David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
DeadRhetoric.com: This is one of rare moments that with a big singer switch, public opinion has remained on the band's side. You're in a very unique situation and one of the cool things about the new album is that you sound very aware of your history, but it's not a total rehash of those albums. When you guys sat down, was it decided that you'd look back to those albums?
La Torre: I think there was an idea where those guys — Scott [Rockenfield, drums], Michael [Wilton, guitar] and Eddie [Jackson, bass] said, "What was it about those great albums that resonated so well?" We really love that stuff and let's go back to — very loosely, I would say — an outline of some of those dynamics. Like, the harmony guitars, Scott's drumming, and Eddie's bass tone, I don't think there was any pre-determined style, if you will, as to how the record was written, but those elements and the idea of what made those records so great was kept in mind. But when we wrote these songs, we started from scratch and what you hear is the way it happened.
DeadRhetoric.com: Was it easy to jump into songwriting mode with these guys?
La Torre: Yes! It really was. When I first joined the band, I wondered, "Here's these guys, they've got a way, so by me entering, how do these guys work?" Much to my pleasant surprise, they were… they're just like you and me. It would be like, "Hey guys, I got this idea. Michael, let me see your guitar real quick so I can show you." And I'd play something. And then he would learn it, then make it his way, which gives it that QUEENSRŸCHE flavor. Scotty let me do some drumming and writing on some things. A lot of the marching quality heard on "Where Dreams Go to Die" was mine. I just wrote that with Parker initially just to give it some structure, so when we showed it to the guys, we would be able to sell them what we were hearing, then everyone else would be able to put their stamp on it, then become a true band collaboration. They were very open-minded, no ego, completely throw any idea you have into the pot, let's stir it up and whatever is the tastiest is what we're going to keep.
DeadRhetoric.com: Did you get a sense from the guys that were just dying to get some material off their chests and out of their systems?
La Torre: Most certainly. I've heard the guys talk about the lack of communication that existed in the recent years… cherry-picking of songs that were submitted and being told that songs were "too heavy." I don't know about you, but as a fan, that's fucking blasphemy. QUEENSRŸCHE was never really considered, in my opinion, a real "heavy" heavy metal band, but certainly there are things that absolutely are "heavy metal." That was the beauty of this band — never being boxed in to one sound. You can go from a song like "A World Without" to "Spore". Having the diversity was a great thing. I think that's why so many people are saying, "Wow, this sounds like QUEENSRŸCHE again." That's because there were no outside writers! These are the guys that are the core founding members that wrote the songs that we love. This is very freeing for them to not have to learn someone else's guitar parts for crying out loud.
DeadRhetoric.com: Looking ahead, are you nervous about the court proceedings in November?
La Torre: Nervous? I don't think nervous; just there's the anticipation of what's going to really happen. Nobody knows what's going to happen. If you just look at the facts — and I'm not a lawyer, but as an outsider looking in and you were to figure out what was the evidence, we all feel very confident that Michael, Eddie, and Scott will be awarded the rights to the name. However that agreement and process to resolve it all will happen. I think we're all just really excited about the positive energy that's been happening to us, and it reaffirms that we feel we're the only QUEENSRŸCHE and we're doing the right thing.
Read the entire interview from DeadRhetoric.com.