Old And New Queensryche Now Share The Same Label

The group will release its next album - first with singer Todd La Torre - on June 11.

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Queensryche has signed with metal label Century Media Records for a worldwide record deal. The group will release its next album - its first with singer Todd La Torre - on June 11.

Drummer Scott Rockenfield says, "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 American Don Robertson wrote in an email to Billboard about the label's interest in the band, "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 resulted from Queensryche's team putting out feelers for interest in the album. Conversations directly with the group began when the band met Robertson at the Anaheim, Calif., NAMM convention in January. Rockenfield and Robertson declined to reveal details about the deal, other than Robertson stating in his email, "We have the option to be in business with Queensryche for a long time."

In September 2012 Geoff Tate rolled out his own Queensryche lineup, followed by a November announcement that the 25th anniversary of the band's 1988 breakthrough album "Operation: Mindcrime" would be celebrated with a tour. Two of those members (guitarist Glen Drover and drummer Bobby Blotzer) have since left the band. The lineup now features brothers Rudy and Robert Sarzo on bass and guitar, respectively; drummer Simon Wright; guitarist Kelly Gray; and keyboardist Randy Gane. Multiple guest musicians are also performing on Tate's upcoming Queensryche record, such as Brad Gillis, K.K. Downing and Ty Tabor.

As far as the original Queensryche is concerned, it's focusing on its Return To History tour, which begins today (March 5), and completing the album. "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," Rockenfield says. The band has reteamed with producer James "Jimbo" Barton, who also guided Queensryche in the studio for its albums "Operation: Mindcrime", "Empire" and "Promised Land", for its latest project.

What will happen when the album hits shelves - and the lawsuit is settled - remains to be seen. The trial date is set for Nov. 18. Asked how it would affect the terms of their deal if its version of Queensryche loses the lawsuit, Robertson wrote, "I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it."

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26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Perhaps they can release a split album, since they are on the same label...
    I would prefer the idea of a sitcom starring the two bands, could call it Two and a Half Jet City Women.
    Both Queensrches will release albums before the trial date, so my advice: buy them as soon as they are released, 'cause when one QR is ordered to change name, those albums will probably soon be taken out of circulation. And there you have your rare limited edition.
    Watch they're going to release both albums at the same time, which you will be able to get for the price of one and are going to do this whole "NEW QUEENSRYCHE VS OLD QUEENSRYCHE - FANS GET TO VOTE AND CHOSE" PR-Stunt.
    I've listened to Operation: Mindcrime before, I just don't see it as that ground breaking, but that's just me
    I wouldn't say Operation: Mindcrime is ground breaking. However, it is definitely one of their best albums, up there with Rage for Order, Empire, and Warning.
    I would rather buy the TLT Queensryche album because it sounds closer to the heavier Queensryche that I like...that and I think Geoff Tate is a bit of a douchebag
    I am a huge Queensryche fan but I will NOT be buying this album when it's out nor will I be going to see their UK tour in April. I'd rather wait for Geoff Tate's Queensryche to tour the UK. Geoff's voice totally irreplaceable and I personally don't want to see someone else doing what to me will be a karaoke version of Operation Mindcrime. If anything, I would love to have seen Eddie Jackson go with Geoff Tate to the new QR but tough luck really. I hope this trial in November sees that Geoff can still use the QR name and the karaoke band have to change.
    I don't know...I'm a little more inclined to follow the band rather than Geoff Tate just because he became the tool for not moving away from the name. If it became a majority vote for the band, he loses. Either way, I look forward to all of their stuff.
    Looking at the writing credits for the albums I have, I'm going to (barely) side with Tate on this one. If DeGarmo had come back with Tate's Queensryche, that would really clinch it.
    Queensryche/Queensryche split single for RSD 2013...make it happen!
    its funny that they are both touring AND releasing albums under the same name? I know there have been 2 versions of bands that tour (L.A. Guns), but has there ever been a band that split into 2, kept the same name AND were still releasing albums? Confusing. Also, Operation Mindcrime was a groundbreaking album,... when it came out. I think a few people here are thinking in todays musical environment. I personally LOVED Mindcrime and Empire,. But rage for order always inched them out for me.
    I got tickets to see Geoff Tate's Queensryche in April, but I'm really worried it's going to suck. The more I hear about this the less excited I get.