Queensryche's Scott Rockenfield says parting with Geoff Tate was like shaking off a long-term "sickness".
The band settled a long-running legal dispute with former frontman Tate in April this year, with Tate's band now performing under the name Operation: Mindcrime.
And while much has been said of both parties' relief at the settlement, drummer Rockenfield says things were tense while Tate was still in the band. He was replaced by Todd La Torre in 2012, leading to a situation where two bands called Queensryche were touring and recording.
Rockenfield tells Pop Break: "The conflict started years ago, but prior to it when we were all still working together in the old band, we had been in a dark place for a long time. It wasn’t going well, the years were stacking up on us, we weren’t making the music we were passionate about and were being forced to do a lot of things we didn’t want to do.
"We weren’t being allowed to play all of the music we wanted to play live, and to give our fans what we thought was important. The darker the hole we kept falling into, the faster we wanted to get out of it. That’s what happens, you kind of hit the bottom of a hole, and there’s only one way to go – up and out of there."
Sacking Tate and bringing in La Torre had an instant positive impact on morale, Rockenfield adds, saying it felt like shaking off an illness.
He says: "It’s like being sick too long, you know? After a while, you finally feel like you’ve got your health back. We were able to kind of clean up the sickness that we had, and really needed to do it for ourselves, so we did.
"The second we transitioned and got Todd in the band, the morale just went through the roof for us. There was no weird dark clouds for us, and we just don’t have that anymore. We’re really close to each other.
"We have the same common interests, we’re energetic, and we’re happy. We’re all working together as a team, and it’s not just one person saying, 'You have to do it like this.' It’s all of us making the decisions together and making the music together."
News / 17 Jun 2014Queensryche: We have our energy back
Legal settlement has worked out great for band, says drummer Rockenfield
News / 28 Apr 2014Queensryche settle with Tate
Fired singer loses rights to name but gains exclusive chance to perform Operation Mindcrime albums live
News / 30 Apr 2014Both sides of Queensryche row relieved it's over
Tate and former bandmates speak of future plans after finally reaching agreement
News / 6 May 2014Tate to stop use of Queensryche name within two years
New details on settlement come to light
Review / 15 Sep 2014Queensryche Starring Geoff Tate
Queensryche starring Geoff Tate live in LA.
News / 19 May 2014Tate plans to disappear
Former Queensryche singer aims to take break after last tour using band name
News / 5 Jul 2015Ozzy hated final mix on Diary Of A Madman
Bassist Rudy Sarzo recalls Osbourne's reaction to 80s sound of 2nd solo album
News / 5 Jul 2015Adler will never quit Lamb Of God for Megadeth
Drummer says LOG is "home" and adds that he was given free reign on upcoming 'Deth album
News / 5 Jul 2015Metallica manager sees hard rock in trouble
Peter Mensch says genre needs quality new breed of bands to survive
News / 4 Jul 2015Powerwolf debut Gary Moore cover
View lyric video for Out In The Fields