QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton spoke to the "Cobras & Fire" podcast in a new interview about how the rise of grunge in the early 1990s forced most hard rock bands off the radio and MTV, with album and tour sales plummeting.
"The grunge thing happened pretty much in the mid-to-late '90s, so we had already gone through that whole early-'90s explosion of rock videos on MTV and lots of record companies selling tons of CDs and albums and everything," he said (hear audio below). "It was a glorious time.
"I remember, I think we were playing in '96 or '97, and that's kind of when it all hit, right? It just kind of goes in cycles. There's a new generation coming in, and they want their own thing. And for us, we never fit into any concrete genre and we weren't a band that was on any trends. We were kind of oblivious to it all, and we just kept doing what we were doing. And lo and behold, look at us today — we're still going strong. And I think it's just because QUEENSRŸCHE's music is unique and it has its place. And it obviously, for the most part, can be timeless."
Two years ago, former QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Geoff Tate said that he was offended when his band started being compared to the so-called "hair metal" acts of the 1980s.
"When we started, genre wasn't really a thing in the business," the singer said. "Rock music was all encompassing. You had different bands doing different things and it was all totally fine.
"What happened was that the marketing mentality came into the business," he explained. "They started breaking everything down and putting music in boxes. At that point, writers began placing us in the same box as MÖTLEY CRÜE. It wasn't about the music — it was a selling technique.
"To be compared to MÖTLEY CRÜE… I took it as kind of an insult, frankly."
QUEENSRŸCHE's new album, "The Verdict", was released on March 1 via Century Media Records.
The band's spring U.S. headline tour with special guests FATES WARNING kicked off on March 2 in Orlando, making stops in major markets such as New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles, before wrapping up on April 3 in Seattle.