Geoff TateVocals, keyboards, saxophone1981-2012
Todd La TorreVocals2012-
Queensryche is a band cursed with "one-hit wonder" status by people who don't know any better. While "Silent Lucidity
" was a major hit for them at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991 and they have never charted there otherwise, they have charted much more consistently in the UK Top 100 and have sold over 20 million albums worldwide, with plenty of radio airplay for their various singles. Like with Iron Maiden, charts mean nothing to Queensryche.
In the early 1980s, Queensryche was originally named "The Mob." They put together a demo tape, the first song of which was titled "Queen of the Reich." When they landed a contract, their new manager suggested the name change based on that song. In fact, adding the stereotypical "heavy metal umlaut" over the 'y' was also the manager's idea.
Quite rare for a heavy metal band, Queensryche has maintained a solid core of four members throughout their career. In addition to Geoff Tate
, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield, other various members have also joined on guitar parts from time to time.
Michael Kamen, a perennially popular composer, orchestrator, and studio arranger, is also partly to thank for Queensryche's success, as he did the orchestral arrangements on many of their songs. Kamen is behind the scenes in just about any pop and rock production which needs a whole orchestra, such as Pink Floyd's The Wall.
Queensryche has contributed tracks to film soundtracks over the years. These include The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Last Action Hero, and Tales from the Crypt: Monsters of Metal.
In November of 2010, Queensryche was doing a USO-tour event for American soldiers stationed in Iraq when the base they were stationed at was hit with a bomb attack. Contrary to the rumors, none of the band were injured.
Tate left the band in 2012, citing business affairs - specifically disagreements over merchandising. Rockenfield released a statement on behalf of the band blaming "creative differences" for the split. Tate, who was replaced by Crimson Glory frontman Todd La Torre, released a solo album called Kings and Thieves in November, 2012.