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
In order to avoid confusion based on information I have already written about very recently and for the sake of this review I need to make the obvious distinction that this is “Toddryche,” rock fans. The much anticipated new album featuring vocalist Todd La Torre does in many ways give back what many older Queensryche fans have been wanting for years, a return to the core of what made this band so great to begin with: metal guitars and high harmonies. It’s a simple formula but one that has been sorely lacking from the last few Queensryche records like American Soldier and Dedicated to Chaos. I don’t think that original Ryche members Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson and Michael Wilton along with guitarist Parker Lundgren could have picked a better frontman to take Queensryche in this direction moving forward. Read more
My curiosity was piqued weeks ago when this date was announced because for the most part Boston hardly ever showcases any classic hard rock acts..unless it’s a big name and it’s at TD Garden. This was going to be a unique opportunity to be able to witness Queensryche on a small stage celebrating 25 years of the landmark Operation: Mindcrime album. I just wondered which Queensryche lineup this was going to be? Read more
Queensryche have paved quite a musical legacy throughout their three decade career. Unfortunately, the past year has been focused on the breakups and shakeups within the band, rather than the music. The strife between Geoff Tate and his former bandmates has resulted in two versions of Queensryche, at least until the courts decide.
Drama aside, Geoff Tate and Queensryche recently released their latest disc Frequency Unknown and are now out on the road in support of it. The tour hits New England this weekend with a trio of dates starting tonight, June 7, at Lupo’s in Providence, RI, followed by the Webster Theater Hartford CT on Saturday, June 8 and the Wilbur Theater in Boston on June 9.
TWRY had a chance to chat with Geoff Tate about the new disc, the pending lawsuit and his love for wine.
Interviewed by: Roger Scales Read more
I want to address the ongoing debate/issue concerning the fact that there are two versions of the same band that exist currently in the world of Queensryche. This is not unchartered waters nor will it be something that goes away anytime soon. Unfortunately for the fans, Rock n’ Roll is a business and in the old days when Joe Perry and Brad Whitford left Aerosmith (for example) there became The Joe Perry Project. No problem. New name, new identity, no harm done. Today with the branding being so identifiable within the rock community there are now legal battles to see who rightfully owns and gets to use the name – both for recording purposes and touring. RATT, L.A. Guns, Great White, Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath – the list goes on of popular bands that shift band members and fight over ownership of the logo and identity. I have always looked at it as more music, more shows, more reasons to get excited about hearing a new or slightly different take on a band or sound that I found pleasing. Have I liked all of the different versions of the bands? NO. Corabi replaces Vince Neil and they put an album called Motley Crue..did I like It? Yes. Did it bomb? Yes. Who cares? Whether Geoff Tate’s version of Queensryche ultimately gets ownership of the name or the camp featuring Todd LaTorre wins out..I win as the fan because I can enjoy both for what they each offer. Read more
May 27, 2012
Rocklahoma – Pryor, OK
Photos by: Ilya Mirman & Jeff Palmucci
It’s hard to believe Queensryche has been recording and touring for 30 years, seems just like just yesterday I was seeing them open for KISS at the Worcester Centrum in November 1984. Having seen Queensryche in Hit Paradrer and Circus Magazine I had never even heard one song or watched one video but I recall being amazed at the range of lead singer Geoff Tate. The energy of the band also impressed me and I went out the next day and bought The Warning on cassette and have been a fan ever since. Well 30 years later Geoff doesn’t have quite the range he did back then but makes up for it in his stage presence, charisma and basically being the ringleader on stage for Queensryche in 2011.
What Boston fans were hoping for was a trip down memory lane and a set loaded with “vintage Ryche” and they did get that..sort of. Trying to touch all the bases in their history the band tried to please everyone by offering at least one selection from each of their 12 studio albums. For me personally I wanted the bulk of the set to consist of heavy doses of Rage For Order, Operation: Mindcrime and Empire..arguably their three most popular releases. I got that but the set had no flow to it because it jumped around too much and hearing individual Mindcrime cuts (for example) out of order does not do the album any justice. This is not a “hit single” sort of act..”Silent Lucidity” notwithstanding. Maybe that’s my problem with a “greatest hits” type set list. My list is so drastically different from what was performed at the House of Blues I left feeling underwhelmed.
I bought Dedicated to Chaos, this year’s new album out of loyalty to the Ryche tradition. Although not a bad album I never had a moment where I truly rocked out or got excited over any one track. So having the set open with “Get Started” from that album didn’t surprise me at all it also didn’t get me all fired up either. In fact much of the first half of the set consisted mainly of tracks from my least favorite Ryche albums. Not until 9 songs into the night did my attention get grabbed when they performed “Real World” from the Last Action Hero movie soundtrack from 1993. Performed brilliantly it was probably Geoff’s best vocal of the night. Geoff has a gift of making the fans feel like one big happy family by frequently acknowledging the crowd and interacting between tracks so that the songs may have a little background or short story to them prior to being performed.
The second half of the set was more vintage Ryche and included such classics as “NM 156”, “The Lady Wore Black”, “Take Hold of The Flame”, ‘Walk in the Shadows” and “Eyes of a Stranger”. All some of my favorites and all had an old school metal feel to them something the newer material sorely lacks. I would like to say that guitarist Parker Lundgren has come a long way in 2 years and seems to be filling in for Chris Degramo better than I thought he would, given his inexperience and young age. Yet in making that statement NO ONE can really replace Chris in terms of what he brought to the bands song writing, guitar work overall appeal. The band has never been the same since his departure although one could argue that they have survived in spite of this not because of it.
I’m a huge Queensryche fan and always will be. I think the best thing for the band to do is play entire albums in their entity and let the fans decide which ones and see what happens. I read that played Rage for Order in its entirety in NY a few nights after Boston. This is what the band should strive for in terms of road survival. Besides Degarmo returning to the lineup seeing Queensryche is like watching a regular season Bruins game. Yeah it’s hockey and it’s great but there is nothing like the playoffs. Bringing back Degarmo, playing Rage from beginning to end along with a few other vintage Ryche tracks would be like watching the Bruins win another Stanley Cup. I’ll drink to that..
1. Get Started
3. I Don’t Believe In Love
4. Hit the Black
5. I’m American
6. My Empty Room
7. A Dead Man’s Words
8. Desert Dance
9. Real World
10. NM 156
11. Screaming In Digital
12. The Lady Wore Black
13. Walk In The Shadows
14. The Right Side Of My Mind
15. Around the World
16. Silent Lucidity
17. Take Hold Of The Flame
18. Eyes Of A StrangerPlay Video
Very superstitious, indeed. The project has been a true meeting of the creative minds since it began earlier this year. And if you think you know “Bob,” think again…
The tentative moniker certainly wasn’t meant to be a palindrome like Black Sabbath’s Live Evil… that’s just they way it turned out.
“We’ll certainly have the name of the album soon,” states Tate. “In the mean time, we hope you’re getting ready to welcome ‘Bob’ into your own, individual rock universe.”
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