CRIMSON GLORY vocalist Todd La Torre has released the following statement regarding today's announcement that he has joined forces with QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Parker Lundgren in a brand new band called RISING WEST:
"Just for the record and for those asking about CRIMSON GLORY, I am NOT leaving CRIMSON GLORY, I am embarking on another musical endeavor with the members of QUEENSRŸCHE. I am proud and honored to be a part of this! CRIMSON GLORY is still writing new material for our record, DO NOT WORRY :) This is going to be an amazing new chapter."
He added, "The media and 'fans' can be quite brutal, but I would like to say thank you for all of your amazing support.
"I have nothing but respect for what Geoff Tate has done to the genre. His voice is still amazing. The only thing that is constant is change. I hope the fans of QUEENSRŸCHE, and I'm one of them, will continue to show respect for him and all he has accomplished. Much respect."
La Torre, who says that QUEENSRŸCHE has been his favorite band since he was 15 years old, first met Wilton at this year's NAMM convention in January in Anaheim, California.
RISING WEST will make its live debut on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 at the Hard Rock Café in Seattle, Washington. The band will perform rare and classic hits from the first five QUEENSRŸCHE albums — from the 1983 EP to 1990's "Empire" — and plans on hitting the studio sometime early summer to begin recording its first release.
A seven-minute YouTube clip containing samples of Todd La Torre performing a number of QUEENSRŸCHE classics can be found below. Also available is Todd's full-length performance of the song "Queen Of The Reich".
Todd La Torre joined CRIMSON GLORY in April 2010 and has played a number of shows with the band during the past two years.
La Torre made his first public appearance with CRIMSON GLORY at ProgPower USA X as one of seventeen guest performers paying tribute to Midnight, the band's original singer.
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 2009 when Matt LaPorte (JON OLIVA'S PAIN), who had only heard La Torre sing on a few occasions, casually mentioned to CRIMSON GLORY guitarist Jon 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.
Midnight passed away in 2009 due to long-term health complications.