QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton says that "countless fans" have thanked him for revamping and revitalizing the band since the departure of original singer Geoff Tate.
The current QUEENSRŸCHE lineup features Wilton and fellow original member, bassist Eddie Jackson, along with guitarist Parker Lundgren and vocalist Todd La Torre.
Although QUEENSRŸCHE's final effort with Tate, 2011's "Dedicated To Chaos", was criticized for adopting a more generic "modern rock" sound and became the lowest-charting full-length album in the band's history, 2013's "Queensrÿche" — La Torre's debut as frontman — was hailed as a return to form. That energy has continued over the two follow-up albums, 2015's "Condition Hüman" and 2019's "The Verdict", and has translated to the band's live performances.
"We've rebuilt the band, and more of our fans are seeing and hearing us," Wilton told Guitar World. "We lost our chemistry with Tate and have moved on happily without him.
"When [original guitarist Chris] DeGarmo left the band, we weren't writing as a band anymore. Now we are creating music as we did during our early days, and firing on all cylinders."
Wilton added: "Countless fans come up to me after a show and thank me for saving the band and not letting it go down the path that it was heading.
"I don't even think about those later days with Tate anymore. We've rebuilt our fan base all over the world. We have a bunch of exciting new songs to play, and we plan on playing as many countries as we can. Our fans are so happy that we've kept pushing forward, and we don't plan on stopping anytime soon."
Tate recently said that he has "no interest" in a reunion of QUEENSRŸCHE's classic lineup, explaining that he doesn't "want that kind of negativity" in his life. "[I have] absolutely no reason to," he said. "I don't need the money. That'd be the only reason to do it. Maybe if they paid me, like, 10 million dollars or something like that. [Laughs]"
Tate previously described his time in QUEENSRŸCHE as "a strange, strange sort of relationship." He told The Metal Gods Meltdown: "We weren't really friends, you know — we were business associates. We had a wonderful entity that we shared called QUEENSRŸCHE, but it wasn't an equal sort of partnership as far as involvement goes. You know, so there wasn't a real camaraderie amongst everybody in the band… From my perspective and my involvement, it wasn't an emotional sort of brotherhood kind of thing that some people might think existed. That wasn't my reality with them."