QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre says that he doesn't care if people know that he is a longtime cigarette smoker.
The 47-year-old musician, who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, discussed his smoking habit in a live video interview this past weekend with Canada's The Metal Voice. Addressing criticism from viewers of the livestream who objected to the fact that he was puffing away during the chat, saying that singers should abstain from cigarette smoking, Todd said: "I don't care. Whatever. I bet you there's a lot of really good singers that smoke. And some people hide it, and some people don't."
He continued: "For years, I never wanted anyone to see me smoking 'cause I knew if you have a bad show — never mind that you'd flown 25 thousand miles that month — they would be, like, 'Oh, that's why. He's gonna ruin his voice.' And then you sing killer. And you could say, 'Yeah, I don't smoke anymore.' [And then they'd say] 'That's why you sounded so good.' Everyone's an expert. I don't care."
Philip Anselmo (PANTERA), Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT) and Udo Dirkschneider (ACCEPT) are among the other hard rock and heavy metal singers who have admitted to smoking cigarettes in the past.
In a 2009 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford said that he "quit smoking" a long time ago in order to better take care of his voice.
Back in 2014, former IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di'Anno insisted his voice was in better condition than Halford's even though he was still drinking and smoking. "I'm hitting notes Rob Halford can't hit anymore," Paul said at the time. "And the reason is I don't fuss over it. Some people go, 'I've got a slight cough; let's cancel the whole show. If you look at my touring schedule, it's brutal. Normally I do this five, six, seven days a week. I still smoke, I still drink — I still have it, mate."
In a 2013 interview with Myglobalmind, PRETTY MAIDS singer Ronnie Atkins, who is now battling stage four cancer, joked that the secret to keeping his voice in shape was "20 cigarettes a day and little drink now and then."
Pop superstar Lady Gaga admitted in a 2020 interview that she used to smoke "40 cigarettes all day long" before finally quitting.
According to Tobacco Free Life, "the effects of smoking on your vocal folds are almost entirely negative. You might be able to get a raspy quality in your singing you wouldn't be able to achieve otherwise, but you'll [experience an] impact on your range, the control you have over your voice and your stamina as a performer."
QUEENSRŸCHE recently pulled out of SCORPIONS' rescheduled "Sin City Nights" Las Vegas residency in order to support JUDAS PRIEST on the "50 Heavy Metal Years" North American tour dates in March-April 2022. The tour will kick off on March 4 in Peoria, Illinois and conclude on April 13 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.