Todd La Torre talks next album, Glen Drover and more
In 2012, most die-hard Queensrÿche fans had all but given up on ever seeing the band return to the sound that made them globally respected and loved. The band’s former vocalist had hijacked the quintet and taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque, pushing the group’s founders into a corner. During a yearly NAMM convention, guitarist Michael “Whip” Wilton connected with then Crimson Glory vocalist, Todd La Torre. A friendship and chemistry began brewing; and when Wilton, bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield began talking about putting together a side project, La Torre was at the top of the list to be the front man for what would become Rising West.
Rising West played a few shows, giving fans a dose of classic Queensrÿche material, and the Ryche faithful responded loudly and affirmatively. This provided Wilton, Jackson and Rockenfield, along with guitarist Parker Lundgren, the final push to oust their erratic and divisive singer from Queensrÿche. Replacing him with La Torre was a high risk-high reward proposition. It was a bold move, and one that paid off for the band and the fans. The drummer-turned-singer brought renewed passion and enthusiasm to the band, along with his amazing voice and humble disposition.
A public lawsuit led to two years of acrimony, as well as confusion for the fans who were faced with two different line-ups performing under the Queensrÿche name: In the end it was the music that won the war. The La Torre fronted line-up released its self-titled album in the summer of 2013 to resounding support from fans and critics. The record signaled a return to the sound of the band’s seminal early albums, and once again the classic Queensrÿche songs became concert staples.
The chemistry and power of the mighty Ryche is back, and the shine has returned in the form of glorious new songs that blend perfectly with music of the first half-dozen Queensrÿche records. The boys are once again building empires.
This week, Metalholic caught up with La Torre in his Florida home where he has been busy working on new Queensrÿche material for the band’s 2015 studio album. Todd talked openly about taking over the vocal duties for his legendary predecessor, internet trolls, his recent work with Glen Drover, the difficulty of choosing a setlist, and of course, the status of the next record. Sit down, get comfortable, and settle in for an hour-long conversation with the man who gave voice to a new era of Queensrÿche.