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Name battle doesn't stop Geoff Tate from making Queensryche music

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

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The operative question surrounding Queensryche these days is -- which one?

There are currently two versions of the heavy rock group using the name right now, one led by frontman Geoff Tate, the other featuring other founding and longtime members as well as new singer Todd La Torre. Both have released new albums, and they're scheduled to go to court during November in Washington State to determine who has final rights to the Queensryche name.

Tate says he expects to prevail, but in the meantime he's grounding himself in the music -- including the new "Frequency Unknown," which came out in April.

"When (the schism) first happened it was pretty unnerving for me," says Tate, 54, whose Queensryche has also included former guitarist Kelly Gray. "Since then I've kind of kept myself busy making records and getting my band together and rehearsing and all of that. I've just kind of ripped off the rearview mirror and am just looking forward."

Tate -- who calls the Queensryche legalities "a pretty standard corporate dispute" -- is engaging in a bit of retrospection, however. His latest tour is celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Operation: Mindcrime," Queensryche's defining concept album about a totalitarian, futuristic society. It comes at the expense, somewhat, of promoting "Frequency Unknown" -- which features re-recordings of four earlier Queensryche songs, including the hit "Silent Lucidity" -- but Tate says he has no regrets.

"You know, 25 years doesn't come around every day," he explains. I think it's important to play this record. It's a landmark record for a lot of people -- including me. I think the subject matter is very timely and very topical to today. A lot of people are living out of their ego, making decisions based on ego, not really thinking about everyone else when they make a decision.

"That affects humanity and what happens to the world. I don't know if that will every change. I think that's one of the reasons people still love and identify with the album, so I think it's a good thing to pull it out and play it for people periodically."

Queensryche featuring Geoff Tate, the Voodoos and Something Unto Nothing perform Saturday, June 15, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10-$60. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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