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Sarzo not a part of Operation: Mindcrime

Guitarist says he has no involvement with Tate's post-Queensryche band

Robert Sarzo says he is not a part of Geoff Tate's post-Queensryche band – but insists there has been no falling out.

The guitarist was part of Tate's version of Queensryche while there were two bands of that name in operation due to a complicated legal wrangle.

Tate was ordered to stop using the name earlier this year and he recently announced his band would be called Operation: Mindcrime – after the Queensryche albums of the same name to which he was granted sole rights in the legal settlement.

But Sarzo will not take part in the new project, saying his contract with Tate came to an end and that he is working on other endeavours.

Sarzo tells LA Rocks: "The reason that I was brought into Queensryche with Geoff Tate was to do the 25th anniversary of Operation: Mindcrime and also to do the greatest hits and we did the farewell tour. And I did it — every show; I never missed one.

"Nobody quit, nobody got fired. I was a member of that version of Queensryche and it ended. It was fun hanging out with Geoff, Kelly, Randy and my brother Rudy on tour.

"We were out for a long time. It was powerful, it was fun. Great guys to hang out with, on and off stage. It was a great experience. It was really, really positive."

Sarzo has gathered a group of musicians to play concerts in honour of guitar icon Carlos Santana.

He adds: "It's not a tribute, we're not dressing up like Carlos Santana, but it's a salute because I came to America at six. I turned six a month after I arrived here from Cuba. We were refugees. We just left everything.

"And when we came to America, which we are really happy that we got accepted and helped out to start a whole new, fresh lifestyle, and especially the freedom to evacuate communism. But not knowing the language, it was pretty difficult; it was difficult in school.

"When rock and roll was introduced to me through the Beatles, it was a way of showing freedom to play rock music. So that's why I'm doing the salute — to thank Carlos Santana for helping not just me, but all the other Latinos to be able to make a living playing rock and roll."

Operation: Mindcrime this month signed a three-album deal with Frontiers Music Srl.

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