It’s been a year of change for Queensryche. From the exit of vocalist Geoff Tate and the addition of Todd LaTorre to their latest self-titled release reaching No. 23 on the Billboard 200, Queensryche has reinvented themselves.
We recently caught up with guitarist Michael Wilton to talk about the whirlwind of a year it has been and what the future holds for the rockers.
Interviewed by: Roger Scales
Your S/T record was released in June and the response from the fans in the US especially has been overwhelming. You charted #23 on Billboard and most critics have been extremely favorable in reviewing the record. I believe the public has more than accepted vocalist Todd LaTorre into the band and the crowds are feeding off this positive energy that was enveloped and surround Queensryche at this time. Do you agree?
Yes. It’s evident with the release of our album the reviews have been totally positive. It’s encouraging to read what the magazines and online sites are saying but what’s great is what we have heard from the fans. That’s the ultimate approval that we look for. We also appreciate what our peers are saying as well. Other bands seem to have really accepted our direction with the addition of Todd as well. Read more
Queensryche, the quintessential kings of concept albums, return with their latest work of art – American Soldier. The album takes you on a rollercoaster ride of the up close and personal and sometimes gut-wrenching perspectives of our American heroes, the veterans of war.
From the opening track “Sliver,” which starts out where a lot of soldiers do, boot camp, to “At 30,000 Ft,” a song fittingly about a pilot’s experience from the air, the album resonates throughout and takes the listener through a broad range of emotions from sadness to pride to overwhelming gratitude. On one of the more touching tracks, “Home Again,” Tate shares lead vocal duties with his ten year old daughter on a song inspired by a soldier’s letters to those back home while he was at war.
The album is dedicated to the soldiers from start to finish including some special guest appearances from a few of them.
Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate took some time to talk to us about the personal nature of the album, what he hopes people will take for it and how it has affected him personally.
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | 2009
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over twenty years since the release of the debut Queensryche EP. Decades later the band is remembered for its progressive sound and heady lyrics, a brave endeavor for a band making it’s mark in that era. Their 1988 release Operation: Mindcrime remains relevant to this very day. As a concept album it shed light on the relatively new band at the time, and gave them the opportunity to spread their wings and fly. Now, several years later, Operation: Mindcrime has taken on a life of it’s own, literally. The album has been succeeded by a theatrical version of the album, as well as the follow up Operation:Mindcrime II. Their sound defined by Geoff Tate’s insane vocal range as well as crunching guitars and a dynamic rhythm section, was hard to mistake.
Blowing away the ideas of labels at the time, Queensryche toured with bands at varying ends of the spectrum including Def Leppard and Metallica, daring to take on any crowd and make them a fan. Two decades later, I’d say they made their mark.
Their most recent release, a covers album titled “Cover Me” allowed the band (Geoff Tate, Scott Rockenfield, Mike Stone, Eddie Jackson & Michael Wilton) to explore other genres and come up with new arrangements for some of their favorite songs of all shapes and sizes. The results? An eclectic arrangement of cover tunes ranging from a Broadway favorite to a Queen classic.
With a new all original album in the works, the band is gearing up for a cross country solo tour. About a week before the tour started, lead singer and Queensryche mastermind Geoff Tate took some time to talk to us about the new tour, the new album and surviving in todays music industry and living to tell about it.
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | January 2008