Steven Rosen of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Michael Wilton of Seattle progressive rockers QUEENSRŸCHE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: “Dedicated To Chaos” was a different sounding album than other QUEENSRŸCHE records. Did it succeed in bringing the band into a more modern sound?
Michael: You kind of never know, and it’s kind of a crapshoot. I think, as an artist, you kinda gotta go with your gut feeling. If it hits public taste and collides, that’s double-plus good.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: What was the response to “Dedicated To Chaos”?
Michael: It was released on Roadrunner Records and we toured quite extensively in 2011. The thing with QUEENSRŸCHE and our main body of work is the big albums and when you play it live, you’ve got to give ’em the favorites. So it’s like any one of the songs off the later albums, post-’97, you’ve just gotta give ’em a little taste of this and this. It blends in well. To throw a song in off of “Chaos”, people stare at it, but then it’s like, “Hey, it worked.” Certain songs on the older albums, because we toured so much back then and wrote ’em in a room together, they just work live. Pre-Pro Tools, it was, “Let’s get creative and write together in a room.” Those tend to for the most part translate live really well. Sometimes you can get overly creative in the Pro Tools area and it sounds good on the computer, but when you play it live, it’s a different animal. You gotta kind of make some adjustments here and there.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: You had a side project back in 2004 called SOULBENDER. Will you do any more recording with that band?
Michael: I plan on it and we have all the demos for the second album. The core band kind of disintegrated, so it kind of stopped. It’s kind of a purist thing, so it’s gotta be something that’s really special and I just don’t wanna piecemeal it out. I want it to be a band so yeah someday.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: What about WRATCHET HEAD?
Michael: It’s kind of a fun thing and that’s a little more rock and progressive in nature and lots of guitar. So I have that. I’ve done lots of recording for film and television and lots of different media. Scott Rockenfield [QUEENSRŸCHE drummer] and I did a CD called “Mosh Pit” which is on Sonoton in Austria and distributed all over the world. Played on various TV shows from sports to cooking shows; you might hear some background guitar and drum stuff on there and it’s probably Scott and I.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Both SOULBENDER and WRATCHET HEAD were heavier bands than QUEENSRŸCHE. Is that where your heart really is musically?
Michael: As you grow as a musician, you really start to blossom in what you like and the way you play. The way it evolves is perceived differently by everybody. It’s really strange. I can jam and play the blues like a blues guy. I’ve jammed with Lee Oskar from WAR because he lives up here in Seattle. I can do that thing, but I’m definitely in the rock and definitely into the hard rock and definitely into a semi-progressive area of the rock.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: QUEENSRŸCHE provides a space for all of those styles?
Michael: QUEENSRŸCHE, for the most part, fills all those roles. We’ve got some really fun songs to play on guitar. Our current guitar player, Parker Lundgren, when he was working on learning the songs from “Rage For Order”, he didn’t realize in-depth how fun and challenging the guitar parts are.
Read the entire interview from Ultimate-Guitar.com.