In a new interview with Metal Express Radio, Todd La Torre, who has fronted QUEENSRŸCHE for nearly a decade, spoke about the decline of the music industry as consumers value access over ownership and experiences over assets.
"Honestly, I hate the business," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I don't like the business. I love the art, I like the people that enjoy the shows, but as far as the music business, I fucking hate it.
"When we did the 2013 [self-titled QUEENSRŸCHE] record, I remember Jimbo — James Barton; he was the producer and engineer on that 2013 album; he's the guy that did '[Operation:] Mindcrime' and 'Empire' and 'Promised Land' — he said, 'Your record is a business card to get them to come to a live show.' And I thought, 'Wow!' He was right, but I'm thinking you spent so much time writing lyrics, crafting music, getting the arrangements right — everything just right — tens of thousands of dollars to make, and then promotion and all this, and then somebody's, like, 'This fucking sucks.' And it's, like, what do you do? What music have you ever written or created and put yourself out there with such critique… Well, I wouldn't even say it's critiquing — it's just criticism. There's a difference between criticism and critique.
"But yeah, it's become a joke," he continued. "When [the file-sharing service] Napster started, everyone was, like, 'Holy crap!' And now, it's, like, the records that we sell, the numbers — you can't even compare 'em. An I think they should change the standards — what's considered gold now. Unless you're just the top sliver, the skimming of the water, those are the bands that are still — maybe they sell a million records or many millions of records. But I think now it's, like, 1,500 streams equals one album purchase, which is, like… it's pathetic."
"The live aspect is fun, and the camaraderie with the guys in the band is great, 'cause we're always joking and laughing and goofing around. But it's tough," Todd added. "If I weren't in QUEENSRŸCHE and was able to earn what I earn, I would not be doing this. I wouldn't be in a band trying to survive touring — I wouldn't do it. For me, at my age… At 20, okay, maybe you're full of that ambition and this big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. For me, it's not as important, that stuff. The music is important, but the fame and all that kind of stuff… Acknowledgment and some notoriety for your abilities is great. But other than that, it's a really hard life."
The original lineup of QUEENSRŸCHE — singer Geoff Tate, guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield — achieved multi-platinum success with its 1990 album "Empire", which included the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit "Silent Lucidity". QUEENSRŸCHE underwent several lineup changes in the last 25 years, the most notable one being when then-CRIMSON GLORY vocalist La Torre replaced Tate in 2012.
To date, QUEENSRŸCHE has released three studio albums with La Torre: "Queensrÿche" (2013), "Condition Hüman" (2015) and "The Verdict" (2019). Currently the band is writing new material for a fourth release for Century Media Records.
Todd's debut solo album, "Rejoice In The Suffering", was released on February 5 via Rat Pak Records. Todd created the LP with his songwriting partner Craig Blackwell and producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris.