One of the pioneers of American heavy and progressive metal, Queensrÿche have been riding the waves of resurgence ever since they teamed up powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre. The band’s first two efforts with La Torre at the mic – 2013’s “Queensrÿche” and 2015’s “Condition Hüman” – received praise for feeling reinvigorated and reminiscent of the troupe’s former glory, and their third outing together, “The Verdict” surpassed those benchmarks by delivering a collection of songs sporting all of the hallmarks of the band’s early classics – the heavy metal power and prog rock finesse, the majestic twin-guitar harmonies and glass-shattering vocals. Praised by fans and critics alike, “The Verdict” – which we reviewed here – propelled Queensrÿche once again to the forefront of the melodic prog-metal scene, a place they should have never left in the first place. With clenched fists, playing and singing like they still have something to prove, Queensrÿche is approaching their 40th anniversary of existence in extraordinary shape, literally firing on all cylinders.

Ever since the album came out, the Queensrÿche machine has been moving non-stop. Breathing new life into a recognizable formula, and showcasing how much drive and quality they still have in the tank, the quintet has been touring incessantly, and last Friday they started the second part of the tour supporting “The Verdict” at Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, a trek that would take them across North America until February 27th, with a final show at in Orlando, Florida (VIP tickets are available for select dates at this location) Then the band will play a couple of dates in May and will jump on the train of the Scorpions Las Vegas residency. They have also been confirmed in the Rock Fest event happening in Wisconsin on July 15th of this year.

Mere hours before the initial show of the tour, our contributor Joel Barrios took the opportunity to talk backstage with band’s guitarist and founder Michael “Whip” Wilton, and they discussed the upcoming tour, the possibility of a live release, the inception of new material while touring, the collective most immediate plans and more.