Joel Barrios of Sonic Perspectives conducted an interview with guitarist Michael Wilton of Seattle progressive metallers QUEENSRŸCHE prior to the band's January 17 concert at Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On why QUEENSRŸCHE has opened for SCORPIONS so many times over the years:
Michael: "I think it's actually a good mix of music. I think our music complements the SCORPIONS' music, and it's just a smooth transition. We get along. They like us, obviously, and, we respect their tour and we know it's their tour, so we're fast, we get off the stage fast and get out of their way. But, yeah, we've developed this relationship. It's great to consider them friends and for them to consider us for tours and special events like this residency [in Las Vegas]."
On why QUEENSRŸCHE is accepted among such a variety of rock and metal audiences:
Michael: "I think, for the most part, we're more of a heavy, power rock, power metal [band], but we're melodic and I think our music is somewhat unique to itself that it can fit in on a SCORPIONS show and it can fit in on a MEGADETH cruise with heavier bands. There's elements of QUEENSRŸCHE that fit with all audiences. I think that's why we do these tours. It's just the fact that we've done progressive cruises and we're very noticed in the progressive side of music, but we're also very melodic. We write songs and that's what people want to hear."
On whether QUEENSRŸCHE will ever record a live album with vocalist Todd La Torre, who has been in the band since 2012:
Michael: "There's a possibility. We do have a lot of recordings of all the shows that we've done, so, I know that is very much a possibility, audio-only. But we could always do something in the making. It kind of all depends on our scheduling, what the record company wants. We have many, many songs recorded live that we could release. I know it's just a matter of figuring it all out. There's a lot of things that you have to do to get access and use it for live recordings."
On what resonates with him the most from the creation of their latest studio album, 2019's "The Verdict":
Michael: "For me, it's all about having a group of guys that get along, that are willing to take musical chances and to not be intimidated, but to input their creativity, and to build that and meld that into a QUEENSRŸCHE song. To me, that's what's fun about being in a band. When everybody is contributing and you don't know the outcome. Songs can go one way or the other. It's always really interesting to see the end result."
On whether he feels QUEENSRŸCHE is still defined by their 1980s and early '90s classic era, or, has been redefined for the 21st century:
Michael: "Obviously, there's no denying our past. We're going to be played on classic radio just because of those hits. But we take it all in. It's all good for us. But it's great that when rock radio stations are playing the new music as well. The fact that we are putting out new music and touring on it, enables us to tour different parts of the world and to get on tours and to do festivals and to be keeping the fans interested in us. I know there's a lot of bands that just tour on their past and never put out new music, but we're the opposite. We want to keep evolving QUEENSRŸCHE and we're having a fun time doing it."
QUEENSRŸCHE's current tour will end on February 27 with a show in Orlando, Florida. After playing a couple of dates in May, the group will support the SCORPIONS on the German hard rock legends' Las Vegas residency in July.
QUEENSRŸCHE's latest album, "The Verdict", was released in March 2019 via Century Media Records. The disc was produced, mixed, and mastered by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (ROB ZOMBIE, ICED EARTH, HATEBREED) at Uberbeatz in Lynwood, Washington; Planet-Z in Wilbraham, Massachusetts; and Watershed Studio in Seattle, Washington.
The current QUEENSRŸCHE lineup features two original members, bassist Eddie Jackson and Wilton, along with La Torre and guitarist Parker Lundgren.
"The Verdict" marks QUEENSRŸCHE's third full-length release with La Torre, following the departure of original singer Geoff Tate in 2012.