Mark Thompson from MA Entertainment Global conducted an interview with guitarist Michael Wilton of progressive metal veterans QUEENSRŸCHE prior to the band's March 30 concert at Ace Of Spades in Sacramento, California. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how QUEENSRŸCHE approached their latest studio album, "The Verdict", with singer Todd La Torre playing drums in place of Scott Rockenfield:
Michael: "The approach was all different just for the fact we didn't have a drummer at the beginning of pre-production and putting the songs together. We built each song from the ground up with drums as well, so all the drum parts were written. It's not just a jam-along, play-along thing. Obviously, with the songs that were written and constructed, it was an injection of energy, obviously, just from all the touring we've been doing and the live playing. I think it kind of translates into the way you write because that's the way hard rock and progressive rock bands survive these days, is touring. You might as well play songs that are fun to play onstage, right?"
On whether the heavier nature of "The Verdict" was intentional:
Michael: "The band is evolving as touring musicians, just writers in general and this is just the next phase of the writing. Like I said, we just wanted to inject some energy in it so that may be perceived as heavier, but we really wanted to make it a cohesive album with kind of a musical thread that goes through all the songs that makes it like an album. In my mind, when I think of recording, I still see a vinyl LP. I still think that it should be listened from beginning to end, not just a bunch of singles or whatever. That's kind of how we viewed this. We had 20 ideas, refined them down to ten and really worked on them. Put some depth into them. A lot of fans like to listen to our music on headphones and hear different things every time they listen to it. Also, just the energy and the excitement of life, I guess. [Laughs]"
On making records with modern technology:
Michael: "Making records now, it's just a different animal. Back in the day, we had microcassette recorders for ideas and everything. Now you have computers with hard drives and USB sticks. I think it's easier, but you have to be more organized now because there's so many different things. Compatibility issues. The USB port isn't like the last computer. That thing. Yeah, you have to really do your inspection when you buy a computer because the operating system might not be compatible with the software system."
On what advice he would give to younger bands getting their start:
Michael: "If you have it in you, go with it. Be real. Keep it real. Try not to follow the latest trend. Do what the music inside is telling you. If you can do that, maybe you can be a band like QUEENSRŸCHE. We've been unique in our music because we never tried to follow any trends and we're still here today after 37 years. I think that's the main thing: Keep it real."
"The Verdict" was released March 1 via Century Media Records. The disc was produced, mixed, and mastered by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (ROB ZOMBIE, ICED EARTH, HATEBREED) at Uberbeatz in Lynwood, Washington; Planet-Z in Wilbraham, Massachusetts; and Watershed Studio in Seattle, Washington.
QUEENSRŸCHE's spring U.S. headline tour with special guests FATES WARNING wrapped on April 3 in Seattle.