Queensryche Guitarist Claims Former Singer Geoff Tate Punched and Spat on Band Members
Queensryche have been subject to one of the most venomous splits in recent history. We’ve all heard rumors about former vocalist Geoff Tate feuding with the other Queensryche members, but a new statement from guitarist Michael Wilton details a violent and chaotic scenario, which seems to have led to Tate’s exit from the band.
After Tate was booted from Queensryche, the singer filed an injunction against the band to prevent them from using the Queensryche name. In response, Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield are attempting to get the injunction thrown out, while filing a response detailing Tate’s bizarre behavior.
“Geoff Tate was setting up his station and the three of us walked around his area to our stations,” begins Wilton in his declaration. “I walked over to the area where my equipment was. I had just put on my guitar in preparation for the show when I heard a loud bang and then an ‘uh oh’ by our singer, Geoff Tate. I looked over to see that he (Geoff Tate) had knocked over the whole drum kit and was now spitting at our drummer, Scott Rockenfield, and yelling obscenities at him.”
“At this point, I went over behind the drums to help assist pushing the drums back up on the stage when I heard our singer say, ‘Hey, Mike, have a nice show,’ and then when I looked at him, he spit right in my face and called me a ‘motherf—er.’ As I was wiping my face, feeling violated, Geoff Tate came back at me yelling obscenities, ‘F—er,’ ‘F— you, you mother f—er.’ I gave him a look from my towel, he approached me and when I was not looking, he punched me on the side of my face.”
“The punch also hit my right eye which had a contact lens in it. My contact jostled and I was trying to get it back in place so I could see. I told him to get away from me, but he kept pushing his chest into me calling me ‘P–sy, f—ing p–sy! What, are you going to cry?’ My eye was watering from my contact, I couldn’t see clearly, and I pushed him away. Then Scott Rockenfield (our drummer) came down and told him to get away from me. Geoff Tate then threw another punch at me, but I ducked and it hit Scott Rockenfield right in the face (his mouth area).”
“Scott Rockenfield told him to back off and then Geoff Tate punched Scott Rockenfield again in the face. At this point our tour manager, Fozzy O’Hare, pulled Geoff Tate away and one of our guitar technicians, Kenny Bender, helped me by getting a cold water bottle on my face to stop any swelling or redness. Geoff Tate came back over and called me a ‘p–sy’ and a ‘crybaby’ again. I told everyone I needed a minute until I was able to get my vision back and I was moved to the other side of the stage until the crew felt they could get the situation under control. I then told my guitar technician, Gino Bishop, to get a towel to wipe off all the spit on my guitar that kept coming from Geoff Tate. From this side of the stage, I could see confusion between the security and our crew. Everyone was shocked and completely caught off guard with Geoff Tate’s irrational and violent behavior.”
On a lighter note, Wilton added the immense positivity that new vocalist Todd La Torre has brought to Queensryche’s live show. “What happened after this was an explosion of excitement from not only the fans but the media as well. We were happy this was being so well received, but we didn’t expect the high level of excitement that came with this. We were doing this for us and the fans and for the first time in years we felt a rejuvenation of happiness playing together as a band.”