QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Todd La Torre spoke to Mike Brunn about his upcoming debut solo album, "Rejoice In The Suffering", which will be released on February 5 via Rat Pak Records.
"It's been a long time coming; I've talked about doing a solo record for a very long time," Todd said (hear audio below). "And so I'm really happy to finally get this one done and in the bank and let people get to hear a whole another side of what I like and what I'm able to do."
On the topic of why 2020 was the right time for him to work on the LP, Todd said: "Our last show, when we flew home with QUEENSRŸCHE, we flew home on March 13th, and we knew that it was probably gonna be a couple of months — nobody knew back then, but let's just say a couple of months of downtime [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. And I remember calling [longtime friend, guitarist and collaborator] Craig [Blackwell], saying, 'Okay, man. This is our time where I'm not gonna have any interruptions. Let's really dig in and get this thing done. And I just really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity while I was home and could get in the right headspace to write these songs and work on it every single day without having to jump on another airplane and that kind of thing."
Asked if all the songs on "Rejoice In The Suffering" were written in the last year or if some of them had been sitting around for a while, Todd said: "We had the title track completed, 'Rejoice In The Suffering'. And then we had a little bit of a track called 'Pretenders' and then one called 'Apology'. That was kind of it as far as with any kind of vocals, but Craig had a ton of guitar ideas that he was showing me. I would say, honestly, for the most part, we wrote probably 10 out of the 13 songs, wrote and recorded the album within that four-month period."
The first single from "Rejoice In The Suffering", a song called "Darkened Majesty", was released in December. The track is a driving metal song complete with furious drumwork from La Torre, dynamic tempo shifts and showcases Todd's vocals in a way most fans have not heard before. The official music video for the disc's second single, "Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall", came out earlier this month. The clip was filmed in Florida and features Todd and Craig delivering the punishing track in front of a giant rock wall. The song and video was inspired by rock-climbing documentaries that Todd had watched while recording for the LP. The song further showcases the influence that metal has on La Torre has and continues to surprise fans and critics that know him from his work in QUEENSRŸCHE.
The idea for a solo album was always in the cards for Todd. With QUEENSRŸCHE tour dates postponed indefinitely, the world events offered Todd the opportunity to explore his ideas for the effort. Todd teamed up with Craig, alongside producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris, to create a diverse heavy metal album that draws influence from different styles. These styles will surprise fans who only know La Torre from his previous work with QUEENSRŸCHE or CRIMSON GLORY.
Said Todd: "'Rejoice In The Suffering' was truly a labor of love. It's a pure metal record that certainly showcases a wide range of my vocal abilities. I feel there is something for any true fan of metal on this album. This album is full of groove, dynamics, power, and substance and I can't wait for people to hear it."
"Rejoice In The Suffering" track listing:
03. Hellbound And Down
04. Darkened Majesty
05. Crossroads To Insanity
06. Critical Cynic
07. Rejoice In The Suffering
09. Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall
Bonus tracks (deluxe version only)
12. Set It Off
13. One By One
La Torre joined his first band BLACKWELL as the drummer, performing in high school talent shows and entering into the club rock music scene in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 2009, Todd was suggested to CRIMSON GLORY guitarist Jon Drenning by a mutual friend to help with some vocal rehearsals in preparation for a CRIMSON GLORY memorial concert. This would pave the way for more collaborations with the band, eventually joining as the band’s new permanent vocalist. La Torre was the lead singer for CRIMSON GLORY from late 2010 until resigned from the band in early 2013. In 2012, Todd became a household name in the metal world when he officially became the new lead vocalist of QUEENSRŸCHE. The band immediately began touring globally and started writing new material for the self-titled 2013 album "Queensrÿche". To date, QUEENSRŸCHE has released three studio albums with La Torre: "Queensrÿche", "Condition Hüman" (2015) and "The Verdict" (2019). Currently the band is writing new material for a fourth release for Century Media Records.