Tate: Firing is 'career suicide' for Queensryche

Former Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate admits he’s still perplexed as to why he was fired by the group in 2012 and says the move is "career suicide" for his old band.

His dramatic dismissal followed a violent confrontation with bandmates, leading to a legal tussle over use of the group’s name which was eventually settled out of court.

Tate is keeping the name until the end of his August tour, after which the band and new vocalist Todd La Torre will take the name. Tate will continue under Operation: Mindcrime.

He tells GoUpstate.com: “I didn’t see it coming – I didn’t even think it was possible. Why would you fire the main writer and the person who is the face of the band – the identifying key figure in the success of the group?

“I don’t mean that to sound egotistical, it’s just the truth. Why would you do that? It sounds like career suicide, especially at our ages. We’re all in our 50s – why would you break apart this successful thing at this point in life?”

Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield says the decision to fire Tate was not a spur of the moment choice, revealing they had to clean up the “sickness” in the band: “The conflict started years ago – we had been in a dark place for a long time,” he says. “We weren’t making music we were passionate about and were being forced to do a lot of things we didn’t want to do.”

Operation: Mindcrime will continue work on their trilogy of albums following Tate’s tour and the singer reveals it will be a conceptual piece: “I can say in a general sense it’s conceptual,” he says. “There’s a story that’s followed and the music paints the picture and sets the atmosphere.

“How that compares to what we’ve done in the past, I would say look to the Operation: Mindcrime and Promised Land albums. Those are conceptual, so I’ll be working within those parameters.”

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.