By Carl Begai
Making a long and disappointing story short, metal veterans Queensrÿche came apart at the seams in April 2012 after 30 years in the trenches. With vocalist Geoff Tate on one side and the rest of the line-up on the other, the band split into two factions, both laying claim to the Queensrÿche name. The ugly details of the split can be found here (scroll down for older updates), with a court date set for November 2013 to decide who will actually be allowed to wear the moniker. In the meantime both Tate and his former bandmates are working on new albums, with both due to be released this year.
Of the two parties, the Queensrÿche consisting of founding members Michael Wilton (guitars), Eddie Jackson (bass), and Scott Rockenfield (drums) – also featuring new-ish guitarist Parker Lundgren – have had it easier by hiring former Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. They’ve chosen to go back to the band’s original metal sound and the long-time fans are loving it. Tate, on the other hand, has gathered a group of musicians to continue his own ‘Rÿche legacy, with Rudy Sarzo (ex-Ozzy Osbourne), Glen Drover (ex-Megadeth), Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), Kelly Gray (ex-Queensrÿche) and Randy Gane (ex-Myth) having rallied around Tate in September 2012. Only two months later, however, Drover bowed out for undisclosed reasons.
I recently caught up with Drover to discuss his decision to pack it in before any recordings or live performances with Tate’s band were in the can.
“The musical direction of where Geoff wanted to go wasn’t what I wanted to go forward with,” Drover explains. “I’m more into the first five Queensrÿche albums, the original template of the band. For me, When I think of the band, I think of those records.”
“I felt very bad about it,” he says of jumping ship, “and I wish I knew more about what their plans were before going to Seattle to take band photos. There was very little communication before the trip. In the end, I had to think about my future and I what I felt was right for me. I was on the fence when I got home from Seattle, but after speaking to a couple people that I trust who know what’s going on, it made my decision a lot easier.”
Drover’s team-up with Tate was buzz-worthy, but he made a much bigger noise when he performed with the La Torre-led outfit in his home town of Toronto on March 7th. More to the point, the fans went nuts – both positive and negative – when Drover referred to his scheduled guest appearance as “playing a song with the REAL Queensrÿche.” It sounded like he was taking a swipe at Tate, which he insists most certainly wasn’t the case.
“That was poor wording on my part,” says Drover. “I went on Twitter a day or two before the show in Toronto and posted that because I wanted to try and alleviate any confusion as to which Queensrÿche I was going to play with. What I should have said was maybe the ‘original’ Queensrÿche, or maybe nothing at all. As we all know, Geoff has gone off to do his version of the band, and then you still have the original Queensrÿche that exists with a new singer, as well as Parker, who has been in the band for a few years now. It wasn’t a slap at anyone in any way, shape or form. I have no problems with anybody on either side. It was the wrong choice of wording.”
Check out Drover performing ‘Take Hold Of The Flame’ with Queensrÿche here.
For information and updates on the Todd La Torre-fronted Queensrÿche go to this location. For everything on Geoff Tate’s new incarnation of the band click here.