While there are two versions of Queensryche out there, many are looking more forward to the version that consists of original band members Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson, and Michael Wilton, along with former Crimson Glory vocalist Todd La Torre. Now it looks like those fans will get their chance, as Billboard reports the band have signed a deal with Century Media Records, with an album due on June 11. And while original vocalist Geoff Tate has signed with Cleopatra Records to put out his own version of Queensryche, his second solo album, Kings and Thieves, was released last year on Century Media subsidiary label Inside Out. That makes Tate and the other Queensryche, who are bitterly at war with each other, semi-distantly-connected label mates.
Apparently, discussions between the band version of Queensryche and Century Media began in January, when CM North American president Don Robertson met with the band at the NAMM convention. “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,” Rockenfield commented. “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.” Robertson commented that many at the label have been longtime fans of the band, and were definitely interested when hearing they were putting out a new album.
However, that’s somewhat at odds with what Century Media A&R/product manager and Inside Out label manager Paul Gargano said when Tate’s solo album was released. He’d said in a statement that “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.” When asked about Gargano’s earlier statement, Robertson told Billboard “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.” It should also be noted that Gargano won’t be product managing the Queensryche record.
It could shape up to be pretty interesting, especially when one of the Queensryches has to change their name, which won’t happen until after a trial, which is slated for November. The real winners are fans of the first four Queensryche albums. The court documents filed suggest that Tate prevented the band from writing heavier material that fans wanted to hear. We’ll find out just how heavy on June 11.