Christa Titus of Billboard.com recently conducted an interview with the new QUEENSRŸCHE lineup, featuring singer Todd La Torre as the replacement for Geoff Tate, alongside Michael Wilton (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass), Scott Rockenfield (drums) and Parker Lundgren (guitar). An excerpt from the chat follows below.Billboard.com: What progress are you making with the demos you're doing? Rockenfield: It's going well. We've been writing for the last couple months. It's all so fresh to us, even just our relationship with Todd being in the band. It's kind of a whirlwind. I think our heads every day are kind of spinning with everything that we're dealing with. Some of it's good and some of it's bad that you gotta deal with, and you know all the stuff that we're going through. Wilton: Each one of us has hard drives full of material that was never used for whatever reasons . . . We all wanna write these songs together. We all want to be in the room, use the best ability of everybody and make these songs a band signature, [where] we play it before we burn it on a computer. You gotta play it together. We wanna bring that essence back like we used to do in Scott's basement that we used to call the Dungeon [where the band rehearsed in its early days]. That's where the magic happens.
Jackson: It also prepares yourself even more so for right before you start recording these songs. Rockenfield: What we're going to try to do is get back to our face-to-face interactive roots and write songs and pull from our history, and look what we are excited about and do that. The cool thing is, Todd, joining and doing this with us now, is helping us do that, because he's excited about that direction and likes do that as well. The plan is, soon enough down the road, we'll be able to give some news about what's happening, get in the studio in the next coming months. We don't have any timeline for that yet, but that's the plan [to] be able to go out and support some of that next year.
Billboard.com: Are Todd and Parker helping you with songwriting? Jackson: Absolutely. Everyone's contributing. Just sharing ideas and, like Scotty was saying, we don't really have an exact studio date or time, but hoping to get in the studio here within the next month or so. Wilton: That's fun for me to actually work with Parker so he's not actually just being told what to do. The guy has a lot of creative elements that are untapped, and obviously in playing some of [former guitarist] Chris [DeGarmo's] parts he's really learned and he's really upping his game. It's exciting for him and me to kind of bring these elements that he's never done before and really hone in, like Scott said, on the past of guitar double solos and experimenting with sounds. Billboard.com: Clearly, as expressed by all the commentary online, there are a lot of fans that support you, but there are also fans who feel there is no way you can go on without Geoff. Rockenfield: We can't go out and try to convince the fans. The only way we can do that or to show them what is available for them as QUEENSRŸCHE, we're just gonna go out and do it and they can come out and experience what we're gonna do. Our fans have been family. There's a lot of people in our camp for 30 years that have been with us for a long time and we're quite close to a lot of them, and it is affecting them, once again, kind of like a divorce, where they don't know what to do. They don't know what side to take. It hasn't been the easiest thing. But there's a lot of them that have been understanding of it and they get it, and they're gonna make a decision about what they wanna do or how they wanna judge their opinion based upon their own personal thing, and that's totally cool. Read the entire interview at Billboard.com.