On June 20, after weeks of media buzz that the band was experiencing internal conflicts, Billboard.com broke the news that Tate was officially no longer with Queensryche. Now Tate files a lawsuit in Washington state's King County Superior Court alleging that drummer Scott Rockenfield, guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson wrongfully attempted to expel him from the group so they could continue as Queensryche without him - a move Tate feels would destroy the band's brand value.
In the claim, Tate states that Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson "chose not to be involved in certain Queensryche albums and songs, and had to be replaced by studio musicians"on "multiple tracks." Tate cites the 2006 album "Operation: Mindcrime II"and the 2009 set "American Soldier" as examples where the three "put minimum effort" into the recordings.
Tate is listed as having written or co-written 81% of the band's published material - 116 songs of the group's 144-song catalog. The suit states that during the last 15 years, "studio artists, producers and temporary band members" made more songwriting contributions than Rockenfield, Wilton and Jackson, and that it was "common practice" to "give small or equal publishing rights"to the trio to satisfy "jealous conflicts" regarding the larger portion of royalties that Tate and former guitarist Chris DeGarmo received. (This timeline coincides with the 1997 departure of DeGarmo, who either wrote or co-wrote a large portion of Queensryche material during his tenure.)
In addition to seeking court-determined damages, Tate is requesting that the court impose an injunction to stop his former bandmates from touring under the Queensryche banner until the matter is legally resolved and to award Tate the Queensryche name in exchange for him buying out their stake in three band-related companies at fair-market value. If the case makes it to trial, the date is set for Nov. 18, 2013.