Todd La Torre, who joined QUEENSRŸCHE in 2012 as the replacement for original vocalist Geoff Tate, spoke to the "Music Mania" podcast about what the last nine years have been like. He said (see video below): "Obviously, it was life changing. I had an upholstery business, and that was my trade that I did for, at that point, 22 years or something. So when I got into the band, it was, like, 'We're playing a show this weekend,' or, 'We're playing a show next weekend,' and I would have to say to myself, 'Okay, this is something where I might have to stop doing my career, and this is just like a full-time thing where I'm not home.' And I was never in a full-time touring band before. So that was a whole change in my life. And being gone eight, nine months out of the year sometimes where you don't see your family and your friends, it's a very different kind of a life.
"Obviously, it's amazing," he clarified. "I'm in a band that was one of my favorite bands growing up. We're like family. They're my good friends. We've shared amazing experiences together. I got to do things that most people dream of doing. I don't take it for granted at all. So I'm extremely thankful, and also thankful for the people that have embraced me, 'cause that's not an easy thing, when a band that you like changes a member like that.
"Overall, it's been an awesome experience. It is an awesome experience. And I wouldn't take it back. But it's definitely a different like.
"During the pandemic, I love being home," Todd added. "On the one hand, I don't miss touring at all, because I get to see my wife every day, I get to see my mom during the week and my sister and some of my really close friends, and be home in my own house. And I love that. On the other hand, I really miss the camaraderie and the whole experience that goes on where you're all together with the band and playing shows and that sort of thing.
"I wouldn't change it at all, but it has its pros and cons, like anything else in life. If you're a person in a business that travels — whatever your line of work is that requires travel — you might enjoy it 'cause you get to go around and see different places, but there's a sacrifice too. We miss birthdays, we miss certain holidays with our family, and it can be lonely."
Todd also confirmed that he and guitarist Michael Wilton are hard at work on material for QUEENSRŸCHE's next album. The disc will be the follow-up to 2019's "The Verdict", which marked QUEENSRŸCHE's third full-length release with La Torre.
"Michael's here at my house right now — he's in my studio — and Zeuss [producer Chris Harris] is here [as well]," Todd said. "We're working on new QUEENSRYCHE stuff, and they thought it would be a good idea to come down to Florida for a week or so. So we're just songwriting that way."
"The Verdict" was released in March 2019 via Century Media Records. The disc was produced, mixed and mastered by Zeuss 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.
La Torre will release his debut solo album, "Rejoice In The Suffering", on February 5 via Rat Pak Records.