Seattle-based progressive metallers QUEENSRŸCHE are hoping to entering the studio in September to record their new album for an early 2018 release via Century Media. The band’s third full-length effort with Todd La Torre on lead vocals will once again be produced by Chris “Zeuss” Harris, who has previously worked with ROB ZOMBIE, HATEBREED, SOULFLY and SHADOWS FALL, among others.
Speaking to Canada’s The Metal Voice, La Torre stated about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to 2015’s “Condition Hüman”: “Right now, [we have] around fifteen songs. Not all of them are completed. There are many that are. There are many that have all the [arrangements].
“I went to Seattle and stayed there for a week to ten days, and we just worked on arrangements. Like, ‘Okay, here’s a good intro, here’s a verse, here’s a bridge, here’s a chorus…’ ‘Cause once you have that established, there’s pretty much your song… So right now the tentative recording timeline is to get into the studio September. It was supposed to be March. But we did a hundred shows last year, and when you only have four days off at home, you’re not locking yourself in your studio to work. And you can’t force creativity — good stuff.”
Regarding the musical direction of the new QUEENSRŸCHE material, La Torre said: “It’s still premature to answer that. We have a song that Eddie [Jackson, bass] wrote. When he was here, we wrote all the orchestrations for it, and it’s kind of BEATLES-ish. It’s a really cool song — it’s not a heavy song.
“I would say that the stuff so far, I think, has more upbeat, driving, faster-tempo songs,” he continued. “I think ‘Condition Hüman’, in hindsight, probably lacks… it could have used a couple of more faster songs… Out of all of the ideas, there’s stuff that’s more… So far there seems to be more odd-time stuff, a little more progressive.
“In some aspects, there is definitely some reminiscent-of-‘Rage For Order’-kind-of-era-sounding songs maybe. I don’t know… It’s kind of hard to just… I can’t lump it in right now, because by the time Zeuss gets hold of it, it’ll totally shift. So probably once we get into full pre-production with Chris Harris, then I’ll have a better answer for you.”
La Torre also talked about his plans to release his debut solo album in 2018 via Rat Pak Records. “I have a friend named Craig Blackwell, and he’s a lifelong friend,” he said. “We played in bands together our whole lives. That is more… I would say it’s… musically, it is probably, like, FIGHT meets PANTERA meets BLACK LABEL [SOCIETY]. It’s definitely got that kind of southern… You know, PANTERA had that certain power groove — not full-fledged [speed], but has thrash elements. And then vocally, I’m singing probably a lot more chest voice, and then I’ve got some brutal gutteral vocals on it… That’ll be a lot more brutal and more thrash, but the vocals are definitely more a power-metal, operatic kind of a thing — very aggressive…”
According to La Torre, the original plan was for him to put out his solo debut this year. “But if I can get everything pretty much recorded by the end of the year and ready for the middle-of-next-year [release]… It’ll be my first solo effort, so I really want it to be just right, and if it takes another six months, who cares?” he explained. The singer also wasn’t sure if he would play any shows in support of the solo album. “It’s really just an outlet for me to just get down these ideas that I’ve had in my head for a long time and new ones that come up, and stuff that I know that’s not suitable for QUEENSRŸCHE, that it still allows me, as a musician, to record and just put it out there,” he said.
KAMELOT‘s Casey Grillo made his live debut with with QUEENSRŸCHE on April 1 at Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, California. He is filling in for regular QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield, who is taking time off from the band’s touring activities to spend time with his newborn son, appropriately named Rockson.
“Condition Hüman” debuted at No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart, having shifted 14,000 equivalent album units in the week ending October 8, 2015.
QUEENSRŸCHE last fall completed a month-long headlining tour of the United States. Support on the trek came from ARMORED SAINT and MIDNIGHT ETERNAL.