Enlarge The drummer has been on paternity leave from the band for four years and now claims he was wrongfully fired.

Scott Rockenfield is Suing Queensryche, Classic Lineup Reunion Discussed


Geoff Tate is a prophet.

The former Queensryche vocalist, who split from the band in 2012, said in a 2019 interview that he believed drummer Scott Rockenfield and the band were embroiled in a lawsuit.

But here’s the thing: there was no lawsuit at the time… until last week, over two years later, when Rockenfield filed papers against fellow original members Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson, as well as both men’s wives and several band-related business entities. Either Tate had a premonition something was cooking or that mohawk channels WiFi from the future.

Rockenfield had been absent from Queensryche since going on paternity leave in 2017 but he reappeared earlier this year with a new website, Queensryche2021.com that featured a band photo with guitarist Parker Lundgren (who has since left the band) and vocalist Todd La Torre cropped out. Casey Grillo (Kamelot) has been filling in with the band live during Rockenfield’s absence four-year absence.

Now, according to Metal Sludge, Rockenfield has filed a lawsuit in Snohomish County Superior Court claiming he was wrongly dismissed from the band and that he still legally holds the rights to one-third of the band’s businesses with Wilton and Jackson, alleging they owe him money. He says the band approved his family leave necessitated by complications to his fiancée’s pregnancy but then reneged a year later and fired him. The lawsuit claims breach of contract, shareholder oppression, wrongful discharge, breach of artists agreement and violation of the Washington personality rights act (which governs a person’s rights to how their image and likeness are used).

Rockenfield’s complaint alleges that Wilton and Jackson “have wrongfully withheld from Rockenfield all sources of income from the QR Companies in violation of the various Operating Agreements and Contracts governing the QR Companies for no lawful purpose.” In addition, they “have failed to provide Rockenfield with an accounting of the books, records, business and contracts of the QR Companies.”

Here’s another bomb in the Metal Sludge report: citing a source close to the band, they claim that the original five members were in talks for a reunion (yes, even Chris DeGarmo!) before all of this transpired, but those plans are now on ice due to the lawsuit. While saying “there’s more to it than that,” the source added that “Todd (La Torre) has caused a lot of problems,” saying the band’s management wants him out.

You can have a look at the filed legal papers at Metal Sludge.

Meanwhile, Tate also said in 2020 that Rockenfield has “a lot of medical problems.” Will that be the next prophecy to end up coming to fruition?

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