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June 9, 2021

The Mystery of 'Dirty Lil Secret'

After 40 years, there aren't many unknowns about Queensryche's song catalog, particularly that of the band's original lineup. Casual fans can recite most of the lyrics of Operation: Mindcrime and many are likely familiar with all the singles and favorites from Empire and Queensryche's other records. Even rarities such as "Last Time in Paris," "Real World" and "Chasing Blue Sky" have been examined ad nauseum over the years. But there's one track that has eluded significant attention: "Dirty Lil Secret."

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May 17, 2021

Details Emerge on Lackluster Empire (and Operation: MIndcrime) Box Sets

Capitol Records is finally getting around to releasing the long-awaited 30th anniversary box set of Queensryche's Empire on June 25. The label is also re-releasing Operation: Mindcrime in a similar format on the same day, giving the band's fans a double dose of classic material to consider rebuying.

Empire is featured as a 3CD/1DVD box set, while Operation: MIndcrime is being issued as a 4 CD/1 DVD box set. The audio from both new versions of the respective original albums is newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios in London and will also be available on vinyl. Simple two-CD versions of the records are also being released. Sadly, however, the contents of both sets are underwhelming, and likely not worth investing in if you've kept up with buying past editions of each album...

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April 22, 2021

A Word About the Upcoming Queensryche Biography

NW Metalworx Music will publish Building An Empire: The Story of Queensryche, the first biography on the band, later this year. I'm honored and proud to be a co-writer (along with James R. Beach and Brian L. Naron) on this book, which will chronicle the group's 40-year history.

In anticipation of pre-orders later this summer, we launched a Facebook page earlier this month to interact with Queensryche fans and connect with potential readers. One of the early questions we received was whether the biography will dish dirt on the band. In short, the answer is a resounding "NO" and I wanted to explain just what to expect when you crack the cover this fall...

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April 12, 2021

Vocal Harmonies – The Missing Ingredient in Queensryche's Live Sound

When guitarist Chris DeGarmo left Queensryche at the end of 1997, it inevitably affected the band's chemistry. His distinctive playing style and songwriting were crucial parts of Queensryche's DNA. The band has soldiered on for almost 24 years since then, releasing numerous albums and touring the world countless times over. There's no denying that Queensryche is a bona fide success story.

Despite the group's longevity and accomplishments, however, there is one thing Queensryche hasn't quite gotten a handle on since DeGarmo's departure so many years ago—vocal harmonies. The lack of which is arguably the most glaring difference in the band's live performances ever since....

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March 8, 2021

Brian Heaton and Jason Slater, August 2019

Remembering My Friend, Jason Slater

The rock music world lost many stars in 2020, most notably Rush drummer Neil Peart and Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen. On December 9, 2020, we also lost my good friend, producer, songwriter, and original Third Eye Blind bassist Jason Slater. And while Jason would be the first to tell you he wasn't a "rock star," he certainly was an unsung hero for Queensryche fans who clamored for the band to return to its metal roots in the mid-2000s.

As a driving creative force behind Operation: Mindcrime II, it was Jason who pushed Geoff Tate hard to make that record heavy. It was Slater who shouldered the songwriting burden for the project—something he hadn't planned on. Whether you liked the album is irrelevant. It was an immediate success and paid for itself quickly once it was released, putting Queensryche back on the charts and on the radar of the industry after years of floundering.

Jason's death hit me hard. We talked at length about writing a book about his involvement with Queensryche. Sadly, we didn't have the chance. Thinking about my friend over these last several months, however, many of his stories came to mind. As a tribute to Jason, I wanted to write about our relationship and share those Queensryche-related anecdotes with everyone...

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