QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre spoke to Canada's The Metal Voice about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2019's "The Verdict" album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We have all the songs that we're gonna be recording. We're gonna press record at the very beginning of January."
Regarding the musical direction of the new QUEENSRŸCHE material, Todd said: "It doesn't sound like 'The Verdict'. It's its own new kind of thing. We really kind of just focused more on melodic hooks. I don't think we went in thinking, like, 'Oh, we need to sound old school or new or this.'"
He continued: "You know what we did on this record… Every other time, each guy would kind of submit their own song ideas and then we would kind of work on that. But what we did on this record was, other than Eddie [Jackson, bass] — Eddie has a couple of songs that are really cool that he wrote and then showed us kind of when they were pretty much done. And then Michael [Wilton, guitar] kind of wrote some interesting chords — still staying within the keys and everything. But we all got in a room with our producer [Chris 'Zeuss' Harris] here [in Florida], and we literally started from scratch. Like, 'Michael, what do you got?' [And he would] come up with a riff. And Casey [Grillo, drums] would sit on the drums, or I would sit on the drums. We were all actually in a room and just tried it like the good old days. So this record was totally like that — the whole thing pretty much, minus one or two songs. And even that changed a little bit.
"I just burned a CD of all the demos to play in my car when I'm out driving around," La Torre added. "And it's cool. I hope people will like it. I think they're really good songs."
In early 2021, Wilton told The Metal Voice about the new QUEENSRŸCHE material: "Our producer, Zeuss, if this is any indication, he says it sounds like QUEENSRŸCHE … I think we're just going with our gut right now. You don't wanna take too many drastic chances in this day and age. So I think it's more of a continuation of 'The Verdict', maybe, in some sense. We're riding that wave. It's been good to us. [Laughs]"
Last month, Wilton confirmed that returning guitarist Mike Stone will likely contribute guitar solos to the band's next studio album.
Since late May, Stone has been handling second-guitar duties in QUEENSRŸCHE, which announced in July that longtime guitarist Parker Lundgren was exiting the group to focus on "other business ventures."
Stone originally joined QUEENSRŸCHE for the 2003 album "Tribe" and stayed with the band for six years before leaving the group.
For the past four and a half years, Grillo has been filling in for QUEENSRŸCHE's original drummer Scott Rockenfield, who stepped away from the band's touring activities in early 2017 to spend time with his young son.
In early October, Rockenfield filed a lawsuit against the band's fellow original members Wilton and Jackson, alleging, among other things, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful discharge.
QUEENSRŸCHE recently pulled out of SCORPIONS' rescheduled "Sin City Nights" Las Vegas residency in order to support JUDAS PRIEST on the "50 Heavy Metal Years" North American tour dates in March-April 2022. The tour will kick off on March 6 in Denver, Colorado and conclude on April 13 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.