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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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January 28, 2021

Geoff Tate Appears on New Single from The Prog Collective

Original Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate goes back to his progressive rock roots on "Two Trajectories," the first single from Worlds on Hold, the new album from prog rock supergroup The Prog Collective.

The iconic frontman provides lead vocals on the track, showcasing his range and depth over the song's six-and-a-half-minute runtime. Guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal also appears on the cut—the duo providing a powerhouse union of vocal and guitar mastery...

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January 27, 2021

Sweet Oblivion Changes Songwriters; New Album, Relentless, Due April 9

When Sweet Oblivion announced in late December 2020 that it was releasing a new album featuring Geoff Tate, it came as a shock to this writer—and likely fans everywhere—given the creative issues guitarist and songwriter Simone Mularoni had with Tate on the project's 2019 self-titled debut.

It shouldn't be a surprise then, to learn that Mularoni and the entire musical ensemble has stepped away from Sweet Oblivion, as the project forges ahead with its sophomore effort, Relentless, due April 9 on Frontiers Records...

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