Queensryche – Paving the Road to MadnessSunday, 30th June 2013
Dead Rhetoric: Was it easy to jump into songwriting mode with these guys?
La Torre: Yes! It really was. When I first joined the band, I wondered, “Here’s these guys, they’ve got a way, so by me entering, how do these guys work?” Much to my pleasant surprise, they were…they’re just like you and me. It would be like, “Hey guys, I got this idea. Michael, let me see your guitar real quick so I can show you.” And I’d play something. And then he would learn it, then make it his way, which gives it that Queensryche flavor. Scotty let me do some drumming and writing on some things. A lot of the marching quality heard on “Where Dreams Go to Die” was mine. I just wrote that with Parker initially just to give it some structure, so when we showed it to the guys, we would be able to sell them what we were hearing, then everyone else would be able to put their stamp on it, then become a true band collaboration. They were very open-minded, no ego, completely throw any idea you have into the pot, let’s stir it up and whatever is the tastiest is what we’re going to keep.
Dead Rhetoric: That overused phrase, “All killer, no filler” comes to mind when we’re talking about the running order and length of the album too.
La Torre: During pre-production, [producer] James Barton would listen back, “Okay, does this intro to the second verse need to loop twice?” So some of that “fat” was removed. When it was done and somebody brought to our attention the length, we weren’t even thinking about it [laughs]. I remember “Fallout” we were like, “Wow, that’s a short song.” The record, I think in just the way the tracks are laid out, it really feels complete to me. When I listen to “Open Road” and you get to that really nice part at the end, it feels complete. You just want to hit “play” again. To me and the rest of the guys, we would much rather have the listener want to hit “play” again instead of four more songs or lengthier songs that become filler.
Dead Rhetoric: Did you get a sense from the guys that they were just dying to get some material off their chests and out of their systems?
La Torre: Most certainly. I’ve heard the guys talk about the lack of communication that existed in the recent years…cherry picking of songs that were submitted and being told that songs were “too heavy.” I don’t know about you, but as a fan, that’s fucking blasphemy. Queensryche was never really considered in my opinion, a real “heavy” heavy metal band, but certainly there are things that absolutely are “heavy metal.” That was the beauty of this band – never being boxed in to one sound. You can go from a song like “A World Without” to “Spore.” Having the diversity was a great thing. I think that’s why so many people are saying, “Wow, this sounds like Queensryche again.” That’s because there were no outside writers! These are the guys that are the core founding members that wrote the songs that we love. This is very freeing for them to not have to learn someone else’s guitar parts for crying out loud.
Dead Rhetoric: Word is that you’re already thinking about the next album. Is that what Mike is doing inside now? Working on some new tunes?
La Torre: We’re already working on new songs for the album. I’ve got a new song that when I go back to Florida, I’ll be finishing tracking the drums and guitars for the song that I have. Scott has something, Michael just showed us all a new song, and Parker has a new one that he and I are working on together, and it will all happen together. Everyone is working on their own thing, but we’ll all pair up and say, “Here, check it out.” There are already four or five songs that are in the writing phase.
Dead Rhetoric: Without putting the cart before the horse, is there a chance for a 2014 release for this?
La Torre: Uh…I don’t know [laughs]. That wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. I know we’ll be touring heavily in support of this album, but just depending on scheduling and how things work out, that will obviously dictate when the next release will come out. We’re excited about playing the new stuff. We’re all working on the songs from the album and slowly implementing the new material into our live set. We’re going to have a lot of fun playing that, while focusing on progression.
Dead Rhetoric: Looking ahead, are you nervous about the court proceedings in November?
La Torre: Nervous? I don’t think nervous, just there’s the anticipation of what’s going to really happen. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. If you just look at the facts – and I’m not a lawyer, but as an outsider looking in and you were to figure out what was the evidence, we all feel very confident that Michael, Eddie, and Scott will be awarded the rights to the name. However that agreement and process to resolve it all, will happen. I think we’re all just really excited about the positive energy that’s been happening to us, and it reaffirms that we feel we’re the only Queensryche and we’re doing the right thing.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you plan on being at the hearings in support of the guys?
La Torre: Yes.
Dead Rhetoric: Wrapping up, what’s the rest of the year looking like?
La Torre: We’ve got shows lined up through the rest of the year. We’ve got some shows for July and I think August, and then September, we’re in the process of formulating a full month of ground touring in the U.S. Then in Europe, we’ll be there the entire month of October. November will be off because of the legal proceedings, then December is Christmas, and usually a slower time with playing live. We’ll start ramping things up the first of the year, and we’ll be touring a lot, playing a bunch of shows, and just trying to rebuild the reputation and the brand, and getting all of those fans back on board. It’s an exciting new time.
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