Former Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate has broken his silence about his departure from the band, insisting he was stunned when he discovered he had been forced out.
The group announced it had replaced Tate earlier this month (Jun12) and the singer admits the decision left him floored because he didn't see it coming.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the rocker says, "We've all known each other for 30 years. Our kids have all grown up together. We've been to barbecues together, and weddings, and divorces, and births of our children. For it to end in such a hostile way, it's just mind-boggling. I just don't understand it.
"With every band there's tensions that arise over time. You've got different personalities all mixed together and there's always that kind of thing going on. We'd never been a band that had lots of tensions. We've had challenges with making records and with personnel changes... but, really, this new thing is kind of out of the blue. I wasn't expecting anything like this at all."
Tate believes his exit came after "a disagreement about economics" earlier this year (12), explaining, "We had control over our own merchandising company for years and years and we ran it ourselves. It's a very successful entity, and the other three guys wanted to take it out of our hands and hand it over to somebody else and pay them more money to operate it, which just seemed liked a ridiculous business idea to me. That's really where the disagreement started.
"It forced us into trying to talk sense into them, our manager and myself and our business manager, trying to get them to see this was not a good deal."
But Tate insists there were no "creative differences", as the band's parting statement suggested: "To have creative differences, you have to have two entities or more offering up creative ideas. And that just wasn't the case. Queensryche has always been my idea, starting from the first record. Queensryche is about albums. It's about concepts and themes, and those concepts were mine... Of the 144 songs that Queensryche has released, I've written 116 of those.
"I am the creative energy in the band... I'm a creative person. I write everyday and I'm constantly coming up with creative ideas. I present them to the other guys and they go, 'Yeah, sure, that sounds good to us'."