Queensrÿche is an American Progressive metal band. It formed in 1980 in Bellevue, Washington, out of the local band The Mob. The band has released 15 studio albums, one EP, and several DVDs, and continues to tour and record.
The original lineup consisted of guitarists Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo, drummer Scott Rockenfield, bassist Eddie Jackson, and lead vocalist Geoff Tate. Queensrÿche has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million albums in the United States.
They are considered one of the leaders of the Progressive metal scene of the mid-to-late 1980s, and often referred to as one of the "Big Three" of the genre, along with Dream Theater and Fates Warning.
The band received worldwide acclaim after the release of their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime, which is often considered one of the greatest Heavy metal concept albums of all time.
Their follow-up release, Empire, released in 1990, was also very successful and included the hit single "Silent Lucidity". The band has received three Grammy Award nominations for songs from both albums. In 1998, drummer Scott Rockenfield received an individual Grammy nomination.
Also in 1998, guitarist and primary songwriter Chris DeGarmo left the band for personal reasons, returning briefly in 2003 to write and record the Tribe album. Over the years, his replacements have been Kelly Gray, Mike Stone, and Parker Lundgren. Following a highly publicized backstage altercation before a show in São Paulo, Brazil, in April 2012, Geoff Tate was fired from the band and replaced with then-Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. In response to his dismissal, Geoff Tate and his wife Susan (who served as the band's manager from 2005 to 2012) filed a lawsuit in a Washington court, claiming that he was wrongfully terminated.
The ruling in the preliminary injunction was that both parties were allowed to use the name Queensrÿche until a court ruling or a settlement decided who would get to use the name. A settlement was reached on April 17, 2014, in which founding members Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson were awarded the rights to the band trademark, continuing to perform with the lineup that additionally includes lead vocalist Todd La Torre and guitarist Parker Lundgren. During the time both parties could use the name Queensrÿche, Geoff Tate created his own lineup featuring former guitarist Kelly Gray and musicians from bands including Blue Öyster Cult, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake,
Dio, AC/DC and Quiet Riot.
This version of Queensrÿche with Geoff Tate released the album Frequency Unknown on April 23, 2013, while Queensrÿche (with Todd La Torre replacing Geoff Tate) released their eponymous album on June 24 and 25, 2013 (European and American release date, respectively). Both bands toured in 2013 and 2014. The band has since recorded two more albums with Todd La Torre - Condition Hüman (2015) and The Verdict - while Geoff Tate has continued recording and performing with his version of Queensrÿche under the name Operation: Mindcrime.
From the Mob to Queensrÿche (1980-1983)
The foundations for Queensrÿche began in the late 1970s. Guitarist Michael Wilton started the band Joker with friends in 1978, and they were joined by guitarist Chris DeGarmo in 1979. In 1980, Michael Wilton met drummer Scott Rockenfield at Easy Street Records in Seattle, and they formed the band Cross+Fire together on July 18 that year.
They covered songs from popular heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, and practiced in the garage of Scott Rockenfield's parents which they called "The Dungeon" and fitted with egg cartons as acoustic cladding.
Before long, Chris DeGarmo and bassist Eddie Jackson joined Cross+Fire, and the band name was changed to The Mob, after the Black Sabbath song "The Mob Rules". In need of a singer for a one-off performance at a local rock festival, they recruited Babylon(?) frontman Geoff Tate. After Babylon broke up, Geoff Tate performed a few shows with The Mob, but left because he was not interested in performing heavy metal covers.
In 1981, The Mob put together sufficient funds to record a demo tape. Still without a singer, Geoff Tate was once again enlisted to help, much to the disapproval of his then-current band, Myth. The group recorded the four songs "Queen of the Reich", "Nightrider", "Blinded", and "The Lady Wore Black", the latter of which Geoff Tate had written the lyrics for. For an entire year, they brought their demo to various labels and were rejected by all of them. The Mob were ultimately offered a management contract by Kim and Diana Harris, the owners of Easy Street Records. However, as Geoff Tate remained committed to staying in Myth, the band reluctantly searched for another singer.
Because the name "The Mob" was not available, their manager urged them to choose a different name. They reportedly ran out of ideas, and decided to name the band after the first song on their demo tape, "Queen of the Reich". The spelling "Queensreich" was modified to prevent association of the band with Nazism; "ryche" is a Middle English cognate to "Reich" which, like the German word, can mean "realm", "kingdom" or "empire". The name "Queensrÿche" is written with a metal umlaut over the letter 'y'. As the band later joked: "The umlaut over the 'y' has haunted us for years. We spent eleven years trying to explain how to pronounce it." The umlaut is used on all of Queensrÿche's releases, except for their 2011 album, Dedicated to Chaos.
The Warning and Rage for Order (1983-1987)
Kim Harris sent the demo tape and a band photo to a friend who wrote for Kerrang! magazine, resulting in a glowing review. On the strength of the growing buzz that surrounded them in both the United States and Europe following this review, the Harrises released Queensrÿche's demo tape as a self-titled EP on their independent label 206 Records in 1983.
After the EP garnered international praise, receiving much airplay and selling an unusual number of copies for a small independent release, Geoff Tate agreed to leave Myth and become Queensrÿche's permanent lead singer. On June 29 and 30, 1983, Queensrÿche was the opening act for Zebra in Portland and Seattle respectively. Kim Harris knew A&R manager Mavis Brodey of EMI-America from the time she was the music director of KZOK-FM, and he convinced her to come to one of these shows.
Brodey offered Queensrÿche a contract with EMI, spanning 15 years and encompassing seven albums. EMI re-released the EP Queensrÿche to moderate success, peaking at No. 81 on the Billboard charts. The band toured with Quiet Riot through the Southern US and with Twisted Sister to the East Coast of the US and Canada, and opened for Dio in Seattle.
After the EP tour, Queensrÿche travelled to London to record their first full-length album. The band worked with producer James Guthrie, who had worked with Pink Floyd and Judas Priest. Released in September 1984, The Warning showed the band in an early stage of development, playing classic heavy metal songs. It peaked at No. 61 on the Billboard album chart, a moderate commercial success. While none of the singles released from The Warning charted domestically, "Take Hold of the Flame" was a hit for the band outside the U.S., and particularly in Japan. The band's first full-scale U.S. tour (in support of this album) was as the opening act for Kiss on their Animalize tour and Iron Maiden on their Powerslave tour. They also opened for Dio and Accept on their tours for The Last in Line and Metal Heart respectively.
Rage for Order, released in 1986, introduced a much more polished look and sound for Queensrÿche, while the band was pressured by their management to adopt an image more closely associated with Glam metal. Geoff Tate later described the period as "we were really into that image and we failed miserably." However, the album itself was slightly more progressive than the band's previous releases, having a layered and complex musical structure, and featuring keyboards as prominently as guitars. A video was filmed for the song "Gonna Get Close to You", written and originally recorded in 1984 by Dalbello. The song "Rage for Order" was written and demoed for the album, but it was not included on the final release. The main riff from this song was worked into an instrumental piece played during some shows on the tour in support of this album, and eventually morphed into the track "Anarchy-X" on their next album. Queensrÿche supported Rage for Order with a tour that included opening for AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne and Ratt, and playing with other bands such as Black 'n Blue, Fates Warning, Gang Green, Keel and Raven.
Operation: Mindcrime, Empire and mainstream success (1988-1993)
In 1988, Queensrÿche released Operation: Mindcrime, a narrative concept album that proved a massive critical and commercial success. The album's story revolved around a junkie named Nikki, who is brainwashed into performing assassinations for an underground movement. Nikki is torn over his misplaced loyalty to the cause and his love for Mary, a reformed hooker-turned-nun (vocals by Pamela Moore), who gets in the way.
The band's Progressive metal style was fully developed on this album. The band toured through much of 1988 and 1989 with several bands, including Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses and Metallica. The album gained critical acclaim and achieved gold status, while its singles "Eyes of a Stranger" and "I Don't Believe in Love" gave Queensrÿche their first charting hits in America.
The release of Empire (1990) brought Queensrÿche to the height of their commercial popularity. It peaked at No. 7 and sold more than three million copies in the United States, more than their previous four releases combined, and it was also certified silver in the UK. The power ballad "Silent Lucidity", which featured an orchestra, became the band's first Top 10 single. The arrangements on Empire were more straightforward than the band's previous efforts.
The subsequent Building Empires tour was the first full-fledged tour to feature Queensrÿche as a headlining act, the band had previously headlined a tour in Japan in support of Operation: Mindcrime, and had headlined a handful of club and theater shows in the U.S. between 1984 and 1988, and the UK in 1988. The group used its headlining status to perform Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety, as well as songs from Empire. The tour lasted 18 months, longer than any tour the band had undertaken before or has since. The tour also added a black page to the band's history, when during a show in a sports hall in Ichtegem, Belgium on November 20, 1990, a scuffle in the audience resulted in a Belgian fan fatally stabbed in the chest. Tour manager Howard Ungerleider immediately stopped the show as the band was only playing the seventh song on the set list, "Roads to Madness". A live album, recorded May 10–12, 1991, was released later that year as Operation: Livecrime. The tour also included an MTV Unplugged appearance at Warner Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles on April 27, 1992.
Promised Land (1994-1996)
After taking time off to deal with the burnout resulting from the Building Empires tour and with other personal issues, the band released Promised Land in October 1994 (a companion CD-ROM, featuring a Promised Land-themed game and other interactive features, was released in March 1996).
It was a dark and intensely personal album, reflecting the mental state of the band at the time. Although the album debuted at No. 3 and was eventually certified platinum, it was clearly not the commercial success Empire had been.
As with many other Heavy metal and Hard rock acts, Queensrÿche's commercial fortunes waned with the surge in popularity of genres such as Alternative rock and Grunge.
Hear in the Now Frontier (1997-1998)
Queensrÿche released their sixth full-length studio album, Hear in the Now Frontier, in March 1997, to mixed critical and fan reception. The album debuted at No. 19 but quickly vanished from the charts. Toby Wright, who produced Alice in Chains’ self-titled 1995 album, was brought on board for this effort as engineer. The result was a sound that is more dry and stripped down than anything the band had ever released. The wall of guitar, drums, and vocals that had become synonymous with Queensrÿche was gone, replaced by a much more immediate and less powerful style.
Compounding the disappointing sales of the album were issues that plagued the band on the subsequent tour. Less than one month into the Hear in the Now Frontier-tour, Geoff Tate became seriously ill and the band was forced to cancel concert dates for the first time. In an even bigger blow, the band's longtime label, EMI America Records, went bankrupt during the same period. Queensrÿche was forced to use its own money to finance the remaining two months of the tour. The band played a handful of December shows in South America because of contractual obligations, and it was during this time, late 1997, that founding member Chris DeGarmo announced that he was leaving Queensrÿche.
However, his departure was not announced to the public until January 24, 1998. Members of the band have later cited burnout and a desire to pursue interests outside of Queensrÿche as reasons for his departure. For example, Scott Rockenfield has said: "He wanted to pursue other things. He felt like he had done what he wanted musically in his life, and wanted to move on." After leaving Queensrÿche, Chris DeGarmo began a full-time career as a professional business jet pilot. His involvement with music has since been sporadic. He remains highly regarded in the eyes of Queensrÿche's fan base.
Q2K and side projects (1998-2002)
Chris DeGarmo was replaced by guitarist and producer Kelly Gray. Gray's connections with Queensrÿche went back to the early '80s, when he was the guitarist for Myth, which was also the band Geoff Tate fronted prior to joining Queensrÿche. Kelly Gray had previously worked as a producer for bands such as Dokken and Candlebox. Queensrÿche recorded one studio album with Kelly Gray, Q2K from 1999, which was also the first album for their new label, Atlantic Records.
Musically, Q2K bore little resemblance to the Progressive metal of the band's past, and also displayed a similar stripped-down sound as Hear in the Now Frontier. Geoff Tate has described Q2K as a continuation of the experimentation of Hear in the Now Frontier. Declining popularity forced the band to tour in clubs and theaters, rather than in the larger arenas and outdoor amphitheaters where they played before. Following the Q2K tour, Scott Rockenfield and Kelly Gray formed the side project Slave to the System
with band members from Brother Cane and recorded a self-titled album.
After the release of a Greatest Hits collection in 2000, Queensrÿche embarked on another tour, this time in support of Iron Maiden. This enabled the band to play Madison Square Garden for the first time. Unhappy with the lack of support they felt they received from Atlantic Records, Queensrÿche moved to Sanctuary Records in 2001. In July of that year, the band performed a handful of dates at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington. The shows were recorded and released in September 2001 as Live Evolution, the band's second live album. In 2001 and 2002, Geoff Tate worked on his self-titled first solo album, which was released on June 25, 2002.
Kelly Gray was fired from the band in May 2002, which according to Scott Rockenfield was "because of his personal abuse habits and ongoing problems".
The band entered the studio as a quartet in the spring of 2003 to record their eighth full-length album, while a compilation of greatest hits was released as part of the Classic Masters series on March 9, 2003. In April, they announced they had been joined by Chris DeGarmo, although his future status with the band was uncertain. In July, Queensrÿche released its first and only album of new material on the Sanctuary label, Tribe.
Chris DeGarmo, who played on and co-wrote four songs, neither officially rejoined the band nor took part in the supporting tour. Queensrÿche found a replacement for Kelly Gray in Mike Stone, who had previously worked on Geoff Tate's solo album. Mike Stone accompanied the band on the Tribe-tour as second guitarist to Michael Wilton's lead, though he never was a full member of the band. In June 2003, Queensrÿche launched a co-headlining tour featuring another progressive metal band, Dream Theater. The two bands alternated the opening and closing slots, and ended the shows by playing a handful of songs together.
Fates Warning was the special guest for the tour. A recording from this tour was released to CD and DVD as The Art of Live, which included two covers performed with Dream Theater.
Over the course of the five album releases (Q2K, Tribe, Operation: Mindcrime II, American Soldier and Dedicated To Chaos) after Chris DeGarmo left, the band had gone through three guitar players, five record companies and four management firms. Q-Prime had taken over management duties before 'Operation: Mindcrime'; they were eventually replaced by Ray Daniels during the Q2K sessions, who was then subsequently replaced by Lars Sorensen. Following the Tribe tour, Lars Sorensen was dismissed, and Geoff Tate's wife Susan was promoted to band manager, after having worked as an assistant manager for the band since 2001. In this period, Michael Wilton spent time recording the self-titled album of his side project Soulbender.
Operation: Mindcrime II (2004-2007)
In July 2004, Queensrÿche announced its plans to record a follow-up to 1988's Operation: Mindcrime. To generate fan interest in the upcoming album, the band hit the road in the fall of 2004 with the "An Evening With Queensrÿche" tour. The tour opened with a shortened greatest hits set, followed by a revised production of Operation: Mindcrime with live actors and video; Pamela Moore reprised her role as Sister Mary. The band played a pre-recorded version of "Hostage," a track from the upcoming album, through the PA as an encore after the end of their set.
The second leg of the tour began in early 2005. Before embarking on a third leg in the fall of 2005, Queensrÿche toured with Judas Priest across North America, playing an hour-long set consisting mostly of the band's older works and one song from the soon-to-be released sequel, entitled "I'm American". Operation: Mindcrime II was released internationally on March 31, 2006. The album was Queensrÿche's first for their new label, Rhino Entertainment, to which it signed in 2005. Ronnie James Dio provided the vocals for Dr. X, the villain.
The album debuted at No. 14, the highest chart position for a Queensrÿche album since 1997. The group embarked on a headlining tour in support of the album, joined by Pamela Moore in her role as Sister Mary. The tour featured performances of both Mindcrime albums in their entirety. Ronnie James Dio appeared at the Gibson Amphitheatre show in Universal City, California to perform his vocals as Dr. X on "The Chase", and was shown on a video screen at the other shows. Dio's appearance was recorded, and included as an extra on the 2007 DVD release Mindcrime at the Moore.
Take Cover and American Soldier (2007-2010)
On August 9, 2007, the band announced that it would release a new greatest hits album, entitled Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche. The album was released on August 28, 2007, and a special collector's edition featured a bonus disc including various demos and a new song, "Justified", featuring Chris DeGarmo on guitar. On November 13, 2007, the band released an album of covers entitled Take Cover. The album contains covers of songs by Queen, U2, The Police, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, and Pink Floyd, and was the band's second release for Rhino Records.
On February 3, 2009, Mike Stone announced the end of his association with Queensrÿche to focus on his side project, Speed-X, although court declarations later revealed Geoff and Susan Tate fired him for "making too many grand demands", without discussing their decision with the other band members. Michael Wilton recorded both lead and rhythm guitar on the band's eleventh studio album, American Soldier, released on March 31, 2009. The concept album regards war from the perspective of those on the front lines of American wars from World War II through to the present, especially the Iraq War.
Parker Lundgren (formerly of The Nihilists and Sledgeback, who also played on Geofff Tate's solo tour and was in a relationship with Tate's stepdaughter Miranda) replaced Mike Stone on the ensuing tour.
Dedicated to Chaos (2010-2012)
In late 2009 and early 2010, the band toured for The Queensrÿche Cabaret. In November 2010, Queensrÿche played several shows for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. While at a U.S. military position, explosive shells began falling on the base as the result of a bomb attack. Contrary to some news reports stating that some band members were injured, Geoff Tate has said in several interviews that he was misquoted and none of the band members suffered any injuries. The band's twelfth studio album, Dedicated to Chaos, was released on June 28, 2011 on Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records, to which the band had signed on August 25, 2010.
The album was a drastic departure from the band's previous efforts, featuring a greater emphasis on the bass and drums, and with minimal guitar work. The album was released to mixed reviews and was the lowest charting full-length album for the band in its history.
According to Geoff Tate, Queensrÿche was already writing new material for a follow-up to Dedicated to Chaos as of June 2011, and were discussing re-recording Operation: Mindcrime in late 2012, so they could do something special for a 25th anniversary edition.
Rising West, confrontation, split and lawsuit with Geoff Tate (2012-2014)
In a band-meeting on April 12, 2012, which Geoff Tate did not attend, the band fired both Geoff's stepdaughter, Miranda, from running the fan club, and his wife Susan, their band manager since 2005. According to Michael Wilton, the reasons were that "the last 3 years, basically it just came to a point that we didn't have a voice in the band anymore. It was all run by the singer and his manager, the wife."
On April 14, 2012, before the soundcheck for a show in São Paulo, Brazil, Geoff Tate had an argument with the other members about the firing of his family. This confrontation became heated, leading to Geoff Tate retaliating by knocking down the drum kit, throwing several punches and physically assaulting and spitting on Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton.
Over the course of the band's next three shows, Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield, and Eddie Jackson felt that Geoff continued to misbehave and they came "to the conclusion that they can no longer work or perform with Mr. Tate." They called a band meeting on June 5 (some sources say June 6). Geoff Tate withdrew from this conference call, after which the other band members voted to "consider Geoff Tate expelled from the band" and "continue to use the Queensrÿche name with a new lead singer", prompting Geoff Tate to take legal action.
While Geoff Tate continued working on an upcoming solo album, Kings & Thieves, and a subsequent tour, Queensrÿche's other band members started the side project that eventually became Rising West. Michael Wilton explained that: "Originally this was deemed as a side project, because we were told by our management that we were not going to do anything for the next year so hey, we have to survive." They already had been approached by Glen Parrish of PGM Management after their show on June 9, 2012, who offered to become their band manager. According to Michael Wilton, Glen Parrish had told the management company in Los Angeles: "I have something very hot here and we should grab these guys before someone else does". After band negotiations with "at least 3 or 4 record labels", Glen Parrish chose to sign Queensrÿche with Century Media.
Still in search of a frontman for the at-the-time unnamed project, Michael Wilton recommended Todd La Torre to his bandmates, the then-frontman of Crimson Glory, whom he had met several months prior at the NAMM Show in January 2012. Their encounter had resulted in a songwriting collaboration, among others on a song named "Don't Look Back", which in 2013 would make its way onto Queensrÿche's self-titled album. The band heard some of Todd La Torre's demos on YouTube, and took a leap of faith by booking and announcing two shows at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe on June 8 and 9, 2012, even before Todd La Torre met the band members. The project would initially be called "West", which stood for the four members of the band: "Wilton, Eddie, Scott and Todd", but was later renamed "Rising West" at the suggestion of Eddie Jackson.
The band was enthusiastic about this addition to the name, because it reflected the feeling that the project was "something really fresh" for everyone involved; it additionally referred to the band members living on the West Coast, flowed better as a band name than simply "West", and [in deemphasizing the WEST acronym] acknowledged that Parker Lundgren was also going to participate in the project.
The shows were publicly announced on May 29, 2012, revealing that they would focus on Queensrÿche's older work. Both shows sold out in 48 hours, among others to fans from Japan, Australia and New Zealand. When the band flew Todd La Torre in from Florida to Seattle nine days before the show to rehearse at Scott Rockenfield's house, they hadn't played a note together, nor did they know whether it would work. Although Todd La Torre was a big fan of Queensrÿche's older albums, he was not very familiar with the songs on Promised Land and they had only limited time to prepare for the shows, the band focused on the material from the Queensrÿche EP to the band's fourth studio album,
Empire, which are generally considered the band's heaviest releases, and according to Todd La Torre: "are the songs and the time period that most represented the core sound of what Queensryche material was about". Their first rehearsal together went very smoothly, according to Michael Wilton: "we blasted through 18 to 20 songs and everybody was amazed from the professionality, the musicianship and tone of Todd’s voice." Scott Rockenfield was immediately reassured: "the second we played "Queen of the Reich", it was all over."
Meanwhile, Geoff Tate, along with his wife, moved forward with the lawsuit they had filed against his former bandmates, claiming unlawful termination and seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent both himself and the remaining bandmembers from using the Queensrÿche name until the issue was resolved. While the Washington state superior court denied this motion on July 13, 2012, they also denied a counter-motion for a preliminary summary judgment filed by the defense (Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, and Scott Rockenfield); collectively, these rulings enabled both parties to use the brand "Queensrÿche" until a court ruling or settlement further clarified the matter. Subsequent to this temporary verdict, both entities toured with independent bands under the "Queensrÿche" moniker between June 2012 and April 2014, with one incarnation consisting of the remaining Queensryche members fronted by Todd La Torre, and the other featuring Geoff Tate with his own lineup. In addition, both versions of the group released studio albums during this time, with Geoff Tate's incarnation releasing Frequency Unknown in April 2013, and the Todd La Torre-fronted lineup releasing a self-titled album two months later.
A settlement was reached on April 17, 2014, and a statement from both parties was released on April 28, 2014. The statement announced that Geoff Tate lost the brand Queensrÿche to Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson, who together with Todd La Torre and Parker Lundgren are to be "the sole band recording and touring as Queensryche", while former vocalist Geoff Tate solely has the right to play Operation: Mindcrime and Operation: Mindcrime II in their entirety "in unique performances". On May 5, 2014, a press release was released through Michael Wilton's Facebook page, further clarifying the specifics of the settlement.
Condition Hüman (2014-2017)
On November 7, 2014, the band opened a pledge drive through PledgeMusic that allowed fans to pre-order their next album, which would be their second with Todd La Torre and their 14th overall. The campaign used the motto "Building The Empire", and offered regular pledge rewards such as CDs, exclusive access and equipment, but also an investment opportunity for $50,000 in Queensrÿche Holdings, LLC to accredited investors. The campaign page revealed that recording would likely take place between December 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015, and that the album was expected to be ready for release in late spring or early summer 2015.
The campaign page also included a video of band members and crew discussing the band's desire to approach their fans more proactively, with their attorney Thomas Osinski remarking: "this is famously a band that kept to itself, and in this new era of openness, they want to join with their fans and more so after the last few years of challenges they've been through". The term "Building Empires" was used previously in the Empire tour,
as well as a video from that tour, although in this context it is used to indicate that the fans are helping to rebuild the band's career.
In a January 2015 interview, lead vocalist Todd La Torre revealed that in February they would "hopefully" start tracking their next album. Three months later, guitarist Michael Wilton spoke to interviewer Jennifer Kessinger at the 2015 Welcome to Rockville Festival about the songwriting progress of the album, which was being recorded at the Uberbeatz studio in Washington with producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris. Michael Wilton said that "it is everything that a fan of Queensrÿche would want from the band" and stated that in more recent concerts and festivals, fans had expressed their satisfaction with the band's current line up. Michael Wilton revealed in a later interview that they had finished recording the album, and it was being in the process of being mixed and mastered before being sent off to their record label Century Media Records. However, he did not reveal a title or release date.
On July 17, 2015, the band announced that a clip of a new song titled "Arrow of Time" would be released to fans who participated in their PledgeMusic campaign. The song was the opening track of the new album, titled Condition Hüman. On August 3, the album's track list and artwork were revealed. Todd La Torre stated that "The artwork depicts a beautiful innocence surrounded by the darkness of a jaded unpredictable world." The new album was released on October 2, 2015.
In the weeks leading up to the release of Condition Hüman the band toured North America with German hard rock veterans Scorpions. After the new album's release, the band embarked on a tour of the United States in early 2016, and a European tour in September of that year. In October 2016, the band performed in Australia and the Far East. On March 28, 2017, the band announced Scott Rockenfield would take paternity leave to care for his newborn son, and that Kamelot drummer Casey Grillo would fill in his spot for upcoming live dates. In August 2018, guitarist Mike Stone returned for a couple of months filling in for Parker Lundgren who had to take care of "personal things".
The Verdict (2017-present)
On May 1, 2017, Todd La Torre revealed plans for the band's next studio album. He said that approximately 15 songs were ready at that point and that they could be characterized by a faster tempo than those on the previous album. The band hoped to enter the studio in September 2017, for an early 2018 release via Century Media. In July 2018, in a Facebook post offering the forthcoming album for early orders, the band announced that the album would be released in 2019.
On October 29, 2018, the band revealed that the new album is entitled The Verdict and released it on March 1, 2019. According to Blabbermouth.net, Todd La Torre was confirmed as playing drums on the new album. In November 2019, Michael Wilton stated that he wants touring drummer Casey Grillo to play on the next Queensryche album.
In July 2021, Parker Lundgren announced he had left the band to persue “other business ventures”. Mike Stone filled in for the subsequent tour, and later rejoined as a full-time member.
In January, 2022, the band confirmed they've entered the studio with Zeuss reprising his role as producer, and begun recording their next studio album, with a tentative late-2022 release date. Casey Grillo confirmed that he will be playing drums on the new album. On May 20, 2022, the band announced that the album was titled "Digital Noise Alliance" and that it will be released on October 7.
Queensrÿche's logo, the so-called Tri-Ryche (written without an umlaut on the 'y'), also stems from the band's early years. Artist Wes "Grizz" Griswold, who made the artwork for the Queensrÿche EP, used to sign his work with a doodle morphed from a crude drawing of a peregrine falcon. He also used it for the stage set and backdrop of Queensrÿche's first tour, which he designed. After the band was signed, the record company adopted the doodle as the band's logo. However, the Tri-Ryche has never been trademarked by Queensrÿche due to a long-standing controversy over who actually created the Tri-Ryche.
Todd Rockenfield, the brother of Queensrÿche's drummer, who designed the typeface of the word "Queensryche" on the front and back of the EP, claimed the design of the Tri-Ryche in its eventual form was his, and the band acknowledges his role in the development of the Tri-Ryche. The Tri-Ryche is prominently featured on most of Queensrÿche's album covers.
The Warning (1984)
Rage for Order (1986)
Operation: Mindcrime (1988)
Promised Land (1994)
Hear in the Now Frontier (1997)
Operation: Mindcrime II (2006)
Take Cover (2007)
American Soldier (2009)
Dedicated to Chaos (2011)
Condition Hüman (2015)
The Verdict (2019)
Digital Noise Alliance (2022)
Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche
Frequency Unknown (2013)
Michael Wilton – guitar (1980–present)
Eddie Jackson – bass, backing vocals (1980–present)
Mike Stone – guitar, backing vocals (2003–2008, 2021–present; 2018 touring musician)
Todd La Torre – lead vocals (2012–present), drums (2018–2020, in studio)
Casey Grillo – drums (2020–present; touring musician 2017–2019)
Chris DeGarmo – guitar, keyboards, piano, backing and lead vocals (1980–1998, 2003, 2007)
Geoff Tate – lead vocals, keyboards, saxophone (1981–2012)
Scott Rockenfield – drums, keyboards (1980–2017)
Kelly Gray – guitar, backing vocals (1998–2002)
Parker Lundgren – guitar, backing vocals (2011–2021; 2009–2011 touring musician)