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  TODD LA TORRE OF QUEENSRŸCHE GOES HEAD TO HEAD WITH MetalTalk.net

Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske

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Queensrÿche

MetalTalk's Roger Fauske had a chat with Queensrÿche vocalist Todd La Torre about the band's new offering, out on these shores on June 24th. As well as that, they talked about touring, the Underworld and English weather amongst other things.

Here's a full transcript of the interview and you can also listen to it in the player at the bottom of this page.

RF.... Good evening Todd.

TLT... Good evening Roger and how are you?

Article continues below...

 
 


RF.... Everythings good and the suns out, which is very strange for this country.

TLT... Yea right it rains there all the time.

RF.... It does mostly yes it very famous for it. But of course your joining us because on June 24th the brand spanking new Queensrÿche album is out.

TLT... Yes we are very excited about it.

RF.... Yes I did review the album for MetalTalk and I have to say it bought a smile to my face.

TLT... Thats great, we are really happy about all the positive feedback we have received from all the people who have had the chance to listen to the album, and have been able to review it and overwhelmingly the response has been very positive. Its a really exciting time for everybody in the band, and we are really enthusiastic about the record being released and the people finally being able to hear the songs and everything, so its a good thing.

RF..... It is very much like the old Queensrÿche sound, I have to say.

TLT.... Well you know thats a really great compliment. I think that there are elements that are definitely reminiscent of some of the works from the first five, possibly even six, albums that the band did, and there is a lot of things in there that sound like the classic sound, with the harmony guitars and Eddie's bass tone and Scott's great drumming. But also, so we have been told, it has a bit of a new flavour to it. We didn't want to write a record that sounded really dated but you also want to maintain those writing elements that are the Queensrÿche sounds and I think that much of that was accomplished on this record. And look, its the very first record that we have done with me in the band and we are already starting to write new songs for the next album so there is a whole bunch of other things that weren't really ready to make it on this first album that will definitely be going on the next one, so its all positive.

RF... Yes it is, you mentioned the old ones and there is definitely some of the Rage for Order type sound on there and obviously Mindcrime and going back, thats why it bought a smile to my face, because I am unfortunately old enough to have been around when Mindcrime came out!

Queensrÿche

TLT .... Well I think that there is a little bit of that. One of the things that has been really great to hear is that out of all the interviews that we have done, each interviewer that has heard the album has said "oh my favourite song on the record was this song or that song" and the next interviewer says they are very fond of a different song. Sometimes you will have a album with one or two good songs on the album so if everyone were to say their favourite song was the same song that would really worry me - the fact that everyone has their own idea of what is their favourite is a really good indication that there is something on the album for everybody.

RF ... That is very true, because I must admit, you know what its like. Most albums you listen to for the first time there are always one or two tracks that you are not sure of maybe for the first couple of listens but I do have to say with this one there is not a lot of growing on you needed, they just seem to grab you by the nuts straight away.

TLT... Well that's the plan. you know some of my favourite songs or albums from many bands took several listens for those songs to really grow on you and for you to really kind of have an open ear and you will find new elements within the songs that maybe you didn't catch the first time or two around. Some people have said that this album has really grown on them a lot, so its all really great feedback and like I say its a really great starting point. We knew that this was a very important album for the band and for me personally, for those guys personally and professionally for the name Queensrÿche, so there was a lot riding on the first album and so far I have no regrets. There were no outside writers on this record so it was just the five of us throwing all of our ideas in to the pot and this is the first serving of the new line up of Queensrÿche.

RF.... Yes and its a very impressive restaurant, its a good serving thats for sure. I was going to mention there is a lot of talk of revolution on this album.

TLT... You know that's kind of of interesting because Parker wrote the lyrics to the song "Where dreams go to die" and happened to say the word revolution. I wrote the song "Don't look back" with Michael before "Dreams go to die" was ever even written and Parker had never even heard it and I used the word revolution which is kind of funny. And then on top of that Eddie didn't even know the words to "Don't look back" and he wrote the words to "Fallout" which has the word revolution.

RF... I should be careful. You will have the FBI on your case.

TLT... Yea right ha ha ha, so you know each song is its own animal and you know I think that word might even be in that song "Redemption", I can't recall. But you know I would guess that the overall vibe of the record would be turmoil and then coming out on the other side in a good way and moving forward and moving on. The album was written without a theme in mind but if I had to come up with a feeling or a theme of the record I would have to say that the record has to do with, you know, rising up and moving forward.

RF... I think especially with "Don't look back", that kind of sums it up.

TLT... yes I wrote the lyrics to that song. A lot of those lyrics were written from a poem that I wrote many many years ago and that was the first song that Michael and I wrote together. Once the lyrics took shape, at the very end of the song I came up with a kind of chant. In the demo it used to build up even more - it's slightly different from the finished version but I say "magnetize, you can conceptualize" and thoughts become things and so that thought process was based on the law of attraction from the book called "The secret" which I really think is wonderful. And so when I finished writing the lyrics for that song I tried to say OK, how can I make all these words make sense. There has to be some kind of a resolve or conclusion and that was really kind of how I did that, so if you really listen in to the words on that song its really about moving on. I was in a really weird place personally in my life so that's where you get the chorus "I am lost but not afraid, marching on beyond the sun, you got to free your mind, are you the master or the slave". So its really about a person taking charge of their own life and not making up excuses for why life is such a pain in the ass sometimes. We're in charge of our destination - if we don't have anything its because its our fault and if we have an abundance of things, its also because of our own doing - so I believe that we are responsible for where we are and that's really what that song is about. Its about scenarios of despair but people are finding the beauty in very simple things in life.

RF..... Yes that makes sense and it all fits with the "Open road" as well, it kind of goes straight in to that one.

TLT... Yes right on...

RF.... Every ones is going to love, it thats obviously going to be the main thing, because as I said I was around with "Rage for order" and "Mindcrime", and that is just great for us old Queensrÿche fans.

TLT .... Yes thats great I am very glad to hear that you are enthusiastic about it.

RF.... Touring wise what are your plans for Europe and the rest of the world as well.

TLT.... Well right now we are with a new booking agency and they are doing a lot of great things. If I am not mistaken those were the people that got Queensrÿche on the Judas Priest back when they were doing shows with them so we are really excited about working with this new company. And I have just talked to Scott on the phone as well last night and I get the skeleton framework for September I think we are going to try to do a good four weeks in the US and then in October we do have dates booked in Europe but I believe that we are going to try to fill the month of October throughout Europe and some things may get rearranged. You know there's a lot of work that goes into planning any type of a tour because of the logistics and by the time all your gear is where it needs to be and you are going from country to country it has to make sense.

So certainly for this year we still have some shows in the US. We just played Germany at Rock Hard festival about a month or so ago and then we played Mexico city which was great. Actually from now until the end of September we have shows all across the US and October like I say we will be in Europe and then we will also be focusing on next year which will be a very busy schedule for us. We would love to play a lot of the big festivals throughout Europe which we were just unable to make the deadline for this year, because of some other commitments. But this year is looking really great and next year will be even busier for us and we look forward to playing our own shows and also being a part of the bigger billings with the big festival line up. There are always new things that are being negotiated on a daily basis with different promoters all over the world. South America, the US, Canada, Europe and hopefully we can go to Japan sometime - that would be great.

RF..... If you really want me to feel that I have died and gone to heaven just come over here and do a tour with Y&T and then I would be happy.

TLT .... HA HA HA You know when I was in Crimson Glory we played Camden the Underworld it was a really cool place, and has a really cool vibe of the city. There its a really small stage, super tiny, you can barely move on it but what a great energy and the people there are always so enthusiastic about the music, so its always good fun.

RF.... Yes the Underworld is like an old fashioned Rock Club. Briefly I want to move along to you personally. Before Queensrÿche everyone will know you from Crimson Glory but you are a very interesting musician, I think you have played just about everything but you did do a lot of drumming before going to the vocal side.

TLT.... yes when I was 10 years old my mother bought me a guitar, a classical guitar and made me have lessons. At 13 my Dad bought me my first drum set and the rhythm in drumming was always a driving force for me musically so I remained a drummer - that was my passion. I have always been first a drummer, second a guitar player, mainly rhythm, singing was something I just really enjoy but I was never an aspiring singer for a band. My dream was to always be a famous rock drummer but I always loved singing and when I played drums I would sing backing vocals and stuff like that. I recorded my own songs with me playing drums and guitar and bass and singing all the parts so I was kind of a one man band for my own personal music - I never really considered singing in front of people until 2009 when I was considering starting an Iron Maiden Tribute band so my friend Matt La Port who played guitar talked about it and he had a song and I did something with him and he was really impressed and, the next thing you know, he is introducing me to Jon Oliva from Savatage and then the Crimson Glory guys so that's really kind of how it all started.

RF.... Well you're only young, you have time to be a famous drummer after the singing!

TLT .... Ha Ha Ha, I would love to do drums on a record, even Scotty and I talked about possibly introducing a second drum set and going up there and doing some drumming with Scott kind of interjecting something original and different for the band in a live situation, thats not beyond the realms of possibility.

RF.... Talking of Scott, I have to say even the first time I listened to the album, I don't think I have ever heard him sound so good as he does on this this one.

TLT.... You know when he was tracking those drums in the studio and we were all looking through the glass and listening through the monitors especially on "Vindication" and "Spore", we looked at each other and thought fuck yes this is awesome. This is this guy Rockingfield that I loved as a young teen and he was a big influence on me, the way he does his fill is so creative and if you ask him how he does it he just says I don't know, because 90% of those drum tracks were completely ad lib, on the fly. He knew where the breaks were and the overall groove but all of those drum fills were completely spontaneous. It really just shows the magic this guy has. Every take was so great, I can imagine how hard it was for him and Jimbo to decide on which one they wanted to use. He always has a positive attitude and is always laughing and it was a treat for me because Queensrÿche was always one of my favourite bands and I was a huge fan of Scott, so to actually watch him record the drums on an album that I was part of, it was like being a kid at Disneyland.

RF.... A couple of the songs have almost like a military precision feel to them.

TLT .... Yes I wrote some of the drum beats. On "Where dreams go to die", Parker wrote that and we were skyping and I said to him send me the beats per minute, track the guitars and let me (add the drums). I called Scott and said I don't want to walk on anybody's toes but so the song could take some shape I added the drum tracks and he said "Hey dude no problem". When it came time to track the drums, all of that militant marching thing he kept. Obviously he did some things his way during the verses and chorus that make it special. It was an honour and a thrill to be able to collaborate with Scott. Nobody in this band has an ego and we are all open to new ideas and constructive criticism. And Jimbo (James Barton) co-produced the album so he had a lot of great ideas too.

RF.... Jimbo is a link to some of the old Queensryce stuff as well isn't he?

TLT ... Yes he engineered the "Operation Mindcrime" and "Empire" albums and he engineered and co produced "Promised Land" with the band so when we found out we were able to work with him on this it just seemed like a no brainer.

He was the guy who was responsible for all the wonderful sounds and song transisitons on Mindcrime you know all the cool things you hear and lets face it he was able to get Michael to pull out his old amplifiers and his rolling amp and all his different things and recapture the same amplification that was used on Mindcrime and Empire. so he knows how to get that sound. He is a world class engineer so it seemed the prefect opportunity for many different reasons to be part of this and I think he had a lot of fun.

RF... Guess what, it worked. Well Todd it has been a pleasure having a chat with you.

TLT ..... Like wise me too, I have enjoyed this.

RF.... I will be like everybody else and cant wait for you to come back here and of course we will all come and catch a couple of your gigs over here.

TLT.... that would be great and if you are able to make some sort of contact with our people we can arrange to meet up and do a follow up interview on site or something. We really appreciate your support and wanting to have the interview and broadcasting it to all your readers and listeners, we really do appreciate it.

RF ..... What can I say I just have good taste.

TLT.... Well i would really like people to visit our website, www.Queensrÿcheofficial.com, and contact us on FB I really enjoy interacting with our fans and like to comment so the fans know that hey I have read what they have said and would like to say thank you, some people say I am to accessible but fans are important to us and I like to have that interaction with them, and like to respond when they say they like the songs and music.

RF..... Well its your own fault for writing damn good songs, if you wrote songs like cold play no one would bother you.

TLT.... Ha Ha Ha Well thank you so much for you time and I am sure we will cross paths again.




19.6.13





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The band's eleventh studio recording boasts ten murderous slabs of audio repugnance...

gwar METAL BLADE TO RE-ISSUE GWAR's 'AMERICA MUST BE DESTROYED'
'America Must Be Destroyed' is definitely their "heaviest" album. The hardest vocals, and the hardest music...

black sabbath BREAKING NEWS: TONY IOMMI POSTS POSITIVE HEALTH UPDATE AFTER BLACK SABBATH PULL OUT OF OZZFEST
Sabbath have given no reason for their decision to pull out and Tony posted the following message just after 6.30 this evening...

twisted sister BREAKING NEWS: TWISTED SISTER ANNOUNCE AJ PERO TRIBUTE CONCERT, FAREWELL TOUR AND AJ'S REPLACEMENT
"Dee Snider and the boys made the decision last month to call it quits - just one week before drummer AJ Pero died from a heart attack."

patti russo PATTI RUSSO ALL SET FOR APRIL/MAY UK DATES
Patti Russo made her name as Meat Loaf's female lead vocalist between 1993 and 2013 and tonight she sets out on a set of April and May UK dates...

skyclad MARTIN WALKYIER GOES SKYCLAD ANNOUNCED AS BEERMAGEDDON SATURDAY NIGHT HEADLINER
"Once again we will witness Skyclad in it's true glory, as intended from conception, the Skyclad that impacted Metal like no incarnation since..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN CATALOGUE NOW MASTERED FOR ITUNES
"I honestly feel that there is a massive improvement in the quality of these classic albums..."

skid row JOHNNY SOLINGER LEAVES SKID ROW; REPLACEMENT NAMED ALREADY
"We had a lot of great times together and created a lot of great music. We wish him nothing but the best."

sos festival SOS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SIX MORE BANDS
Skarlett Riot, The Raven Age, 13 Stars, Heartbreak Remedy, Liz Owen & Charlotte Hackett are added to the loaded bill this July...

ginger GINGER WILDHEART ANNOUNCES "SONGS & WORDS TOUR" APRIL/MAY 2015
"This is a tale of redemption, self discovery and, ultimately, battling the odds and winning on my own terms..."

megadeth ANGRA GUITARIST KIKO LOUREIRO JOINS MEGADETH
He will be Megadeth's tenth guitarist in the band's thirty year history and he replaces the departed Chris Broderick...

odium CANADA'S ODIUM ISSUE STUDIO UPDATE AND OFFER FREE SONG DOWNLOAD
As the album comes together in the studio, Odium have no plans to slow down on the live performance front...

videscape VIDESCAPE IS THE NEW WAY FOR MUSICIANS TO MAKE MORE MONEY FROM VIDEOS AND AUDIO
VidEscape is perhaps not a site many musicians and bands are familiar with but all that could change in the coming months...

van halen VAN HALEN SHUT DOWN HOLLYWOOD BLVD FOR SPECIAL JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE PERFORMANCE
The band performed a forty five minute set to fans who were given free tickets to attend the outdoor event...

status quo STATUS QUO TO ROCK ROCHESTER CASTLE FOR A RECORD FIFTH TIME
The Quo will perform at the picturesque Norman castle grounds on Wednesday July 15th with support from Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
Dubbed the 'We Will Rise' Tour to promote their new EP, 'We Are The Brave', the band will be joined on the trek by The Raven Age...

whitesnake BREAKING NEWS: DEF LEPPARD/WHITESNAKE/BLACK STAR RIDERS ANNOUNCE DECEMBER UK TOUR
Tickets go on sale at 10.00am on 1st April from Live Nation UK with pre-sale and VIP ticketing information coming soon...

doro DORO CONFIRMED FOR ROCK IN RIO AND ANNOUNCES HUGE EUROPEAN TOUR
"This is amazing and a dream coming true. I think that we might also play my hymn 'All We Are'."...

wasp W.A.S.P. SIGN TO NAPALM RECORDS WITH NEW ALBUM SET FOR RELEASE THIS AUGUST
Almost six years have passed since the world saw a new studio album from Metal icons W.A.S.P...

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW SET OFF FOR 'ROAD TO DOWNLOAD' TOUR
Grab the chance to catch the Nottingham maestros of Metal around the UK before their appearance at Download...

bruce dickinson IRON MAIDEN ISSUE BRUCE DICKINSON HEALTH UPDATE AS NEW PHOTOS OF BRUCE EMERGE
Things are looking very positive concerning the Bruce Dickinson cancer situation...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN TO RECEIVE O2 SILVER CLEF AWARD
The iconic band have won the Outstanding Contribution To UK Music category...

the darkness THE DARKNESS REVEAL FIRST SINGLE 'OPEN FIRE'
The single and the forthcoming album 'Last Of Our Kind' promise an explosion of rock following the band's break ...

thunder THUNDER APPEAR ON WEEKEND WOGAN BBC RADIO SHOW
Thunder's new album 'Wonder Days' went straight into the Top Ten of the UK album charts and they have just completed a highly successful UK tour...

aj pero BANDMATES AND STARS PAY TRIBUTE TO TWISTED SISTER AND ADRENALINE MOB DRUMMER AJ PERO
Pero was on tour with Adrenaline Mob when members of that band were unable to rouse him on their bus on Friday morning...

red dragon cartel RED DRAGON CARTEL NAME MICHAEL THOMAS BECK IN LEAD VOCALIST CHANGE UP
Darren James Smith is out, and a new era begins. The saga continues...

walls of jericho WALLS OF JERICHO ARE ENTERING THE STUDIO
The band will start work shortly on their first full length album since 2008...

beyond forgotton shores DORMANT INFERNO & DIONYSUS ANNOUNCE SPLIT RELEASE 'BEYOND FORGOTTEN SHORES'
India's Transcending Obscurity label produces a Doom Metal double...

icon I.C.O.N SIGN TO METALBOX RECORDINGS
With a follow up album to 'New Born Lie' on the way and an extensive touring schedule, 2015 sees I.C.O.N in full flow...

soldierfield SOLDIERFIELD RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'THE ONLY WAR'
The video is from the latest acclaimed release 'Catharsis'...

serpentine SERPENTINE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF THEIR ALBUM 'CIRCLE OF KNIVES'
The new studio album contains ten brand new songs from the melodic rock quintet...

rival sons RIVAL SONS HAVE RECORDED EXCLUSIVE RECORD STORE DAY TRACKS
The limited edition 7" contains two previously unreleased songs...

styx STYX RELEASE 'LIVE AT THE ORLEANS ARENA LAS VEGAS'
The definitive live show is available on DVD, CD, Blu-ray and digital formats...

electric wizard ELECTRIC WIZARD CONFIRM FULL SUPPORTING CAST FOR HEADLINE SHOW AT THE ROUNDHOUSE IN LONDON
The Cosmic Dead, Purson and Moss are added to the May 15th bill...

mike porcaro MIKE PORCARO OF TOTO DEAD AT 59
The rock world was shook again on Sunday morning, March 15th 2015...

sick of it all SICK OF IT ALL LAUNCH NEW VIDEO FOR 'GET BRONX'
"This video serves to show people across the world that as gritty and unpretentious as hardcore music is, it still translates to the big stage and doesn't need a tiny, intimate atmosphere to work..."

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT LAUNCHES 'THE WHEEL'S TURNING' LYRIC VIDEO
"In contrast to the primal and gothic nature of much of the album, 'The Wheel's Turning' has a fun and nostalgic vibe..."

corbitt WARBEAST'S BRUCE CORBITT ISSUES UPDATE FOLLOWING HIS HEART SCARE
Bruce has been undergoing tests and has an important message to share...

enter shikari ENTER SHIKARI ANNOUNCE INTIMATE DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL WARM-UP SHOW
Catch the band at Bristol in June before their slot headlining Download's second stage...

tony iommi TONY IOMMI, NAPALM DEATH AND LAMB OF GOD APPEAL TO INDONESIAN PRESIDENT FOR BALI NINE DUO CLEMENCY
All artists are hopeful that their words will be persuasive and encourage President Widodo to grant clemency...

serpentyne MEDIEVAL FOLK ROCKERS SERPENTYNE UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'VALKYRIES'
Over the last few years their live show has become quite the spectacle...

tank TANK REVEAL ALBUM ARTWORK FOR 'VALLEY OF TEARS'
"He's injected so much new energy and inspiration into the band since joining us in 2013..."

mike portnoy MIKE PORTNOY IN MEGA "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM" MOMENT AFTER HAVING TO WAIT AT HOSPITAL
However well intended, the post comes across as though he is expecting to jump the queue due to his "status"...

armored saint ARMORED SAINT TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM THIS SUMMER
"There's everything from classic Armored Saint rocker songs to epic songs and we all dug deep deliver something special..."

david gilmour DAVID GILMOUR ANNOUNCES 2015 SHOWS
The dates will coincide with the release of his as yet untitled fourth solo studio album...


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