"Totally Driven Radio", the weekly radio podcast heard live every Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST time on the Totally Driven Entertainment Radio Network, recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE and SOULBENDER guitarist Michael Wilton. You can now listen to the chat below. (Note: Wilton calls in at the 18-minute mark and hangs out for almost 20 minutes.)
Asked about the progress of the songwriting sessions for QUEENSRŸCHE's next studio album following the settlement agreement between the band and its former lead singer, Geoff Tate, over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name, Wilton said: "We're busy in this month of September, which we are in, writing [and] finishing up songs. We've got quite an arsenal lined up of tunes, ranging from all different sonic diversity. We're really happy and having fun doing this one. It's just a creative birthday of almost some sort… It's just like, 'Wow!' We all five think the same, we're all cohesively linked. It's just a great time, and all that underlying tension is gone, and we are ready to bring you the next QUEENSRYCHE album, and it'll be a step beyond the one we just did."
He continued: "We're taking our time now. The record company is, like, 'Just do the record when you feel it's done, and then we'll put it out.' If you're looking for a time, it's gonna be early 2015, maybe spring, or something right in that area. That's kind of a safe bet. But we're working really hard, we're diligent, and we're really motivated, so… we'll see what happens. But to get the whole thing going, to get the whole machine going, and get everybody involved that needs to be involved, it's quite an undertaking and quite a task and it's all about timing and everybody being available and all that."
Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield bought out their former lead singer's share of the QUEENSRŸCHE corporation while allowing Tate the ability to be the only one to perform "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Operation: Mindcrime II" in their entirety. Tate will no longer have use of the TriRyche logo or any other album images aside from the "Mindcrime" releases. He can only refer to himself as the "original lead singer of QUEENSRŸCHE" or "formerly of QUEENSRŸCHE" for a period of two years and that text must be at least 50 percent smaller than his name in all materials. After this two-year period passes, he can only refer to himself as Geoff Tate with no mention of QUEENSRŸCHE at all.
As of September 1, there is only one QUEENSRŸCHE entity and that consists of Eddie Jackson, Todd La Torre, Parker Lundgren, Scott Rockenfield and Michael Wilton. This lineup will continue to perform selections from their entire musical catalog, including songs from "Operation: Mindcrime". The band will be able to use all TriRyche logos and previous album artwork for any purposes as needed by the corporation.
Named after QUEENSRŸCHE's epic concept album from 1988, "Operation: Mindcrime", Tate's new band will include Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE), Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO), Randy Gane (MYTH) and Kelly Gray (QUEENSRYCHE 1998 - 2001, 2012 - 2014).
OPERATION: MINDCRIME will enter the studio this month to begin recording a trilogy project that Geoff's been working on for the past two years.