Queensryche Claim Scott Rockenfield Abandoned Them
Queensryche cofounders Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson revealed their counterclaims in a lawsuit filed by former drummer Scott Rockenfield.
He commenced legal action in October, saying he was illegally removed from the band’s businesses in 2018 after taking leave to deal with his partner’s health issues the previous year and demanded reparation from the remaining two original members.
In their filing (via Blabbermouth), Wilton and Jackson accused Rockenfield of bowing out at short notice and failing to help them find a replacement drummer for previously booked shows, failing to respond when asked to participate in the 2018 album The Verdict and not helping them repay the loan they had taken out to settle their lawsuit with former singer Geoff Tate in 2014.
After Rockenfield “made no effort to assist the band in finding a substitute drummer,” the filing claimed, he “only sporadically responded to band members and band management about participating in the recording the new album. On those occasions when Rockenfield did respond … he obfuscated and refused to commit or agree to rejoin the band or to participate in the process of recording the new album.” When told the band “had to have a declaration from Rockenfield as to whether or not he intended to participate in recording on the band's album,” he “subsequently acquiesced to Queensryche hiring another drummer.”
The paperwork revealed that, under legal advice, the trio had taken out a loan to pay Tate his agreed settlement fee following their split and had been required to back it with “personal property” as security, while maintaining monthly payments primarily funded from live shows.
But Wilton and Jackson accused Rockenfield of having provided only low-value property and then selling it, against the terms of the deal, and that, “since Rockenfield left the band in 2017, he has not contributed any money to pay off the Tate loan.” As a result, they said, “Rockenfield’s actions put Jackson and Wilton at risk of default and loss of their own property.”
In addition, they claimed the drummer had “intentionally and wrongfully” taken $10,000 from the band’s account for personal use and had continued to use the band’s credit facilities for his purposes. They claimed he’d been given ample notice of the 2018 meeting in which they were to discuss his position. He confirmed awareness of the date and asked to participate by phone but failed to call in, according to documents: “After waiting for in excess of an hour without Rockenfield either appearing in person or calling to appear telephonically, and, the remaining members constituting a quorum, Rockenfield was formally voted out of the QR companies.”
The counterclaim, filed last month, asked the judge to dismiss Rockenfield’s claims, declare he abandoned his position in the band and award “general, special and statutory damages and equitable remedies” to the remaining duo.