Queensryche Sign New Deal, Next Album Out On June 11
Posted by Joseph Lee on 03.04.2013
The first with their new singer...
Billboard reports that Queensryche has signed a deal with Century Media Records for a worldwide deal. Their next album and first with singer Todd La Torre will be out on June 11.
Drummer Scott Rockenfield said: "Century Media has been extremely enthusiastic ever since they came into the equation with us, and for what it's worth it's hard to find enthusiasm like that. After 35 years I guess I'm gracious and honored that we have people that are that enthusiastic about the band, so we're really happy about moving forward with them."
Century Media president of North America Don Robertson wrote in a statement: "Many of us at the label have been longtime fans of Queensryche as a band. When we heard they were recording a new record, we were all definitely interested."
The deal happened after Queensryche's team began looking around for any interest in the album. Robertson met the band in Anaheim, California at the NAMM convention in January. They would not reveal details about the deal but Robertson said: "We have the option to be in business with Queensryche for a long time."
The band announced last summer it was recording the album with La Torre after Geoff Tate was fired by the bane in June. The new contract comes after Tate and his wife Susan filed a lawsuit against Queensryche (remaining members Rockenfield, guitarists Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren, and bassist Eddie Jackson) about the legality of his firing, his severance package and which party owns the rights to the name. Tate submitted paperwork that had a declaration from Century Media A&R/product manager/InsideOut Music label Paul Gargano. The declaration supported a preliminary injunction request (wanted by the Tates) that would have prevented either party from using the name until the matter is settled in Seattle's King County Superior Court. (Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira denied that request in July.)
Tate has since released his second solo album, Kings & Thieves on InsideOut in November, a part of a worldwide deal for several albums. InsideOut is a Century Media-associated label. Tate also announced on January 25 that he signed a contract with Cleopatra Records to release an album with his own version of Queensryche later this year. Tate and the original band are allowed to have business agreements under that name, which happened after the band failed to stop him from using the name until the suit was settled. Schapira ruled in October that both could use the name.
Gargano added: "In my opinion, based on my experience in the industry, the best course of action to take at this point would be to stop any tours or recordings by anyone in the name of Queensryche until the litigation is resolved."
He said he has seen how bands' brand value dropped "after those bands attempt[ed] to replace their lead singer, [especially] when they do so in an acrimonious manner." In July, Gargano said that "the intention of the injunction was to protect the future value of Queensryche by eliminating the possibility of there being multiple versions of Queensryche. Not only did the judge deny the injunction—she also urged and encouraged that there should be two Queensryche bands moving forward. Which is precisely what the injunction intended to avoid."
When asked if there was any concern about conflict with Tate or Queensryche in relationship to Gargano, Robertson said: "Our employees' personal opinions in no way reflect the opinions of Century Media as a company. We expect there to be no conflict with any of our artists."
Rockenfield added: "To be honest, we don't really care. The label wouldn't be signing us if they weren't interested in what we're doing as Queensryche. They know exactly what's going on in the lawsuit. They've read everything, they did their own research because they're not going to throw money and time and support into something if they didn't know what they were doing. Don and Steve[Joh, head of Century Media A&R] are hugely supportive of what we're doing, and that's all we need."
Robertson added that Joh, not Gargano, will oversee Queenryche's A&R/product manager responsibilities.
Tate revealed his own lineup in September, followed by a November announcement for the 25th anniversary of the band's 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime, which would be celebrated with a tour. Two of the members (guitarist Glen Drover and drummer Bobby Blotzer) have left the band. The lineup now features Rudy and Robert Sarzo on bass and drums along with drummer Simon Wright, guitarist Kelly Gray and keyboardist Randy Gane. Guest musicians include Brad Gillis, K.K. Downing and Ty Tabor.
The original band is planning its Return to History tour, which will start on March 5. Rockenfield said: "Recording is finished. It's that final stage where we mix and we master . . . It's been quite crazy so we're winding down so we can focus on the final section of the record, which is the artwork and the name and everything else."
They are working with producer James "Jimbo" Barton", who worked with the band for the albums Operation: Mindcrime, Empire and Promised Land. It's unknown what will happen when the new album was released and the lawsuit is settled. The trial date is set for November 18. When asked how the deal could change if this version loses the name, Robertson said: "I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it."