, basically it just came to a point that we didn’t have a voice in the band anymore. It was all run by the singer and his manager, the wife." [56] On April 14, 2012, before the soundcheck for a show in São Paulo, Brazil, Tate had an argument with the other members about the firing of his family. [15] [20] This confrontation became heated, leading to Tate retaliating by throwing over the drum kit, [57] throwing several punches and physically assaulting [58] and spitting on Rockenfield and Wilton. [54] Over the course of the band's next three shows, Wilton, Rockenfield, and Jackson felt that Tate continued to misbehave and they came "to the conclusion that they can no longer work or perform with Mr. Tate." [20] [59] They called a band meeting on June 5 [59] (some sources say June 6 [20] ). Tate withdrew from this conference call, after which the other band members voted to "consider Geoff Tate expelled from the band" and "continue to use the Queensrÿche name with a new lead singer". [60]

Rising West

Queensryche with Todd La Torre in 2012. Queensryche soundcheck Halfway Jam 2012.jpg
Queensrÿche with Todd La Torre in 2012.

Meanwhile, as Tate was working on his solo album Kings & Thieves and an ensuing tour, Queensrÿche's other band members started the side project Rising West. [38] [61] Wilton explained that: "Originally this was deemed as a side project, because we were told by our management that we were not going to do anything for the next year so hey, we have to survive." [62] The project would initially be called "West", which stood for the four members of the band: "Wilton, Eddie, Scott and Todd", [63] but was later renamed "Rising West" at the suggestion of Jackson. [63] [64] The band was enthusiastic about this name, because the project felt like something fresh for them, it additionally refers to the band members living on the West Coast, it is easier to pronounce, and because Lundgren would later also be a part of the band. [63]

Still in search of a frontman for Rising West, Wilton recommended Todd La Torre to his bandmates, [65] the then-frontman of Crimson Glory, whom he had met several months prior at the NAMM Show in January 2012. Their encounter had resulted in a songwriting collaboration, among others on a song named "Don't Look Back", which in 2013 would make its way onto Queensrÿche's self-titled album. [56] [66] The band heard some of La Torre's demos on YouTube, [38] and took a leap of faith by booking and announcing two shows at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe on June 8 and 9, 2012, even before La Torre met the band members. [38] The shows were publicly announced on May 29, 2012, revealing that they would focus on Queensrÿche's older work. [53] [65] Both shows sold out in 48 hours, [38] among others to fans from Japan, Australia and New Zealand. [38] When the band flew La Torre in from Florida to Seattle nine days before the show to rehearse at Rockenfield's house, they hadn't played a note together, nor did they know whether it would work. [38] Although La Torre was a big fan of Queensrÿche's older albums, [56] he was not very familiar with the songs on Promised Land and they had only limited time to prepare for the shows, the band focused on the material from the Queensrÿche EP to the band's fourth studio album, Empire, [56] which are generally considered the band's heaviest releases[ by whom? ], and according to La Torre: "are the songs and the time period that most represented the core sound of what Queensryche material was about". [67] Their first rehearsal together went very smoothly, according to Wilton: "we blasted through 18 to 20 songs and everybody was amazed from the professionality, the musicianship and tone of Todd’s voice." [56] Rockenfield was immediately reassured: "the second we played "Queen of the Reich", it was all over." [38]

Rising West has played a pivotal role in offering new perspectives for Queensrÿche, [56] after Queensrÿche fired Tate on June 6, 2012, [53] because when the band was considering how to move on, La Torre was the obvious choice as the replacement singer. [68] Up until that point, both Lundgren and La Torre were not privy to any information concerning tensions among the original band members, [61] [69] and neither was La Torre considering a career with Queensrÿche, as he was primarily focused on Crimson Glory, of which he was the frontman. Lundgren was given the freedom to choose whether or not he wanted to stay with the band, and Wilton has praised Lundgren for being wise and making "a good decision" to stay. [70] La Torre sees his eventual hiring to be a "natural evolution", [61] and he could therefore be announced as the band's new singer at the same time it was announced they had parted ways with Tate, [68] while effectively the Rising West line-up continued under the name Queensrÿche. As a result, despite the popularity of the side project, the concerts on June 8 and 9, 2012 would remain the only shows played under the Rising West moniker, [68] and the name has not been in use since then.

They already had been approached Glen Parrish of PGM Management after their show on June 9, 2012, who offered to become their band manager. [56] According to Wilton, Parrish had told the management company in Los Angeles: "I have something very hot here and we should grab these guys before someone else does". [56] After band negotiations with "at least 3 or 4 record labels", Parrish chose to sign Queensrÿche with Century Media. [56]


On June 12, Tate and his wife filed a lawsuit in a Seattle court against his former bandmates, claiming that he was illegally fired from the band. [58] They also sought a preliminary injunction to prevent both the plaintiffs and the defendants from using the Queensrÿche name. On July 13, 2012, the Washington state superior court denied this motion, as well as a motion for a preliminary summary judgment filed by the defendants. The court ruled that both parties may use the brand Queensrÿche until a court ruling or settlement would arrange otherwise. [4] As a result of the judge's preliminary verdict, both parties had a band that used the name and brand of Queensrÿche from 2012 to April 2014; the lineup fronted by La Torre, and with Tate announcing his own lineup.

While the court case and settlement negotiations were ongoing and the trial was rescheduled several times due to settlement negotiations, [71] [72] [73] [74] [75] [76] both line-ups toured and released an album. Queensrÿche with their new frontman La Torre toured through the U.S., Canada, and other places, performing songs from the band's old catalog as part of their "Return to History Tour", [56] and recorded a self-titled album that was released in June 2013. A European leg of the tour, scheduled for the second half of April, was postponed to late October and early November 2013, due to "changes in the band's promotional schedule", involving additional demands from the label, to be fulfilled before their 2013 album could be released, [77] and according to Wilton, the band "just barely made the deadline we had". [56] Meanwhile, the version of Queensrÿche fronted by Tate primarily toured the Western United States and released an album entitled Frequency Unknown in April 2013, with members of his lineup and guest musicians. [7] [8]


A settlement was reached on April 17, 2014, [5] and a statement from both parties was released on April 28, 2014. [6] The statement announced that Tate lost the brand Queensrÿche to Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson, who together with La Torre and Lundgren are to be "the sole band recording and touring as Queensryche", while former vocalist Tate solely has the right to play Operation: Mindcrime and Operation: Mindcrime II in their entirety "in unique performances". On May 5, 2014, a press release was released through Wilton's Facebook page, further clarifying the specifics of the settlement as: [78]

Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton have successfully agreed to purchase Geoff Tate’s portion of the Queensrÿche name. The band will buy out their former lead singer’s share of the Queensrÿche corporation while allowing him the ability to be the only one to perform Operation: Mindcrime and Operation: Mindcrime II in their entirety. He will no longer have use of the TriRyche logo or any other album images aside from the Mindcrime releases. He can only refer to himself as the “Original Lead Singer of Queensrÿche or “Formerly of Queensrÿche" for a period of two years and that text must be at least 50% smaller than his name in all materials. After this two year period passes, he can only refer to himself as Geoff Tate with no mention of Queensrÿche at all. Geoff Tate will be able to finish any confirmed dates billed for his Queensrÿche lineup scheduled to terminate on August 31st, 2014.

On November 7, 2014, the band opened a pledge drive through PledgeMusic that allowed fans to pre-order their next album, which would be their second with La Torre and their 15th overall. The campaign used the motto "Building The Empire", and offered regular pledge rewards such as CDs, exclusive access and equipment, [79] but also an investment opportunity for $50,000 in Queensrÿche Holdings, LLC to accredited investors. [80] The campaign page revealed that recording would likely take place between December 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015, and that the album was expected to be ready for release in late spring or early summer 2015. [79] [81] The campaign page also included a video of band members and crew discussing the band's desire to approach their fans more proactively, with their attorney Thomas Osinski remarking: "this is famously a band that kept to itself, and in this new era of openness, they want to join with their fans [and] more so after the last few years of challenges they've been through". [79] The term "Building Empires" was used previously in the Empire tour, as well as a video from that tour, although in this context it is used to indicate that the fans are helping to rebuild the band's career. [79]

Condition Hüman (2015–17)

In a January 2015 interview, lead vocalist Todd La Torre revealed that in February they would "hopefully" start tracking their next album. [82] Three months later, guitarist Michael Wilton spoke to interviewer Jennifer Kessinger at the 2015 Welcome to Rockville Festival about the songwriting progress of the album, which was being recorded at the Uberbeatz studio in Washington with producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris. Wilton said that "it is everything that a fan of Queensrÿche would want from the band" and stated that in more recent concerts and festivals, fans had expressed their satisfaction with the band's current line up. [83] Wilton revealed in a later interview that they had finished recording the album, and it was being in the process of being mixed and mastered before being sent off to their record label Century Media Records. However, he did not reveal a title or release date. [84]

On June 30, 2015, Wilton stated that the album would likely be released in early October. He added that the label "have the demos right now and are very positive and happy about it."[ citation needed ]

On July 17, 2015, the band announced that a clip of a new song titled "Arrow of Time" would be released to fans who participated in their PledgeMusic campaign. The song was the opening track of the new album, titled Condition Hüman . On August 3, the album's track list and artwork were revealed. Todd LaTorre stated that “The artwork depicts a beautiful innocence surrounded by the darkness of a jaded unpredictable world.” [85] The new album was released on October 2, 2015. [79]

In the weeks leading up to the release of Condition Hüman the band toured North America with German hard rock veterans Scorpions. [86] After the new album's release, the band embarked on a tour of the United States in early 2016, [87] and a European tour in September of that year. [88] In October 2016 the band performed in Australia and the Far East. [89] On March 28, 2017, the band announced Rockenfield would take paternity leave to take care of his newborn son, and that Kamelot drummer Casey Grillo would fill in his spot for upcoming live dates. [90]

The Verdict (2017–present)

On May 1, 2017, Todd La Torre revealed plans for the band's next studio album. He said that approximately 15 songs were ready at that point and that they could be characterized by a faster tempo than those on the previous album. The band hoped to enter the studio in September 2017, for an early 2018 release via Century Media. [91] In July 2018, in a Facebook post offering the forthcoming album for early orders, the band announced that the album would be released in 2019. On October 29, 2018, the band revealed that the new album is entitled "The Verdict" and will be released on March 1, 2019. According to Blabbermouth.net, Todd La Torre was confirmed as playing drums on the new album.

Band members



Awards and nominations

Queensrÿche awards and nominations
Awards and nominations
Grammy Awards 0 3
MTV Video Music Awards 1 5
Awards won1

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. [92] [93] [94]

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1990 "I Don't Believe in Love" Best Metal Performance Nominated
1992 "Silent Lucidity" Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Nominated
1992 Chris DeGarmo – "Silent Lucidity" Best Rock Song Nominated

MTV Video Music Awards

The MTV Video Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony established in 1984 by MTV. [95]

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1991 "Silent Lucidity" Video of the Year Nominated
1991 "Silent Lucidity" Best Group Video Nominated
1991 "Silent Lucidity" Best Metal/Hard Rock Video Nominated
1991 "Silent Lucidity" Best Direction in a Video Nominated
1991 "Silent Lucidity" Viewers' Choice Award Won


Related Research Articles

Geoff Tate American singer

Geoff Tate is a German-born American singer and musician. He rose to fame with the progressive metal band Queensrÿche, who had commercial success with their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime and 1990 album Empire. Tate is ranked fourteenth on Hit Parader's list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time. He was voted No. 2 on That Metal Show's top 5 hard rock vocalists of the 1980s. In 2012, he won the Vegas Rocks! Magazine Music Award for "Voice in Progressive Heavy Metal". In 2015, he placed ninth on OC Weekly's list of the 10 Best High-Pitched Metal Singers. After his farewell tour as Queensrÿche, he renamed his band Operation: Mindcrime, after the Queensrÿche album of the same name.

<i>Queensrÿche</i> (EP) EP by Queensrÿche

Queensrÿche is the self-titled debut EP by the American progressive metal band Queensrÿche, released independently in September 1983 through 206 Records and reissued later that same year through EMI-America. A remastered edition was reissued in 2003 through Capitol Records.

<i>Operation: Mindcrime II</i> album by Queensrÿche

Operation: Mindcrime II is the ninth studio album by the American progressive metal band Queensrÿche. It is a concept album and the sequel to the group's 1988 release, Operation: Mindcrime, which had achieved both critical and commercial success. Mindcrime II was released on April 4, 2006 in the United States, on March 29 in Japan, on March 31 in Germany, and on April 3 in the rest of world, with the Rhino Entertainment label providing distribution. The lead single, titled "I'm American," was performed by Queensrÿche during their 2005 tour, which they took in support of the group Judas Priest.

<i>Tribe</i> (Queensrÿche album) Queensrÿche album

Tribe is the eighth studio album from the American progressive metal band Queensrÿche, released on 22 July 2003. It was self-produced by Queensrÿche, with Scott Olson engineering and Adam Kasper mixing the album.

Revolution Calling 1988 single by Queensrÿche

"Revolution Calling" is a song by Progressive metal band Queensrÿche appearing on their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime. Written by vocalist Geoff Tate and guitarist Michael Wilton, the song was released as the third single from the album.

<i>Operation: Livecrime</i> live album by Queensrÿche

Operation: Livecrime is a boxed set, covering the live performance of the album Operation: Mindcrime by the American heavy metal band Queensrÿche. It was released by EMI in 1991. After Queensrÿche toured in 1991 in support of Empire, record label EMI released this limited-edition set in two versions, one containing both a videocassette and a CD, the other containing both a videocassette and an audio cassette of live Operation: Mindcrime performances.

<i>Mindcrime at the Moore</i> live album by Queensrÿche

Mindcrime at the Moore is a live album and DVD by American progressive metal band Queensrÿche, that was released on July 3, 2007. The album and DVD were announced in an April 4 press release on the band's website.

I Dont Believe in Love 1989 single by Queensrÿche

"I Don't Believe in Love" is a song by progressive metal band Queensrÿche appearing on their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime. It has also been featured in all four of their compilations, Evolution Calling, Greatest Hits, Classic Masters, and Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche, making it one of the band's most well-known songs.

Eyes of a Stranger (song) song

"Eyes of a Stranger" is a song by progressive metal band Queensrÿche appearing on their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime. It is the last song on Operation Mindcrime, summarizing the story in the album. It has also been featured on two of their compilations, Greatest Hits and Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche.

<i>Dedicated to Chaos</i> album

Dedicated to Chaos is the twelfth studio album by American progressive metal band Queensrÿche. The album was released first in Japan on June 21, 2011, and a week later in the United States on June 28, 2011, and is the band's first album for Roadrunner Records' Loud & Proud label.

Todd La Torre American singer and drummer

Todd La Torre is an American singer and drummer. He is the lead singer for the progressive metal band Queensrÿche, and a former lead vocalist of the bands Crimson Glory and Rising West. Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, he learned to play the drums at a young age.

Randy Gane

Randy Gane, also known as Random Damage, is an American keyboardist. He currently plays in former Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate's band Operation: Mindcrime.

<i>Frequency Unknown</i> Music album

Frequency Unknown is the thirteenth studio album released under the name Queensrÿche; it was released by Geoff Tate's temporary version of the band, before a settlement determined that only the other band members were entitled to use the name Queensrÿche. Despite this the album is still considered an official Queensrÿche release with the album appearing on the band's Spotify and iTunes pages. The album was released on Cleopatra Records' sub label, Deadline Music, on April 23, 2013 as music download, on CD and limited edition vinyl LP in the United States and on May 21, 2013 as audio cassette which excludes the re-recorded classics, and on June 3, 2013 on CD in the United Kingdom.

<i>Kings & Thieves</i> album by Geoff Tate

Kings & Thieves is the second solo studio album by former Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate, released on November 6, 2012. It follows his eponymous first solo effort, released a decade earlier. Kings & Thieves sold about 1,800 copies in the U.S. in its first week, and failed to chart. The album was produced by longtime Queensrÿche collaborator Kelly Gray, who also played on the album.

<i>Queensrÿche</i> (album) Queensrÿche album

Queensrÿche is the fourteenth studio album by American heavy metal band Queensrÿche, and the first to feature new singer Todd La Torre. It was released during a time when there were two different versions of the band, the other led by former singer Geoff Tate, who would give up his rights to the name in an amicable settlement in 2014.

Operation: Mindcrime (band) American band

Operation: Mindcrime is a progressive metal band that is fronted by the former lead singer of Queensrÿche, Geoff Tate. Various musicians have contributed to the band, both live and in studio and it features members such as John Moyer and Simon Wright. The group signed a worldwide deal in December 2014 with Frontiers Music Srl for its coming releases. Their debut album, The Key, which is part one of a trilogy, was released on September 18, 2015. The second, Resurrection, was released on September 23, 2016. The third and final album of the trilogy, The New Reality, was released on December 1, 2017.


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