QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton (guitar) and Eddie Jackson (bass) have fired again at their estranged drummer Scott Rockenfield, accusing him of abandoning his place as a member of the band and misappropriating the group’s belongings to his personal private profit.
Final October, Rockenfield filed a lawsuit in opposition to Wilton and Jackson, alleging, amongst different issues, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary obligation and wrongful discharge. Within the lawsuit, which was filed in Snohomish County Superior Courtroom, Rockenfield claimed that he took paternal go away of absence from QUEENSRŸCHE in February 2017 after his fiancée skilled issues throughout the delivery of their son and needed to have an emergency Cesarean supply. In line with the drummer, his go away of absence was accredited by the members of QUEENSRŸCHE and he was to retain an equal one-third curiosity in all QUEENSRŸCHE corporations (QR Firms), together with Tri-Ryche Company, Melodisc LTD., Queensryche Merchandising, Inc., EMS Music, LLC and Queensryche Holdings, LLC.
Scott alleged that or about October 11, 2018, Wilton and Jackson purportedly “voted to dismiss Rockenfield from the QR Firms due in entire or partially to his taking of accredited household go away. Rockenfield was knowledgeable of his purported dismissal from the QR Firms in a letter dated November 3, 2018.”
In line with Rockenfield‘s grievance, since 2017, Wilton and Jackson “have wrongfully withheld from Rockenfield all sources of earnings from the QR Firms in violation of the assorted Working Agreements and Contracts governing the QR Firms for no lawful function.” As well as, they “have failed to supply Rockenfield with an accounting of the books, data, enterprise and contracts of the QR Firms.”
Though Rockfenfield stated he had continued to obtain royalties from Tri-Ryche since February 2017 for the outdated catalogue, he claimed he had “acquired no funds from Melodisc since February 2017, and no funds from Queensryche Merchandising since early 2018, and no funds from EMS since February 2017.”
Rockfenfield additionally claimed that Wilton and Jackson didn’t embrace him within the recording QUEENSRŸCHE‘s newest album, “The Verdict”, “regardless of his availability and willingness to take part.”
Throughout all of 2017 and 2018, Rockenfield claimed, he “remained energetic in all points of the QR Firms’ enterprise, tune writing, licensing choices, and communications except for touring.
Rockenfield claimed to be “owed compensation for misplaced wages and earnings as, in addition to an quantity equal to the current honest market worth of his fairness curiosity within the QR Firms as of his wrongful dismissal, plus curiosity thereon.”
On March 10, 2022, Wilton and Jackson filed their “solutions, affirmative defenses and counterclaims” wherein they denied Rockenfield was wrongfully dismissed from QUEENSRŸCHE. Within the doc, which was obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET, they declare that Rockenfield introduced in March 2017 that he was taking a number of months off from touring absolutely conscious that “QUEENSRŸCHE was in the midst of a tour and was contractually obligated to play numerous reside live shows, together with an upcoming April 1, 2017 live performance in California, to be adopted by a number of live shows within the U.S. scheduled for April and Could, and that QUEENSRŸCHE, together with Rockenfield, had agreed and had been scheduled in June 2017 to play 13 reside exhibits at completely different venues throughout Europe. Rockenfield‘s sudden departure required Jackson and Wilton to find and rent a drummer” — former KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo — “in order that the band may adjust to their contractual touring obligations.”
Wilton and Jackson go on to say that Rockenfield “made no effort to help the band to find a substitute drummer for the remaining live performance dates on the QUEENSRŸCHE tour.” Additionally they declare that they, together with singer Todd La Torre and the band’s supervisor started trying to contact Rockenfield “close to the tip of 2017” to debate his participation on the subsequent QUEENSRŸCHE album. Nevertheless, “Rockenfield solely sporadically responded to band members and band administration about taking part within the recording the brand new album. On these events when Rockenfield did reply to members of QUEENSRŸCHE or band administration, he obfuscated and refused to commit or conform to rejoin the band or to take part within the strategy of recording the brand new album.”
In line with the doc, QUEENSRŸCHE administration contacted Rockenfield through e-mail in late 2017 and knowledgeable him that “QUEENSRŸCHE needed to have a declaration from Rockenfield as as to if or not he supposed to take part in recording on the band’s album. Rockenfield was knowledgeable by QUEENSRŸCHE administration that attributable to his continued obfuscation, that his failure reply with something aside from a dedication to rejoin the band for his or her album, would essentially be deemed a ‘no.’ Rockenfield subsequently acquiesced to QUEENSRŸCHE hiring one other drummer to take Rockenfield‘s place.”
Wilton and Jackson additionally accuse Rockenfield of failing to generate any earnings to repay a mortgage used to cowl the settlement QUEENSRŸCHE had reached with the band’s authentic singer Geoff Tate eight years in the past.
“When QUEENSRŸCHE had negotiated their monetary settlement with Tate in 2014, QUEENSRŸCHE‘s then legal professional beneficial and organized for Jackson, Wilton and Rockenfield to safe a mortgage from a selected third occasion lender, the proceeds of which might for use to pay Tate a lump sum of your complete quantity of the agreed upon settlement,” the doc states. “Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield signed the mortgage settlement as people doing enterprise as QUEENSRŸCHE. Below the Settlement, Jackson, Wilton and Rockenfield had been collectively and severally liable to the Lender for compensation of the mortgage. The Lender required the band members to pledge actual property as safety for the mortgage. Wilton and Jackson pledged actual property that every individually owned. As further safety Wilton and Jackson had been required to pledge particular worthwhile and irreplaceable private property they’d collected throughout their three many years of taking part in and performing in rock and roll music all around the world. Rockenfield didn’t personal any actual property. Rockenfield was solely required to pledge some pc gear he had used for recording his facet mission, Hollywood Loops. With the speedy development of pc expertise, any worth of the pc gear Rockenfield pledged, shortly diminished.”
In line with the doc, Jackson, Wilton and Rockenfield had been required to make common month-to-month funds or danger default” on the mortgage “and lack of the property they’d pledged as safety. The mortgage prohibited Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield from promoting or in any other case disposing of private property pledged as safety for the mortgage, and supplied that, if any of the property pledged as safety was disposed of previous to the mortgage having been paid in full, the mortgage would come instantly due. Previous to the mortgage being paid in full, Rockenfield offered or in any other case disposed of the property he’d pledged as safety for the mortgage.”
Wilton and Jackson be aware within the doc that “the income generated by means of QUEENSRŸCHE live shows was the first earnings supply that allowed QUEENSRŸCHE band members to remain present on Tate mortgage. Since Rockenfield left the band in Spring 2017, Rockenfield has not generated any earnings to be used to repay the mortgage used to pay Tate. Since Rockenfield left the band in 2017, he has not contributed any cash to repay the Tate mortgage. Rockenfield‘s failure to generate any earnings for the band after leaving in 2017, resulted within the different obligors, Jackson and Wilton, shouldering your complete accountability to repay the Tate mortgage, together with Rockenfield‘s portion, and, Rockenfield‘s actions put Jackson and Wilton vulnerable to default and lack of their very own property.”
In line with the doc, Rockenfield opted to not take part in any of a minimum of 65 live shows QUEENSRŸCHE performed between March of 2017 and October 2018, and was knowledgeable and invited to attend pre-production conferences for “The Verdict” album in 2018. “Though the band’s pre-production work was occurring roughly 10-12 miles from Rockenfield‘s residence, he declined to participate,” the doc states.
Wilton and Jackson additionally accuse Rockenfield of “deliberately and wrongfully withdrawing $10,000.00 in money from QUEENSRŸCHE with out permission and for his personal private use,” “deliberately and wrongfully charging private bills to his QUEENSRŸCHE firm bank card” and “eradicating video-wall panels with out discover or permission from the band’s storage facility.”
Relating to how Wilton and Jackson got here to dismiss Rockenfield from the QUEENSRŸCHE corporations, the guitarist and bassist declare that they “supplied Rockenfield with 10 days written discover of a shareholder/board assembly of the QR Firms, with a discover of the date, time and site of that assembly place, and an advisement that the subject material of the conferences was the dismissal of Rockenfield from the QUEENSRŸCHE corporations. On October 11, 2018, the day earlier than the scheduled assembly, Rockenfield despatched Jackson and Wilton a textual content message confirming he’d acquired discover of the assembly. Rockenfield requested that he be allowed to attend the assembly telephonically. Traditionally, telephonic attendance of conferences of the QR Firms was a commonplace follow for members of QR Firms. Wilton notified Rockenfield he may attend the assembly telephonically. Rockenfield acquired a textual content that confirmed the assembly location and included affirmation of the assembly time and the telephone quantity that allowed Rockenfield to name in and take part telephonically within the assembly. On October 12, 2018, on the time scheduled for the assembly, Rockenfield failed to seem and did not name in telephonically. After ready for in extra of an hour with out Rockenfield both showing in individual or calling to seem telephonically, and, the remaining members constituting a quorum, Rockenfield was formally voted out of the QR corporations.”
Wilton and Jackson go on to say that “Rockenfield‘s preliminary indication that he would take part, a minimum of telephonically, within the October 12, 2018 assembly, solely to fail to make any effort to take action, alongside along with his to failure to inform both Jackson or Wilton that he was not going to take part, was according to the habits Rockenfield had proven the band and in issues of QUEENSRŸCHE enterprise for a lot of the earlier 12 months and a half.”
Wilton and Jackson additionally take problem with Rockenfield‘s determination to launch a cryptic new QUEENSRŸCHE-centric web page with out discover or permission from them. On the Queensryche2021.com web page, Rockenfield “‘teased’ viewers that he can be releasing new QUEENSRŸCHE music,” in keeping with the doc. “Rockenfield adopted his on-line posting with statements on social media that he was ‘able to rock,’ inviting followers to affix his web site by offering him with their names and e-mail contacts.” Additionally they declare that “with out permission or approval from QUEENSRŸCHE or its label, Rockenfield posted an out-take of a model of an outdated tune QUEENSRŸCHE had determined to not use in a previous album.” They add that “Rockenfield really had no new QUEENSRŸCHE music to launch and his on-line posts served solely to confuse followers and harm the QUEENSRŸCHE model.”
Wilton and Jackson are asking the court docket to dismiss Rockenfield‘s claims with prejudice, declare Rockenfield deserted his place of employment with QUEENSRŸCHE and to award the 2 of them “common, particular, and statutory damages and equitable treatments” that they’re entitled to.