I really, really, really liked this band. Note the emphasis on the three really’s. They started off as a normal metal band, with a singer in Geoff Tate that had a unique voice for the metal genre. The musical style of the band evolved much the same way my musical tastes evolved during the Eighties, so it was perfect.
I have been forming an opinion on Queensryche, since Chris DeGarmo left in January 1998, after the 1997 Hear In The Now Frontier album.
After listening to what Geoff Tate has released recently with his Kings and Queens solo album and his F.U Queensryche offering, and also listening to the new song Redemption that the Queensryche/Todd LaTorre fronted version released, I can say without a doubt, that the star in Queensryche was Chris DeGarmo.
To be honest, I purchased all the Queensryche releases up to American Soldier. That is what fans did once upon a time, and none of the new stuff stacks up. The songs are forgettable and the music even more so. I thought that Operation Mindcrime II would be a savior, however that failed to get my attention as well. Who knew at the time that it came out, that session musicians played on it.
For those that don’t know the story so far, Geoff Tate was fired from Queensryche. He countered that firing by saying that he is Queensryche, so how can they fire him from the band that he lived and breathed.
Stories continued to come out, about violent punch ups before a South American show, involving Geoff Tate vs the rest of the band members, about how the band members haven’t even played on any of the newer Queensryche releases even though they are credited and so on. Just go to Loudwire, search for Queensryche and you will be filled in.
They have filed injunctions against each other and I am pretty sure if they could throw each other under a bus, they would. This is one of those bad blood split ups, more controversial than Vince Neil’s ousting from Motley Crue or David Lee Roth’s ousting from Van Halen.
I saw Queensryche at the Metro Theater in Sydney back in 2009, August 31. The band at the time was the original four, with Tate’s son in law Parker Lundgren on guitars. What can I say, they killed it. The Metro is a small venue, it was sold out. 1,200 people paid $90 to watch them.
They did songs from Rage For Order, Empire and American Soldier. That was cool, because they promoted the shows that way as well, so people knew what they were paying for. The American Soldier songs became toilet breaks.
Keeping bands together is a tough gig in itself. Don Henley said that it was a horrible relief when the Eagles broke up. That more or less sums it up. On one hand, the break up feels like shit, you are sad and you are on the angry, but on the other hand, you are relieved its over, you are free, you can start over again.
What is pathetic in all of this, is that the fans are being treated like shit. Both bands do not deserve the name of Queensryche. They should have taken a new name, however both versions know, that they need the Queensryche name to sell themselves.
One thing is clear in my mind, Queensryche will always be Chris DeGarmo for me.
It looks even that is not working. F.U debuted at #74, with 5,500 units sold, last week. Week 2 saw it at #173 with 2,275 sold. By week 3 it will be gone. So expect Tate to start spitting out some controversial comments, so that he can get free press come his way.