Queensryche‘s publicist has issued a statement in the wake of wild (and unconfirmed) reports stating that singer Geoff Tate physically attacked and threatened two of his bandmates during a recent soundcheck, allegedly even brandishing a knife at one point.

Metal Talk quotes Brazilian website Collector’s Room in recounting that Tate overheard his bandmates plotting to fire him prior to an April 14 show in Sao Paulo, Brazil. According to the (again, unverified) report, Tate “pushed (guitarist) Michael Wilton violently and he fell to the floor, then he went towards (drummer) Scott Rockenfield and pointed a knife at him, threatening him.” According to the account, security personnel separated the musicians, and after much debate they went on to perform as scheduled that night.

This report, coupled with the news that the other four current members of Queensryche will be touring without Tate as part of a new band entitled Rising West, has fueled speculation that a band break-up is imminent. Tate will embarking on a solo acoustic tour at around the same time. But as publicist Jeff Albright tells Billboard, the group are simply pursuing different creative projects for a while:

There’s really no ‘situation’ other than the fact that Geoff Tate is concentrating on his acoustic solo performances this summer while the other members of the band have formed a new outfit called Rising West with Todd La Torre of Crimson Glory. Everyone wants to stay busy, try new things and do what they do best . . . and, of course, that’s rock in front of the masses. Queensryche are slated to perform select dates throughout the year.”

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