Geoff Tate

Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche - not to be confused with the Todd La Torre-fronted version of the band which features original members Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson - has signed a worldwide deal with Cleopatra Records the LA indie which has released albums by everyone from James Brown and Motorhead to William Shatner and Orson Welles.

The band will be hitting the studio shortly, with a new line-up which differs from that announced a few months ago. Still on board are bass player Rudy Sarzo (Dio/Whitesnake/Ozzy/Quiet Riot), guitarist Kelly Gray (Queensrÿche 1998-2001) and keyboard player Randy Gane (who has toured and recorded with Queensrÿche in the past). Gone are drummer Bobby Blotzer, who will return to his 'day job' in Ratt, and guitarist Glen Drover, who walked a few months ago. In their place are drummer Simon Wright (Dio, Rhino Bucket and AC/DC) and guitarist Robert Sarzo (Quiet Riot/Hurricane). Blotzer will still make a guest appearance on the album, as will former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing and King's X guitarist Ty Tabor.

The band will hit the road in early April to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Operation: Mindcrime. I try to surround myself with the best players available and feel our longtime fans deserve nothing less," Tate says. "I expect the forthcoming effort to be one of our best yet."

Depending on whether the other Queensrÿche releases their new album first, it'll be either the 13th or 14th Queensrÿche studio album.