INTERVIEW: PopMatters (Michael Wilton)

Queensrÿche issued their 15th album, The Verdict, on March 1. It should be no surprise to stalwart fans that the group continues to evolve more than 35 years into its career. The music, always dynamic, remains so on this new set, the first in the group’s career not to feature drummer Scott Rockenfield. Instead, the group recorded as a quartet with vocalist Todd La Torre taking over the drummer’s throne.

“We’re ecstatic about this album,” says guitarist and co-founder Michael Wilton, who also credits producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris (Hatebreed, Rob Zombie), with helping the band find the best musical shape for the songs.

Wilton recently spoke with PopMatters about the group’s continued evolution and what its future may hold.

Queensrÿche has evolved with each album. The Verdict is still identifiable as you but there are contemporary influences that creep in.

This version of Queensrÿche has been evolving very naturally. A lot of the energy in this material comes from the constant touring we’ve done in recent years. Being onstage and in front of fans spawned a lot of what you hear on the recording.

As the commercial landscape changes, some bands are having conversations about whether or not to make albums.

We’re old-fashioned. We have the alchemy behind us. When we do a recording we view it very much as we did in the ’80s and the ’90s. That even comes down to the artwork. In our minds, we see it on a record, not a tiny thumbnail on Amazon.

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