On August 31, J.R. Straus conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE and SOULBENDER guitarist Michael Wilton at Farm Rock in Wauconda, Illinois. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for QUEENSRŸCHE's follow-up to last year's self-titled album, tentatively due in early 2015 via Century Media, Wilton said: "We're writng the next QUEENSRŸCHE record right now. We've been writing in between the touring, and it's all going really well. We're about 14 to 15 songs in right now. We wanna get up to maybe 20, 24 songs, so that we've got special songs for each country and really do it up, because we're not in a time constraint on this record. So we're really proactive in it, but it's gonna really be the next step from the last record."
In a recent interview with Pop-Break.com, QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield was asked how the band managed to stay positive and successfully bounce back from spending much of the past two years embroiled in a legal battle with the group's former singer, Geoff Tate, over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name. "The conflict started years ago, but prior to it, when we were all still working together in the 'old band,' so to speak… we had been in a dark place for a long time," he said. "It wasn't going well, the years were stacking up on us, we weren't making the music that we were passionate about and were being forced to do a lot of things that we didn't want to do. We weren't being allowed to play all of the music that we wanted to play live, and to give our fans what we thought was important. The darker the hole we kept falling into, the faster we wanted to get out of it. That's what happens, you kind of hit the bottom of a hole, and there's only one way to go: up and out of there. I guess my point with all of that is rolling forward to the present right now and what we've had to go through the past couple of years… it was a huge defining moment, you know? In the end, it was exactly what we needed to do and now we just feel so good about where we're at. It was meant to be; it was the right decision. We're happier, the fans are happier, they're certainly enjoying the music we play live, and have certainly given us great feedback on the record we put out last year. So overall, everything worked out really well. The morale, for us, just kind of became perfect. I mean, the second we transitioned and got Todd [La Torre, vocals] in the band, the morale just went through the roof for us, you know? There was no weird dark clouds for us, and we just don't have that anymore. We're really close to each other. We have the same common interests, we're energetic, and we're happy! We're all working together as a team, and it's not just one person saying, 'you have to do it like this,' it's all of us making the decisions together and making the music together. Long story short: the morale is really high, we're having a great time, and we all really know what we want to do and why we want to do it. I think that's why the fans like what we're doing now — they can see that we're happy and that we're being honest again."
Scott also spoke about what fans can expect to hear on QUEENSRŸCHE's next CD. "Our old sound was kind of our thing, and I think we just found what QUEENSRŸCHE was good at, and we really wanted to do that [on 'Queensrÿche']," he said. "I think it really bought us back to the essence of some of that old material that we did together. It was honest material, and I think that record was one of the most honest records we've made. It really shows just 'us' all around, and our fans' response and the press's response… people all over the world listened was happy, and it was quite overwhelming! So, I think it's a great thing, for us to find that. As for what's coming next, I don't really have a defined answer for you because we never really know. We tend to not really define it until it's done, but we've been working on it quite a bit, so it will soon kind of lay itself out. But it's going to be us… it's just going to be us. It's gonna be what we do in the best fashion possible. I think you can say that there will be a lot of the elements from the last record in it. The energy and the chemistry and the honesty and the unity… all of that stuff will be in it, and hopefully the icing on the cake will be that we wrote really great songs and people enjoy what they listen to. I don't think they're not going to, to be honest. We're really good salesmen now because we feel so good about it! [laughs] Now we just have to do it! I think we'll have it done within the next four to six months, after we get through putting it all together and stuff. It's a great blessing, and it's really a lot of fun for us."
QUEENSRŸCHE's self-titled album sold around 13,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 23 on The Billboard 200 chart. The record arrived in stores on June 25, 2013 via Century Media Records.
"Queensrÿche" marked the debut release from the lineup comprised of La Torre (vocals; ex-CRIMSON GLORY), Michael Wilton (guitar), Parker Lundgren (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums).