In a new interview with Tigman of the WPDH 101.5 FM radio station in Poughkeepsie, New York, QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton was asked about the possibility of fellow original members Geoff Tate (vocals) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) coming back to the band. He responded: "I have nothing on any of that. It's one day at a time as it is, and then what will be will be."
Wilton also praised QUEENSRŸCHE's current lineup, which includes former CRIMSON GLORY frontman Todd La Torre and ex-KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo.
"We're just firing on all cylinders and we are just having a great time," he said. "The chemistry's amazing. And we're all very creative individuals and just prolonging the QUEENSRŸCHE legacy.
"Casey's amazing," Michael continued. "He's filled in the shoe for four years, and he's just doing great, and he's actually on the new QUEENSRŸCHE album."
As for a possible release date for QUEENSRŸCHE's follow-up to 2019's "The Verdict", Wilton said: "The new QUEENSRŸCHE album is scheduled to come out in the late fall."
Less than three months ago, Tate said that he doesn't foresee a reunion of QUEENSRŸCHE's classic lineup ever materializing. During an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", he said: "I'm honestly not really expecting that to happen, basically because we've been offered just obscene amounts of money to get back together and do one tour — one tour and we'd never have to tour again. And a couple of people in the band turned it down; they're not interested in doing it. So that would really be, I think, the only motivation that would get everybody together was an obscene amount of money. But that didn't work, so [laughs] there's really no hope for it after that, I think… Money is not the motivator, and getting together for an artistic dream isn't a motivator either, so what do you have? You have nothing. Obviously, both camps are happy in the position they're at. I know for myself, I love my life — I love what I'm doing and I love traveling and playing music for people. And so far, I'm still kicking it at 63, still happy and healthy."
In April 2014, Tate and QUEENSRŸCHE announced that a settlement had been reached after a nearly two-year legal battle where the singer sued over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being fired in 2012. Fellow original QUEENSRŸCHE members Wilton, Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson (bass) responded with a countersuit. The settlement included an agreement that Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson would continue as QUEENSRŸCHE, while Tate would have the sole right to perform the albums "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Operation: Mindcrime II" in their entirety live.
Tate has gone back and forth on the subject of a reunion with QUEENSRŸCHE, telling The Rock Vault in November 2019 about the possibility of rejoining his former bandmates: "I think that would be something that makes sense, and I think it would be an interesting thing to do, if everybody could get in the same room and actually talk to each other." However, just eight months earlier, he dismissed the chances of a QUEENSRŸCHE reunion, telling Greece's "TV War" that he had "no interest in that. No. Not at all. [I have] absolutely no reason to," he said. "I don't need the money. That'd be the only reason to do it. Maybe if they paid me, like, 10 million dollars or something like that. [Laughs]"
He continued: "It was a good thing for a long time, and then it went really bad. And I just don't want that kind of negativity in my life. My life is so good, and I have such great friends and family. I travel the world and sing songs for a living. I mean, it's lovely. I have wonderful, positive people in my life, and to go back and be in that negative land again… aargh, I just couldn't do it. It's not worth it."
Last year, La Torre told "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" about the chances of Tate's return to QUEENSRŸCHE: "It's funny. I always hear, 'There'll definitely be an all-original lineup reunion. Every band does it.' And I'm thinking, if you knew what I know, I don't think that's gonna happen. And other than the optics of it, why? What's the point? We saw for 15 years what it sounded like."
In October, Rockenfield, who stepped away from QUEENSRŸCHE's touring activities in early 2017 to spend time with his young son, filed a lawsuit against Wilton and Jackson, alleging, among other things, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful discharge. Rockfenfield also claimed that Wilton and Jackson did not include him in the recording "The Verdict" "despite his availability and willingness to participate."
The drum tracks on "The Verdict" were laid down primarily by La Torre.
QUEENSRŸCHE has used Grillo for touring purposes since April 2017.