Florida-based metallers CRIMSON GLORY have announced Todd La Torre as their new lead vocalist and frontman to lead them into the next era. The decision was made official on April 29, 2010.
Commented lead guitarist Jon Drenning: "We (the band) all sat down and discussed the idea, and all agreed that Todd was a perfect fit. He embodies so many of the qualities that made [late CRIMSON GLORY singer] Midnight such a superb singer/songwriter. In Todd, we have found a healthy, light-hearted, happy-go-lucky character with a winning personality and a true love and passion for what he does and the music he creates. He amazed us from the get-go, and it is the general opinion of the band that, with Todd La Torre, CRIMSON GLORY will sound as good, if not better than ever.
"We, as a band, have had the opportunity to work with some extremely talented singers (Midnight, David Van Landing and Wade Black). Ultimately we agreed that a relatively unknown singer would be beneficial; Todd is a blank canvas in the sense that he doesn't have any other prior musical history that could affect the overall sound that defines CRIMSON GLORY. The fact that he is a local talent with exceptional vocal and songwriting skills made this the ideal situation and most suitable to our creative endeavors for the future."
Added bassist Jeff Lords: "It's refreshing to know that in a highly competitive industry, one that is seemingly operating in an uncaring, indifferent universe, that plain ol' good luck can come around at just the right time, as Todd is the perfect addition to CRIMSON GLORY, and he is someone with whom I truly look forward to collaborating."
Stated drummer Dana Burnell: "I feel great about Todd joining the band. His ability to sing the vintage songs is unmatched. I've had the pleasure of hearing him sing over some of our original recorded tracks as well as in rehearsals, where the very first night he blew me away.
"Since Midnight's death, myself and the other surviving members of CRIMSON GLORY have really strengthened our bond; we are closer than we've ever been, and now with the addition of Todd I'm extremely excited about the band's future."
Commented guitarist Ben Jackson: "Todd is a very talented singer who expresses himself incredibly well. I'm looking forward to working together and breaking new ground with CRIMSON GLORY. I would also like to offer my very best wishes to my friend Wade Black, who in my opinion, is a tremendous vocalist and frontman, and will always be part of the CRIMSON GLORY family."
La Torre made his first (and as yet only) public appearance with CRIMSON GLORY at ProgPower USA X as one of seventeen guest performers (including Wade Black, vocalist on the "Astronomica" album and subsequent European tour, and David Van Landing, who replaced Midnight briefly for the "Strange and Beautiful" U.S. tour) paying tribute to Midnight, the band's original singer.
Midnight passed away last year due to long-term health complications.
Essentially unknown to the mainstream progressive metal scene, La Torre spent 22 years earning his stripes and solidifying himself as an unquestionable talent behind the drum kit of various hard rock and heavy metal projects in the Tampa Bay, Florida area; however, his vocal aspirations went largely unfulfilled until last year when Matt LaPorte (JON OLIVA'S PAIN), who had only heard La Torre sing on a few occasions, casually mentioned to Drenning that he might make a nice addition to the already stellar lineup of performers the band had accumulated. It was only a short time later that La Torre found himself at the band's rehearsal studio, and the pieces began to fall into place.
The members of CRIMSON GLORY also commented on singer Wade Black's involvement with the band thus far, and on continuing without Black as the frontman of CRIMSON GLORY.
"It should be noted that Wade was very respectful to Todd and made him feel at home," the group states. "That spoke volumes to us about him as a person and his strong character. He was accommodating and a gentleman in every sense of the word.
"We truly appreciate Wade's outstanding contribution as a member of CRIMSON GLORY and on his performance on the 'Astromonica' album. He has been an integral part of the CRIMSON GLORY legacy; replacing Midnight was no small task and he accomplished it admirably and with all of his heart while adding his own sound and style to our music. It was difficult for him to have to come in and sing an album bearing the weight of the scrutiny and expectations of Midnight loyal fan base on his shoulders, but he managed to get the job done with flying colors both in the studio and live onstage. We're also extremely proud of the accomplishments that Wade has achieved since then with his other projects.
"Wade will always be a part of our family and we hope to share the stage with him in the future when the opportunity presents itself. However, at this point in the band's history, it's time to go in a new direction, and we are united in feeling that Todd would be a more ideal fit for the sound and style we wish to create and help us advance far into the future."
Drenning also hints at an upcoming European tour dates, as well as new material: "We are presently making plans to head to Europe this winter for a short roster of shows before kicking off the spring/summer tour season. Dates will be forthcoming as the time nears, but we're definitely looking forward to stretching our CRIMSON GLORY wings, getting back out on the road and showcasing Todd to our fans across the globe. Indeed, Midnight is irreplaceable in our hearts, but I have absolute faith that our fans will come to appreciate and love Todd as we have, and without a doubt will see what we saw that first night, and at ProgPower, and in the months since then." Drenning adds, "The band has just started working with Todd writing some amazing new music that I believe our fans will truly enjoy; it is CRIMSON GLORY in every sense of the word and then some, and Todd La Torre is the voice that will carry us onward through this new millennium."