Despite one of ugliest splits in rock history, in a new interview Geoff Tate says he’s “always open” to reuniting with Queensrÿche.
Queensrÿche parted ways with Tate following a notorious backstage incident in which the singer reportedly pulled a knife on drummer Scott Rockenfeld on tour in Brazil when he learned the band may be replacing him with another vocalist. Tate would later tell Rolling Stone that no knife was involved, but did admit to punching Rockenfeld and shoving guitarist Michael Wilton.
Once he was ousted from the band, Tate formed his own incarnation of Queensrÿche, and for a while there were two Queensrÿches touring and releasing new music. A legal battle resulted in Tate losing the Queensrÿche name but being allowed to tour under the band name Operation: Mindcrime and billing himself as “The Voice of Queensrÿche.”
While Queensrÿche continue to tour and record with new singer Todd La Torre, Tate will embark on a 2020 tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of Queensrÿche’s 1990 LP, Empire, during which he’ll perform that album and 1986’s Rage for Order in their entirety.
Eon Music caught up with Tate, and he spoke about the upcoming tour, saying, “There are songs on [Empire] I’ve never played live, and I’m really looking forward to that. Man, what a treat… for me!”
Tate was also asked about the band’s legacy, to which he responded, “I think Queensrÿche had some amazing music, and I’m very proud of what we made together and separately, individually. It’s cool stuff, and I’m very proud of it.”
And finally, on whether he’d ever reunite with his old Queensrÿche bandmates, Tate said, “Well, I never say never. I’d be interested in seeing what comes next. If our paths cross again, I’m always open.”
Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson are the only classic members of Queensrÿche remaining in the band as of now. Guitarist Chris DeGarmo left in 1998, while Scott Rockenfeld departed in 2017 to help raise his newborn son.
Tate admitted that even if he did reunite with Queensrÿche, coaxing DeGarmo back to the band might be a tough task. “He’s kind of a hermit, so to speak,” said Tate.
For now, Tate is currently on tour celebrating Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindcrime. As mentioned, he’ll kick off the “Empire 30th Anniversary Tour” in 2020. See his tour dates, and pick up tickets here.