In a new interview with Ghost Cult Magazine, QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Todd La Torre was asked when he will feel comfortable performing in front of live audiences again. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "That's a really good question, because we've had shows booked. And it's, like, 'Is this outdoor? How far away? Are they mandating masks?' And if they say, 'Well, masks are recommended,' for me, I don't like that at all.
"Until I think we can reach herd immunity, where it's legit safe that way, and I've had my vaccine, I think I'll feel fairly comfortable then," he continued. "Right now, until we can all get that achieved, there are shows on the books, and it makes me really, really nervous. I don't like it. But at the same time, we haven't worked in a year. We were the first industry to close.
"I see all these dumbasses around [my home state of Florida] that cry about the mask and it's infringing on their rights, and all this stupid stuff, and it's so ignorant. And I'm thinking, yeah, but, motherfucker, you work. You have a job right now. I don't. So you can cry about it, but you're still earning a paycheck every week; you're still doing your business, even if it's, 'Oh, I work from home now.' Okay, but you're still working. We're not working where we earn an income on touring and the stuff that we do. Yeah, we're working as far as songwriting, but you're not getting paid to sit home and write lyrics; that doesn't come until way down the road. So, it's gonna be a while before any of us feel comfortable, I think.
"I think people will be super stoked just to go to a show," Todd added. "You could play 'Mary Had A Little Lamb', and people would probably be happy just to be out with their friends and seeing a stage and hearing music again. But for us, this is our job. This isn't, 'Oh, we're gonna go out with our friends and have a good time tonight.' We've gotta do this every night on tour. And so if one of us gets sick, that shuts the whole tour down. If I get sick and I have to quarantine, or I'm positive [for COVID-19], or whatever, that's a wrap — that tour is done; it's done. I'm not a guy that really hangs out much anyway. We will definitely be more isolated, not accessible. No aftershow, probably no meet-and-greets. We get on stage, we play, and that's it. So it's gonna be a while, unfortunately. But I don't feel comfortable at all right now."
La Torre went on to say that he has come under fire from some of the QUEENSRŸCHE fans for publicly speaking out in support of mask mandates and vaccinations. "I've had people say, 'I'm not buying anything from him. He's a fucking commie libtard socialist,'" he said. "And I'm, like, 'Well, you've gotta pick one, number one. Number two, you don't even know what you're talking about.'
"Look, the reality is what it is, and I'm not gonna be silent about if somebody asks me my views on the mask or vaccines or whatever. I mean, vaccines work — that's why we don't have polio here anymore. People say, 'Oh, but you can get a flu shot and still get sick.' Well, yeah, you can die still wearing a seat belt, but more lives are saved wearing a seat belt than people that die wearing a seat belt. So I look at things from a very empirical, scientific perspective. No feelings are involved; it's purely pragmatic.
"If everybody would just be sensible and not selfish, we would probably be a lot further along now, but it is what it is," he added. "And I understand people have to work.
"I'm not against a band, like, 'We've gotta play a show live.' I get it — I totally understand that; I respect it too. But this was not talking about that — this was asking do I feel comfortable. I don't feel comfortable. But if the band said, 'We have a gig tomorrow,' I would go do the gig, but I would be nervous."
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.