Hard Rock and Heavy Metal News on 01/05/2014

Queensryche Ownership Battle Finally Comes To A Conclusion

Scorpions Drummer Sent Jailed In Dubai For Insulting IslamNearly two years after Queensryche fired Geoff Tate, the lawsuit between the singer and his former bandmates has come to an end. According to terms of the settlement Queensrcyhe will continue with singer Todd LaRorre, while Tate will be unable to continue under the Queensryche banner. 

“We wanted to let Queensryche fans around the world know that an amicable settlement has been reached between Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton and Geoff Tate with regard to the future of the Queensryche name,” said the participants in the lawsuit through a joint statement. “According to the agreement, original Queensryche members Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton along with recent members, Todd LaTorre and Parker Lundgren, will now be the sole entity recording and touring as Queensryche, performing selections from their entire musical catalog that spans over 30 years of material. Original Queensryche lead singer Geoff Tate will continue to record, perform and pursue a variety of other creative endeavors and, as part of the agreement, will have the exclusive rights to perform ‘Operation: Mindcrime I’ and ‘II’ in their entirety as a unique performance. Both sides wish each other well and are excited about what the future holds. We want to thank the fans for standing beside us through this ordeal and look forward to sharing our music with you for years to come.” 

“I think it’s great. I’m very happy that it’s over and done and we can all move on with our lives,” Tate told Billboard regarding the lawsuit’s conclusion. “It’s been a long, bitter two years, I’ll tell you. I’m glad it’s over.” 

“We’ve been trying to work something out for months and months and months, and it’s like any kind of lawsuit, it’s just slow going,” Tate continued. “But finally I think the realization that going to court over the whole thing was going to be a huge nightmare and huge financial mess for everybody that [we] really started to look at it more seriously and realistically. It’s pretty similar to the Pink Floyd settlement where one group got the name and Roger Waters got “The Wall.” It’s very similar to that. I retain “Operation: Mindcrime” and everything revolving around that, and they got the name, so it’s a win-win for everybody.” 

Immediately after the settlement Tate announced he would be performing his farewell tour as ‘Queensryche’ beginning in late July. For the forthcoming tour, Tate’s version of Queensryche will be performing all the hits along with some rarities to celebrate the music he’s enjoyed making over the past thirty years. Although the name will change, the line-up of stellar musicians performing with tate after this ‘farewell’ tour is expected to remain the same. 

Tate explained that he is allowed to tour under the Queensryche banner one last time. “We’re both allowed to do all of our pre-contracted dates as they were advertised, so once those dates are over then it all changes. I think my last date as Queensryche is September 1, August 31, something like that.” 

“I’m just really happy to be done with it all, and I think the other side is probably happy as well so we can turn the tide in this episode in our lives and move on to nicer things,” concluded Tate. “The whole experience was such a betrayal and so negative that I’m really ready to get past it, not think about it anymore, and it doesn’t really bear looking back on in my mind right now. That’s the last thing I want to do is think about it some more. I think just, I’m ready to move on and do something different. And this is a great launching point to do that from, and I’m really looking forward to it.” 

 

Helix Stream New Song From Upcoming Album ‘Bastard Of the Blues’

Helix’s new studio album ‘Bastard Of The Blues’ will be released on May 4th through Perris Records, and the Canadian rockers are streaming the title track online. The CD is a digi-pack with a 16 page insert containing individual band member shots and lyrics, and is available for pre-order directly from the band at www.planethelix.com

“The new CD ‘Bastard Of The Blues’ is officially being released next Sunday with a kick off release party here at Planet Helix,” said Helix frontman Brian Vollmer. “These are usually intimate affairs with close friends that include a barbecue out back and a general co-mingling of the masses. We’re hoping to have the CD and t-shirts for sale that day. I always look at what we sell at the release party as “seeding” — in other words getting the CD out into the marketplace and from there word of mouth about the quality of the tunes doing the rest. I’ll also be releasing the first single “Bastard of the Blues” to Canadian radio through DMDS, the digital service that sends the song to select radio stations across Canada. The song arrives by email to each station’s music/program director, and from there they can decide to listen to it, download it, or add it to their playlist. The song itself is long, running over 5 minutes, which will probably prevent it from getting airplay in some markets. However, it’s my favorite song from the disc, so I’m going with my heart and gut on this one. The two obvious singles after that are Even Jesus (Wasn’t Loved in His Home Town) and Winning Is The Best Revenge. I’m undecided as to what to release as the second song. By the time I get around to making a decision the CD will have been out for over a month, so I’ll be listening to fan feedback and then making a move. Brent Doerner, who now does all my videos, is ready to eventually do videos for both, so eventually they’ll both come out anyway.” 

‘Bastard Of The Blues’, the follow-up to 2009’s ‘Vegabond Bones’ and the band’s 13th full-length studio album, features guest appearance by former Slik Toxik frontman Nick Walsh and guitarist Sean Kelly. The current version of Helix consists of Vollmer, guitarists Kaleb Duck and Chris Julke, and long time band members Daryl Gray (bass) and Greg Fritz Hinz (drums). 

 

Scorpions Drummer Jailed In Dubai For Insulting Islam

Scorpions Drummer Jailed In Dubai For Insulting IslamJames Kottak of the Scorpions was sentenced to a month in jail for insulting Islam and lifting his middle finger at Muslims at an airport, reports The National

Kottak, 51, the American drummer for the German band whose hits include “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, said he drank five glasses of wine on a flight from Moscow to Dubai. He was in transit to Bahrain to perform at the country’s Formula One grand prix on April 3. However due to his arrest, Kottak did not perform that show with the Scorpions and was replaced by Mark Cross. 

He said he and a friend had taken a wrong turn and entered the transit hall. Kottak was arrested for being drunk and became angry, witnesses said. They said he started swearing and talking about “non-educated Muslims”, then flashed his middle finger at Pakistani passengers. Police said he also exposed his behind. 

Kottak, who pleaded not guilty to insulting Islam and raising his middle finger, was also fined Dh2,000 for drinking without a licence, to which he pleaded guilty. He has been held since April 3, and will be released soon because of the time served.

A policeman said he heard Kottak say, “What is this disgusting smell?” before he insulted Islam. “I didn’t see anything else but I heard him. I then informed my supervisor, who came and took the defendant away.” A?customer service employee at the airport said, “When he saw the Pakistani and Afghan passengers, he covered his nose and said that there was no way he will travel with them.” He added that the drummer then started swearing repeatedly at the arrivals area of Terminal 2. “He wasn’t talking to a person specifically but was talking in general. He was very nervous at the time and talking loudly.” 

A Jordanian passenger services agent said Kottak came over to her and was talking loudly. She said, “He was shouting ‘non-educated Muslims’ then he went to the office of the head and flashed his middle finger at the passengers.” 

Police said in records that when he lowered his trousers he was asking people to touch his behind. “I don’t remember saying these words and I did not flash my middle finger,” Kottak said to prosecutors. When asked about taking down his trousers he said, “this is not true — I just lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back” as a “spontaneous act”. “There is no way that I would say such a phrase about Muslims, whether I was drunk or not,” he told police. “I confess to drinking alcohol but I refuse the other two charges, I did not do them.” 

At Dubai Court of Misdemeanours yesterday, his lawyer said his client was innocent and the witnesses must have been misunderstood. “Their testimonies are contradictory, your honour,” said Hamid Al Khazraji. 

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