From classicrock.com:
"The prog metal giants’ fan network is loaded with reference to singer Geoff Tate’s solo tour and wine business – but carries no mention of Rising West’s upcoming live debut.

Four fifths of Queensryche Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren – last week announced their new outfit, fronted by Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre, and said they’d focus on performing material from their first five albums.

Asked about rumours of internal tension, a spokesman insisted: “Geoff Tate is concentrating on his acoustic solo performances this summer, while the other members of the band have formed Rising West. Everyone wants to stay busy, try new things and do what they do best: rock in front of the masses. Queensryche are slated to perform select dates throughout the year.”

But the new outfit have now released their own statement, saying: “We are being denied access to our own Facebook page and website (meaning Queensryche) so please spread the word for about Rising West. Rising West will be on KISW 99.9 this Thursday around 4:30. Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at our shows!”

Last night fans reported their comments about Rising West were being deleted from the Queensryche Facebook page. One said: “Banning, censoring, what else? All we wanted to do was ask why we could not hear or see anything on the upcoming Rising West project. This is getting pretty darn sad.”

Another added: “Whoever is running this page is clearly being petty and desperate. Rising West is about to derail the Tates’s gravy train.”

Rising West will play at the Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle on Friday and Saturday."

The above 'band statement' was posted on Michael Wilton's Facebook page.


Ok, so being a fan of Queensryche I subscribe to their Facebook page, their Twitter feed, etc. And for months I have seen posts for upcoming Queensryche dates, Geoff Tate solo dates, and his wine tastings. I haven't seen one word about Rising West on anything Queensryche related. Not. One. Word.

It is sad and stupid really. I mean this is becoming embarrassing for the band, for the Tates, and for the fans. Who ever thought that Queensryche would end up this way, let alone end this way?

Funny, Mr. Tate can push all of his 'non' Queensryche projects all he wants now, but none of the other members can.

And I am still tickled that his Son In Law Parker (guitarist for Queensryche) has apparently chosen his side, and it is with the rest of the band, not his Father In Law. Must make for fun family get togethers no?

So many great bands feed off their inner turmoil, unfortunately the majority just implode. Look at the recent Guns & Roses circus surrounding the R&R Hall of Fame. Hell, reports are now coming out that Axl is banning anyone in the audience from wearing a Slash shirt! Are you kidding me?

What first appeared to be sour grapes between the members of Queensryche is turning into an all out mudslinging war.

I still hold that June 11th will be Queensryche's last show with the 5 current members.

If you haven't read about the reports of Geoff pulling a knife on drummer Scott Rockenfield and assaulting Michael Wilton in Brazil you can read it on our site here.

You can also read about the Rising West original announcement and Queensryche's press agent response to it on our site here.

queensryche 2011 11 08 09

Taken from examiner.com:

QUEENSRŸCHE publicist Jeff Albright downplayed rumors of strife in the group. "In regards to the current state of Queensryche, the fact of the matter is that Geoff Tate is concentrating on his acoustic solo performances this summer while the other members of the band have formed a new outfit called Rising West with Todd La Torre of Crimson Glory," he said in an email to Examiner.com Wednesday morning.

"Everyone wants to stay busy, try new things and do what they do best . . . and, of course, that's rock in front of the masses.

"As you're probably aware, Queensryche are slated to perform select dates throughout the year."

From collectorsroom.se: (yes this is a blog, yes it is in Portugeuese, yes it not a news source... but there are two other references to this below... so it bears reading, even if it is in very broken English)
Something very strange happened in the recent passage of Queensrÿche for our country. The band played in Sao Paulo, HSBC Brazil, last April 14. Before the show, Geoff Tate, lead singer of the group, caught other members plotting his removal on the set.

By the time Tate retired and was silent, but during the soundcheck, he violently assaulted guitarist Michael Wilton, knocking down the musician. Then Tate armed with a knife broke up drummer Scott Rockenfield, but was restrained by security guards of the house, who, along with the crew and some Brazilians who watched the soundcheck, witnessed the whole shack.

Dissatisfied with what happened, Wilton locked himself in the dressing room saying he would no longer play, but was convinced by the production of the event to do the show.

Ok, so we have a 'report' that Geoff Tate attacks Michael Wilton, then pulls a knife on Scott Rockenfield? Holy shit! Is it really that bad? Hard to say, as nothing official other than what you have read above by their publicist has been put out at this time.

This report, and a report from metalsludge.tv about Geoff telling the Rocklahoma crowd last weekend that they 'suck' appear to show that Geoff is the one losing it here.

However I came across this interesting post from producer/song writer Jason Slater who worked with QUEENSRŸCHE on Mindcrime II, American Soldier, Take Cover, and part of Dedicated to Chaos:

From rockpages.gr:
The biggest problem with that band is they won't get off their ass but somehow manage not to be able to get outta their own way.
MCII was a good start at a comeback in retrospect. It was largely made in a basement by 3 guys that previously didn't know each other and it was hard work. Some members didn't want to work that way and one refused to participate in the record. During the entire making of that record QR's co manager was trying to get me fired because I thought he should have no musical input. I was getting calls from producer friends of mine while I was working on the record asking me if I was in Seattle working with QR and I'd say "yes" then they'd tell me how Lars, QR's manager had called them asking if they were interested in working on the record. As it turned out without talking to Susan he and two members that weren't working on the record were trying to replace me even though the record was half done and those 2 members have written the least amount of music in the QR catalogue. Think about what would have happened if they were successful. Who woulda written the songs? Not them. Dumb move. Lars was let go shortly thereafter.
Then we move on to Take Cover and the return of KG, IT WAS A F'n DISASTER! He was trying to throw me under the bus from the first second, I'll post instrumentals on my blog that were my arrangements, nobody from QR is playing on it yet, but they KILL the record. They kept my arrangements and creative ideas but cut me out of the rest of the project. The guy was so threatened by me he made up problems and did all kinds of childish shit.
Then we come to AS. I didn't know hoW this record was going to be made, so I wrote and recorded the entire thing at my studio. You could have just put Geoff’s vocal on it and it would have been done. Kelly just wants to finish the records as fast as he can and get paid, so when I found out they were bringing him back I was very unhappy, but I knew he'd take the easy way out and just copy my recordings so he could finish and get paid. A lot of the art was missing, but the record was still a step in the right direction.
Enter DTC. I didn't want to work on it, period. I told them I wouldn't work with Kelly and didn’t want to work on the record. I thought about it for a few weeks and thought about all the hard work it took to get us this far and that if we could make a creative metal record we will have finally given the fans the record they've wanted and stay true to QR always progressing. I was assured that my word would over ride KG's. I got out there and was just plain shut out of the process on all levels. KG was just slamming out crap so fast I'm surprised the guitars are in tune.....if they are. When all you care about is finishing so you can get paid you end up with DTC.
We were building, call it Tateryche if you want, but if you find me a band that's a true democracy I'll show you some liars. If Geoff doesn't take a project and make it move forward most of the other guys will sit on their ass and gather dust. Prime example of screwing yourself : Ed Jackson. I've never been anything but cool to that guy. At the end of DTC he starts blowing all this "f*ck Jason`, we're never working with him again blah blah blah" out of his pie hole. Let’s keep a few things in mind about Ed, I've given him a percentage of my publishing on every song I've written for them, not because I had to but because after touring and merch stop it’s the only income and I don't go on the road to advertise those songs so they have value. Most songwriters don't do this. This is the same guy that overplayed so much on MCII that I ended up playing the majority of the bass on that record and didn’t say a word until now.
When KG forgot to record the bass on the live DVD (ed note: Live Evolution), I sat there staring at the footage of Ed making sure my finger movement matched his so nobody could tell I played it. It was a shit ton of work that I wasn’t hired to do, I could have just mixed it and there would have been a low rumble from the bleed of the drum mic's. On AS he has the same amount of publishing I have! Ed I'm sure you've bought an iPhone with some of that money I've given you, go to the "Notes" app and paste this in it and read it everyday

So according to Jason, Geoff is the only one moving the band forward... To which Michael Wilson replied recently...

Tell him the singer is not Queensryche. The band is Queensryche”!

Very telling indeed is it not? Let's go back to the formation of the band. It was Scott and Michael who started together, bringing on Chris DeGarmo and Eddie. Then they asked Geoff to join, but he kept putting them off.

For those that don't know Geoff's wife currently manages the band, and his son in law Parker Lundgren plays guitar for the band.

Lots of shit out there being smeared around... I have a feeling that we may be seeing the last QUEENSRŸCHE show come June 11th. I could be wrong... But I doubt it.

Below you will find some interesting clips that were mentioned above.

In this video shot by our own Marcy Royce, you can see Geoff leave the stage before the song is over and never comes back out, the band finsihes, then takes a bow without Geoff at this month's M3 Festival.

queensryche 2011 11 08 11

From Bravewords.com:
On Friday, June 8th and Saturday, June 9th, the core members of QUEENSRŸCHE will debut their new band, RISING WEST, at the Hard Rock Café in Seattle WA.

Rising West features Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, and Parker Lundgren of Queensrÿche, with powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre of CRIMSON GLORY. The band will be performing rare and classic hits from the first five Queensrÿche albums and plan on hitting the studio sometime early summer to begin recording their first release.

So there has been some speculation online that Queensrÿche is mired in band member turmoil. Geoff is off doing his own solo tour, in between the bad and him are doing festival appearances, and a smattering of summer dates. Geoff is scheduled to do the Shiprocked 2012 cruise, and the last announced Queensrÿche date is June 11th.

So it appears the band (without Geoff) have gotten together with Todd who is a dead ringer for the young Geoff Tate vocals (see video below), and may be moving forward with the old 'classic' Queensrÿche sound. I'm interested to hear what Rising West will sound like, will it be the hard progressive rock of early Queensrÿche or will it be something new and different?

Listening to Todd do Queen of the Reich and seeing that the two shows he is doing with the band is all 'classic' Queensrÿche from the first five albums, leads me to believe that the band wants to return to the harder Queensrÿche sound. And judging from Geoff Tate's solo album and his current solo tour, he is the one driving the new, Adult Radio Rock sound the band is currently shilling out.

I'm torn on the news. On the one hand, Geoff stll sounds great, and the band as a whole should continue to do what it is Queensrÿche does. However, if it is Geoff that has been pushing them in the current direction, then maybe a side project with Todd (let's all hope it isn't the end of Queensrÿche) will give us older fans what we want also.

Two beers based on heavy bands to surface from craft brewers.

Sweden's Amon Amarth and Maryland's Clutch are each the subject of heavy beers from craft beer brewers Three Floyd's and New Belgium respectively.

If Heavy Metal beer collaborations is a trend I do like the way these are going. Using a band's attitude & lyrical imagery as the basis for label art and beer recipes opens up a wide range of possibilities for creative brewers and gives bands another outlet to reach out to their audience and possibly.

The Amon Amarth label looks like an 1980's album cover depicting an epic Viking battle. The Clutch label will be silk screened on 22 ounce bottles using the band logo from their self titled second album.

Label art form the Amon Amarth brew can be seen below and at BEERNEWS.ORG

Detailed images can be found on the artists website: timlehi.blogspot.com

Clutch craft beer with New Belgium

Beer description: Pure rock fury meets Belgian-style brewed folly in this collaboration with Maryland hard-rockers, Clutch. A pronounced bass line of dark chocolate, coffee and black malts bridge the sourness of our dark wood ale for a fluid riff.

This article has been cross post to CRAFT BEER COLLECTIVE



West Memphis Three Mugshot

What exactly does that mean to me? Why have I tried my best to raise awareness of the West Memphis Three? Why have I spent the last 12 years raising money for their legal funds? Why is today, Friday August 19, 2011 so important to me? Let’s start at the beginning…

In 1996 I was living in Portland Oregon and saw a commercial on HBO for a documentary they were going to be airing. What caught my attention was the music being played, it was Metallica. Up to that point Metallica had never leant their music rights to any movie or TV show. As stupid as it may sound to you, that was enough to get me interested in seeing Paradise Lost: The Murders at Robin Hood Hills. A documentary about a trial of three teenage boys for the murder, rape, and mutilation of three 8 year old boys in West Memphis Arkansas.

I watched the documentary the night it was first aired. And three things hit me and changed my life forever…
#1. These teens are fucked up? How can three teenage boys do something so heinous and vile?
#2. Wait a minute… I don’t think they did it!!!
#3. There but for the grace of the gods go I…

You see, these three teenagers were arrested, tried, and convicted of a despicable crime with no evidence, the coerced confession of one of the defendants who was a minor with no attorney or parent present and a deficient mental capacity, the fact that they wore black clothes, listened to heavy metal, read Stephen King, and dabbled in Wicca and the Occult. They were convicted due to ‘satanic panic’.

There but for the grace of the gods go I. In high school I wore black, listened to metal, read Stephen King, was somewhat of an outcast from everyone else, and studied various religions at the time. You read my high school year book inscriptions and it has sayings in there about drinking virgin blood and sacrificing small animals over the summer. Sure it was a joke my ‘friends’ posted in my year books. But, what if what happened in West Memphis actually happened in Ferndale, Ca.

Ferndale, Ca population 1,800 humans, 1,000,000 heads of cattle in 1987. You sneeze on one end of main street and on the other end reports of your death are circulating. If this horrible crime had happened in Ferndale I would have been suspect #1. No doubt in my mind. Am I being melodramatic? How about this? One day a bunch of us went to a friend’s house to party during lunch. I provided a bottle of vodka; only one person drank that day, a preacher’s son. We returned to school, and preacher’s son puked in front of the principal’s office. After hours of interrogating everyone that preacher’s son named was there, I was put before the chief of police who told me in front of witnesses that he believed I was the one to blame for all the drug trafficking running through Ferndale.

Preposterous. If you know anything about Marijuana, you know that Humboldt County California used to be the pot capital of the United States, and some of the best pot came from the mountains above Ferndale and down the coast. One of only two ways to get it off the mountain was to run it through Ferndale. We’re talking BILLIONS of dollars of pot running through main street Ferndale, and me, a lowly senior in high school was the mastermind behind all that? Really? All because I got a preacher’s kid drunk? I was suspended, charged, and convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. I myself being a minor. Here’s the beauty part, to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, you have to have a minor also. He was never charged, he wasn’t suspended, NOTHING happened to him. I had to go to AA meetings because I gave this kid a bottle of vodka that he approached me and asked me for.

So, extrapolate that 1,000,000 times, and picture Ferndale Ca when 3 eight year olds have been viciously murdered, raped, and mutilated. Who gets the finger pointed at first? The weird kid who just moved there. That’s who.

There but for the grace of the gods go I.

So after watching Paradise Lost, I was mortified at the miscarriage of justice I had just seen. The internet was just struggling to become what you see and have today, so connecting with others who knew about the West Memphis Three was slow going. It wasn’t until 1999 that I found a website dedicated to the WM3 as they would become known by. And started reading more about the appeals and various legal wrangling the defense teams were doing.

It was 2000 when I started hosting charity events with the FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE Defense Fund as the main if not sole charity receiving all proceeds. I cannot name how many events I held, or help hold, how many thousands of dollars I took part in raising, or how much of my own money over the years I have put into it. But it was never enough.

People ask me why this case over the other thousands or tens of thousands of cases of injustice out there, and I simply tell them there but for the grace of the gods go I.

Today in a surprise move the West Memphis Three, Damien Echols, Jessie MissKelly, & Jason Baldwin were released from prison. Echols was on death row and had been in solitary confinement for the last 10 years. Jessie and Jason were sentenced to life in prison.

The DA had offered up a plea deal 18 years after the murders, 17 years after their convictions that would allow them to walk out of the court room ‘free’ men. All they had to do was plead guilty to the crimes, but maintain their innocence in what is known as the Alford Plea, and they would walk out the door.

They are still on record as convicted of the crimes, and the court still sees them as the defendants of the crimes, but they are allowed to maintain their innocence.

I cried as the DA read his press statement that the West Memphis Three were ‘freed’. It has been a long 15 years of raising awareness of a travesty of justice. I have purchased The Devil’s Knot by Mara Leveritt over 30 something times (maybe more) and given them away as gifts for Christmas, birthdays, etc. I have pushed hard when working with others to include the WM3 as part of the charities we work for, and I have spent countless hours talking to anyone who will listen about them. I have worn a bracelet with their names and incarceration date on it for 8 years or more. Today I can have their release date etched into it finally, August 19, 2011.westmemphis3release

While I am happy for the men that they finally get to go home after 18 years of being locked up, and I don’t pretend to know what they have gone through in that time, I am saddened by the fact that the state, the police, and the judicial system of Arkansas will not be held accountable for their misdeeds.

I am saddened that now we may never know who truly did it, and I am heartbroken for the victim’s families that they may never get the closure they deserve.

Part of the sadness comes from the fact that the West Memphis Three, as part of their plea deal, cannot sue the state for what they have gone through for the MAJORITY of their lives, nor can they make any money off books/tv/movies made about them later on.

So there is no compensation for them after being behind bars longer than two of them had been alive at the time of incarceration.

Plus, in the courts eyes, they are still guilty.

All this after the DA said in his press conference that while he believes they did it, he didn’t think after 18 years, the new DNA evidence, the jury misconduct evidence (both to be presented to the state supreme court in December to add to the move for new trials for all three men), the fact that two of the victims mothers (third mother died already…) now support the freeing of the WM3, and the fact that some evidence has ‘gone missing’ over the years, that he could get a conviction if in fact they had to have a new trial.

So… to keep his conviction, to keep his record intact, to keep the conviction of his highest profile case as he moves into an election year, he offered the men a rarely used plea bargain that lets them out with time served but let’s them maintain their innocence.

Are Damien, Jessie, and Jason home today? Yes. Are they ‘free’ men right now? Yes. Are they innocent? I believe Yes. Is this behind them now? No. sadly, it is not.

But today… as Natalie Maines put it best... The WEST MEMPHIS THREE SHALL NOW BE KNOWN AS THE WEST MEMPHIS FREE.

For more on the WM3 click here.
For more on Mara Leveritt click here.
To purchase Paradise Lost 1 and 2 click here.
For more information on Paradise Lost 3 click here.
To purchase Devil’s Knot click here.

There but for the grace of the gods go I.

In my inscriptions of the Devil's Knot that I would give to people I always wrote this: Rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas

Today... that light burns just a little bit brighter.

the west memphis three