John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Legendary Rock Interviews: You've played plenty of gigs with the band now and had such a great response to the self-titled album. Were there times before where it seemed like there were fans who were withholding judgement until seeing you live or hearing the record?
Todd: It was a mixture, but I don't think there was too much skepticism, though. Overwhelmingly, the people who've attended shows also support this lineup. I know there are some skeptics that come to the show that are curious, although usually by one or two songs in, their guard is down and they're taking it all in. It's kinda hard to deny a good show and a fun performance. Overall, the energy is great. To be honest, the skeptics that come out we are just changing their minds one show at a time. I talk to so many people who will say, "You know, I was really skeptical," and I kinda giggle; people say things like, "You know, I didn't wanna like you but wow, this is really great, and I feel like I have my band back. Thank you so much for being a part of this band and singing songs the way that we remember hearing them." It's been overwhelmingly positive.
Legendary Rock Interviews: I definitely got a feeling watching the show that I was seeing QUEENSRŸCHE, and I honestly haven't really felt that way since the early '90s. It definitely feels like the band I loved…
Todd: These are the guys who've been in QUEENSRŸCHE since the beginning, with the exception of Parker [Lundgren, guitar], but he was in QUEENSRŸCHE before I came in and that's the band QUEENSRŸCHE that everyone knows. That's why it goes over so well; these are the guys who wrote those songs and have been performing the songs exactly like they were written. There's no other interpretation of the music; we play it the way that they wrote it and the fans love it. The band is more animated on stage now, everyone is having a good time and feeling comfortable onstage now, laughing and smiling and it's fun again for these guys. That translates into the performance and the the audience is receptive of that, and when you guys are receptive to that, you give the energy back, which makes us have a better time so there is really a symbiotic relationship between the band and the fans. It's a hard thing to deny if you've experienced it.
Legendary Rock Interviews: You know, some people would insinuate that you were really motivated to succeed due to the court case, but it sounds like you are really just in a good place creatively and in the songwriting groove.
Todd: It's evident that we're enjoying working together, just as it was evident that the band wasn't firing on all cylinders for the last many years and several albums. I think that's very evident. Our latest record sold in approximately eight weeks what the band's last record with Geoff [Tate] singing sold in the last year so that's also evidence that the fans are receptive to the new creativity that the band is putting out. Having me in the band now and Parker in the band, as songwriters contributing equally, is a lot of fun for the other bandmembers because they're getting a new perspective on song ideas and guitar and drum ideas and vocals, all because we're working as a team. According to other interviews in the past, from other guys in the band, they weren't writing together as a band. There was cherry-picking of songs and they had outside writers, and when Michael Wilton [guitar] is being asked to learn somebody else's parts for a track on a QUEENSRŸCHE record, that in of itself is evidence that something is definitely wrong. There was a breakdown in chemistry and a breakdown in communication, a breakdown in the overall direction of the band, etcetera. Well, those days are gone and now they have their band back and have creative control and equality again, which I understand was not happening for quite a while so that's invigorating to those guys. Finally, they know they are creating music that is going on their record. Think of how many years that they wrote things that didn't get to go on a record and having all these ideas in your head for all this time and now you're in this position to make them all happen. Wouldn't that seem empowering and motivating to you? It doesn't stop with just the one record with us — this is just the beginning. We have so many other songs and song ideas that we are so excited about having people hear. That's the real motivation to keep going forward.