It's time again to condition you're mind and prepare for yet another interview with Michael Wilton, Queensryche original guitarist and to talk about the new album 'Condition Human' and just how well the debut album with new front man Todd La Tore, who replaced Geoff Tate former singer. The band have gone from strength to strength and with Todd in the band now the future looks set to be bright and promising. The bands current album sees the band moving forward and creating some outstanding music, a darker approach but still capturing the Ryche sound that we all love and came to be.
Looking back at such classic albums like 'The Warning', 'Rage for Order', 'Operation Mindcrime' and 'Empire' the bands finest albums, their debut with Todd a self titled album saw them return to classic Queensryche sound creating their best work yet. I managed to chat with Michael Wilton once again to find out just hw much of a success their last album was, their current album and how successful the tour is going so far. here is what he had to say.
So now let's talk about the success of the last album, Todd's debut album for the band, how well did it sell?
"As far as the rebirth of Queensryche is considered we really didn't know what to expect, it was a stepping stone for the band and it was received amazing. To come out of the depths of hell to were the band had been to come out of the murkiness and to put out an album that was re-nowed around the world and it sold far more than we expected. It basically put us back on the metal map and with things like that which had happened the music industry starts looking at you once again and management teams start looking at you once again and label etc... So it was a big building process that had happened so we were very happy with the way that turned out."
From that album which songs stand out for you and why?
"We had a massive amount of songs for that album, it was a matter of time getting Jim Barton and the band together to get the right songs for the album and label. The 1st single was 'Redemption', which is a good hard rocker and later on we did a live video for 'Fall Out' from a Germany festival we did over here. We have also played 'Where dreams go to Die', and all the songs we have played off that album seem to fit so well into a live set with the classic. When you see the fans wanting to hear more and more of the new material that is a good sign.
That album sold really well all over the world and I think it was a big step for the fans and band when Todd 1st joined the band, there was a big curiosity within the band with having a new singer and for us it was the band playing so many different types of shows and getting our self's out there and letting people hear what Todd could do. The response was amazing and we are getting old fans coming back to us that haven't heard our music in years. They came out to see us after so many years and told us we sounded the best in years with Todd in the band now and keep it going! The chemistry within the band is great, everybody is writing songs & Todd is on the same wave lengths as we are and were the music is going."
When I saw you 3 yrs ago in Nottingham, you played a lot of songs from 'The Warning' and for me that was the highlight of the older material live was amazing see in Todd play those classic songs once again and actually nailing them was incredible!! I still think you should do 'The Warning pt 2', I knew the Ryche were back!!
"Well thank you (laughing) it had been so long since we played those songs and our management came up with 'The return to History' tour and that is when you saw us 3 yrs ago, and we focused on those albums, it was a great tour for us all."
I met Todd earlier today and he played me some of his solo material on his cell phone, sounds great heavy like Fight, Testament, Over Kill and Pantera, what do you think of his solo material?
"I think it sounds great!! I'm a big fan of Testament, I knew them too. I think his solo album will do well when he gets a deal, it wont be long now."
Moving on.. you came back to the shores of the UK about a year ago playing all the show down the south of the UK with Armored Saint and Death Angel, why weren't there any dates in the north of the UK?
"Well it's funny you know, how the booking agents work over here in the UK. They don't want you to tread in the same area every year so they move you in different ears so that it might be a lot of clubs or a few festivals. So I guess the key to the game is that you don't burn out factor. (Ed: I noticed that same week that Armored Saint and Death Angel both played Bloodstock that weekend, where you there and why didn't you also play the festival?). Yes we were there, we didn't play due to politics and the festivals are excepting the band once again and that is important and to play Wacken just blow my mind, we have never played there. We are getting all those kind of offers now and this tour we did 'The Summer Breeze' festival and I'm looking at the kids and there like 20yrs old (laughing)."
Have you been approached to play 'Bloodstock' in 2017?
"I am not sure yet, there putting all that stuff together right now."
Moving on.. let's talk about the new album 'Condition Human',
"Well that album was a stepping stone for us, it was a natural progression of the chemistry of the band. Keeping the past time of the old recordings but not making everything sound the same and let's not write a copy of the last album, we are not like that. Let's push ourselves and stretch the boundaries a bit and that is what we did with this album. With the combination of our producer Zuess he wanted to bring the essences of the band and what made the band really special in the early recordings and the compositions were put together and all the music was played. By doing that we might of touched on a little bit of progressive metal elements. We wanted to find the spirit we use to have and put in on the new record."
Who came up with the title of the album?
"I think the title came up from Todd & Scott and myself in the room and we were talking about the lyrics on the new album and what Todd had been going through and I think that phrase that the human condition of what he was trying to explain and I think Scott said 'why don't we reverse the title' and the rest is history."
So who did the artwork for this record?
"Well it is a friend of Todd's who did the album cover, we were in one of those situations were the 1st version wasn't doing it for us, so in the 11th hour we got Todd's buddy to do it, his name is Joe Helm. We are very happy with the way it turned out and Century Media are very happy with it and we have charted in various countries that we have not charted in before or in 15-20 yrs and it has outsold the previous album and we are in a really good position right now. We are still touring on it so that is a great feeling."
Any songs from 'Condition Human' that you really like and why?
"Well I like then all, there is one right now that we are start working into the live set is 'Hellfire', we play a few songs live 'Guardian'', 'Arrow of Time' , 'Eye 9'."
How many videos have you done for this album so far? I've seen a couple. Are you planning on doing a live DVD? It's about time.
"Well we have done a few, some live ones too. We get asked all the time about a live DVD, we have so much material already for a live DVD. We have the whole making of the album in 2013 on video it is all filmed and ready to go. and we did the same for the new album. It is just a matter of time when we can get it going. The problem is with today's day & age technology and music industry for hard rock bands is we have to tour a lot. That is how you making you're living these days and people are stealing music off the internet and see in stuff on You Tube we have to make it special live so you really focus plying live. It is hard to find a gab where you can find the time to sit down and talk about doing a live DVD."
Do you have any new songs wrote already?
"Well we are writing new songs already on the road and it is not hard writing songs on tour as you are in a different place every single day. We can write some stranger creativity whilst on the road. I kind of enjoy that and I take advantage of it because I know something different is going to happen with the way I am writing new song and ideas."
Are you happy with Century Media records?
"Yes I am happy with the label, they have been really good for us and they have gone through some internal changes and they have given us a lot of good attention."
How well is the tour going so far for us, this is you're 2nd night in the UK, how was last nights show?
"Well we have been out now for about just over a week and we have another 18-19 shows to do in 23 days and then we are heading the U.S. to do more dates and then we go to Japan and Australia and then we do another fall tour here in U.S. with Armored Saint till mid December of 2016. We love playing small clubs lie this, they have a vibe and it's also good to play festivals and theaters too."
Well I would like to thank you guys for taking you're time out and doing the interview. Best of luck with the tour and record sales. Do you have anything to say before we finish?
"Yes keep live music alive, support the bands, buy their CD's, t shirt and come to the shows. Don't let the internet stealing kill music. Thanx to our fans for coming out to the shows and thanx Jason for the 2nd interview.
Many thank's to Nina @ Noise Cartel, Fozzy the tour Manager and the band.