QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre was interviewed by rock journalist Mitch Lafon for a recent edition of the “One On One With Mitch Lafon” podcast (Facebook page). You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On QUEENSRŸCHE’s legal battle with the band’s former singer, Geoff Tate, over the rights to the group’s name:
“Theoretically, I could have taken the position that it’s not my fight, because this is stuff that was before me, but that’s not really… It becomes my problem, because I’m the new singer in the band and I’ve got a bullseye on my throat and everybody critiquing and comparing and criticizing, and some people think it’s awesome and other people think it’s horrible, and… you know, whatever. I try to stay out of that drama, but the fact remains that the most frustrating part was just fan confusion. ‘Oh, I’m going to see QUEENSRŸCHE.’ ‘Eh, which version?’ And wrong photos for the other band. If people wanted to go see Geoff’s band and it’s our photo, that’s not good for him. And if people see his photo but wanted to see us, maybe they don’t buy a ticket, ‘cause they don’t know which version it is. So that wasn’t good for us. So, certainly there was fan confusion. Obviously, having two CDs under the name QUEENSRŸCHE isn’t good for the brand, and we don’t acknowledge it as a QUEENSRŸCHE album. Some fans probably love it, and that’s great. We’re not telling them not to like anything; we’re just saying, ‘These are the guys that were the original members and wrote the music. And, you know, Geoff is an amazing vocalist with an amazing legacy. His name is synonymous with the band QUEENSRŸCHE. I mean, if Steven Tyler left AEROSMITH, he doesn’t have to say that he’s AEROSMITH; people know. And so, anybody that would know his name would know that, or any other famous vocalist — Steve Perry from JOURNEY, or whatever. So it was an unfortunate time for everybody, but we certainly have no hard feelings towards the issue anymore; it’s been put to rest. Everyone seems to be doing what they want happily, and there’s no hard feelings here. We’re just focused on what we’re doing. But, again, now there’s no fan confusion. When QUEENSRŸCHE puts a record out, there’s only one. And so, certainly that makes it just a lot easier, and the fan confusion has, if not completely gone away, almost gone away.”
On how difficult it was for him personally to deal with the legal issues immediately after joining QUEENSRŸCHE:
“Well, yeah, there were times when you run into some pitfalls and whatnot, but I think that because we were all so unified and we were like a team, and when one person was feeling down, there were other people to help lift that person up. And not only that — the positive energy that was surrounding us at the time from the majority of the fan base… I think that they were rallying around the fact that we were going back to the true roots of the band and not playing adult contemporary style of music. Because I’m a fan of the band, and when those elements are brought back into the fold and they can write what they wanna write without me saying that it’s too heavy or… They were just happier again. And so, even though it was a difficult time for everyone, we knew that there was light at the end of the tunnel, and regardless of the name, we were a new lineup of the band and people were still willing to book us for huge shows and do great things, even if we were going to be called something else. But there was a settlement agreed upon and these guys retained the rights to the name and can help to restore the brand, and that’s what we’re doing now — it’s the rebuilding process. It’s very hard… For fans that dropped off the radar because the musical shift might have been so severe that they just lost interest in the band, now they’re seeing… People are saying it every show: ‘My favorite band is back and better than ever.’ And, ‘I can’t believe it. This is so awesome.’ And they get to hear the old songs again the way that we do them in their entirety. And, you know, the new material that we’re writing that they hear, they seem very enthusiastic about it. And, again, our management is doing great things for us, our booking agents are doing great things for us. We’re playing really great markets throughout the world that are embracing us, and a lot of opportunities are happening that just weren’t happening for this band prior to me coming in. So the whole energy of the band is very positive, very optimistic, and because all that bullshit is behind us, we’re able to do what we do, which is just be musicians and write. And when you have a good team of people around you that handle other aspects of the business, and you delegate those things to the proper personnel, then it frees up that time otherwise spent on those things to just be creative musicians and try to be the best band and write great songs and tour, and that kind of thing.”
QUEENSRŸCHE’s new album, “Condition Hüman”, will be released on October 2 via Century Media. The CD was recorded in part at at Uberbeatz Studio in Washington with producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris, who has previously worked with ROB ZOMBIE, HATEBREED, SOULFLY and SHADOWS FALL.