Seattle-based progressive metallers QUEENSRŸCHE have regrouped for the first time in a over a year at wrestling icon Hulk Hogan's former estate in Belleair, Florida to work on demos for their upcoming follow-up to 2019's "The Verdict" album.
In a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice, guitarist Michael Wilton said that he and his bandmates are presently "doing a 'think tank' session" with their producer, Chris "Zeuss" Harris. "We're kind of doing it more as a group, brainstorming everybody together, as well as getting out of the dreary Seattle weather to come down to Tampa, Florida," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "It's a throwback to the way we used to build songs together back when there was no Pro Tools, and there was a four-track recorders, eight-track recorders. You still all got together and gave everybody your ideas. And you brainstorm and things come up. And you throw them at the canvas and you see if it sticks. That's kind of what we're doing now. Obviously, it's in a digital framework. And the ideas are flowing. It's kind of exciting."
Wilton went on to say that QUEENSRŸCHE has spent much of the last couple of decades working on music remotely. "[Bassist] Eddie [Jackson] and I were probably in our 20s or something — late 20s [when we were all in the same room putting ideas together]," he said. "And then once the digital age came about, everybody's got their own personal studio and the networking is a little different. It changes. You don't have the human touch, the human contact. So this is kind of refreshing, fun, and we're coming up with some really killer stuff."
Added Jackson: "Our last show was February 27th of last year, 2020, and this is the first time we've actually seen each other in over a year. It was kind of nice getting together and work. We just arrived a couple of days ago, but we're here for just about two weeks. And like Michael said, we'll put our thinking caps on and start creating some music."
Asked about the musical direction of the new QUEENSRŸCHE material, Michael said: "It is what it is. I can't describe it. I have a hard time telling people what my guitar style is. I have no idea what I do technically or whatever. This is — I think it's just organically happening. We've got a lot of ideas. So now we're just building it. And that's kind of the joy of doing this as a band, is we get to see it happen in real time and see the songs build from the riff to the finished song. And we're in that process right now. So it's kind of hard to say where we're going or what we're doing. Our producer, Zeuss, if this is any indication, he says it sounds like QUEENSRŸCHE … I think we're just going with our gut right now. You don't wanna take too many drastic chances in this day and age. So I think it's more of a continuation of 'The Verdict', maybe, in some sense. We're riding that wave. It's been good to us. [Laughs]"
Added Eddie: "It could be a combination of the last three albums we've released. We're just kind of doing our thing."
QUEENSRŸCHE's next disc will apparently mark the recording debut with the band of Casey Grillo, who replaced original drummer Scott Rockenfield in 2017.
This past January, Rockenfield shot down suggestions that he quit QUEENSRŸCHE or retired from playing music. The drummer, who hasn't performed with QUEENSRŸCHE in more than four years, took to his Facebook page to say that fans "have not been given the facts by any means" and implied that he would offer more details at a later date.
Scott's comments marked the first time he has publicly addressed his status with QUEENSRŸCHE.
The drum tracks on "The Verdict", were laid down by QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre.