QUEENSRŸCHE members Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and Geoff Tate have released the following joint statement:
“We wanted to let QUEENSRŸCHE fans around the world know that an amicable settlement has been reached between Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and Geoff Tate with regard to the future of the QUEENSRŸCHE name. According to the agreement, original QUEENSRŸCHE members Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton along with recent members, Todd La Torre and Parker Lundgren, will now be the sole entity recording and touring as QUEENSRŸCHE, performing selections from their entire musical catalog that spans over 30 years of material. Original QUEENSRŸCHE lead singer Geoff Tate will continue to record, perform and pursue a variety of other creative endeavors and, as part of the agreement, will have the exclusive rights to perform ‘Operation: Mindcrime I’ and ‘II’ in their entirety as a unique performance. Both sides wish each other well and are excited about what the future holds. We want to thank the fans for standing beside us through this ordeal and look forward to sharing our music with you for years to come.”
The QUEENSRŸCHE corporate assets will be evenly divided among Wilton, Jackson, Rockenfield and Tate.
According to The Seattle Times, Tate will embark on a brief QUEENSRŸCHE “farewell” tour this summer before launching a new chapter his career.
“It’s the rebirth of QUEENSRŸCHE and the way it used to be,” Wilton told The Seattle Times. “We’re rebuilding the QUEENSRŸCHE name.”
Added Tate: “One thing that’s really important for people to understand is that this never went to court. They [Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield] bought the name from me. But I retain ‘Operation: Mindcrime’. It’s sort of similar to the PINK FLOYD situation where Roger Waters retained ‘The Wall’. ‘Mindcrime’ was my thing and my story, so it’s appropriate that I keep that. So they will continue on as QUEENSRŸCHE, and I will continue on as me.”
QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton recently revealed that the band is continuing work on material for the follow-up to last year’s self-titled effort. “We’ve already begun the process for the next album,” he said. “We have probably six songs demoed so far. We’re taking it in a direction suited to what we do as QUEENSRŸCHE but maybe a little more progressive and heavier. The thing is, you never know what you really have until it’s complete. It’s like carving a piece of clay and seeing how it turns out. You peel off the layers until you get to something really cool.”
Tate — who was fired from the Seattle progressive rock band in 2012 after fronting it for three decades — and his wife, Susan, QUEENSRŸCHE‘s former manager, filed a lawsuit in June 2012 asking the judge to award them the rights to the band’s name in exchange for Tate paying Eddie Jackson (bass), Michael Wilton (guitar) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) the fair market value for their interests in the QUEENSRŸCHE companies. Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson filed a countersuit against the Tates in which they accused Geoff of creative obstruction and violent behavior, and Susan Tate of questionable business practices.
While ruling against Tate, the presiding judge determined that there was no legal hurdle in Tate also using the name with an all-new lineup of musicians. “I don’t see any reason that Mr. Tate can’t have the benefit, if he gets other members, of whatever name he uses of using the brand,” Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira said during the July 13, 2012 court hearing. “I think [doing that would be] inherently confusing, although I’m sure the market can get these things sorted out,” she added.
Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson last year accused Geoff Tate of “continu[ing] to harm the QUEENSRŸCHE brand” since the Tates‘ original lawsuit was filed in June 2012. In a court document, they wrote: “The newest self-titled QUEENSRŸCHE CD release by the [Todd La Torre-fronted version of the band] entered the U.S. charts at #23 and continues to get 9-out-of-10-star reviews and is still selling very well on a weekly basis around the globe. In comparison, Geoff Tate released his own QUEENSRŸCHE CD in April of  titled ‘Frequency Unknown’ and depicted as F.U. on the cover, which entered the charts at #82, received very bad reviews around the world, and has slowed to almost no more weekly sales. [The Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE‘s] new CD even outperformed the last two CDs of them with Geoff Tate, selling more in a month than the ‘Dedicated to Chaos’ CD has since its release in 2010, and charting much better than both that album and the previous one, ‘American Soldier’. Thus, the return to the classic sound [Tate‘s former] bandmates have made with the new CD and live shows has been met with overwhelming success.”
They added: “Geoff Tate also chose very poorly in hiring live musicians that have shown that they are not capable of representing the correct performances of the QUEENSRŸCHE music legacy, and he was constantly replacing them. He has been offering his low-quality version of QUEENSRŸCHE to the promoters at a much reduced rate, as low as $10,000 per night, when, in fact, [his former] bandmates have done their best to keep the authorized QUEENSRŸCHE at an average of well over $20,000 per show this entire year. However, this becomes harder and harder with Geoff Tate‘s sub-par band and cut-rate pricing that continues to be damaging to the QUEENSRŸCHE brand and legacy no matter who ultimately wins control after trial.”