The Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE has inked a deal with Century Media Records for the release of the band’s new studio album. Due on June 11, the CD marks the debut release from the lineup comprised of La Torre (vocals; ex-CRIMSON GLORY), Michael Wilton (guitar), Parker Lundgren (guitar), Eddie Jackson (bass) and Scott Rockenfield (drums). The drums for the album were recorded at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, Washington with producer James “Jimbo” Barton — the man who engineered and mixed the band’s classic 1988 LP, “Operation: Mindcrime”, and its 1990 follow-up, “Empire”, and co-produced 1994’s “Promised Land”. The rest of the music and vocals were laid down at several different facilities on the West Coast.
“QUEENSRŸCHE is excited to begin writing this next chapter of our career with Century Media. Their passion and love for music has been apparent since early discussions and we are pleased to call them partners on this journey,” states Jackson. “We are also thankful for all of the fans who have supported us from day one and helped us get to where we are today. Todd, Scott, Parker, Michael and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for each and every one of you.”
QUEENSRŸCHE frummer Scott Rockenfield tells Billboard.com: “Century Media has been extremely enthusiastic ever since they came into the equation with us, and for what it’s worth it’s hard to find enthusiasm like that. After 35 years I guess I’m gracious and honored that we have people that are that enthusiastic about the band, so we’re really happy about moving forward with them.”
Century Media president of North America Don Robertson wrote in an email to Billboard.com about the label’s interest in the band: “Many of us at the label have been longtime fans of QUEENSRŸCHE as a band. When we heard they were recording a new record, we were all definitely interested.”
“Recording is finished. It’s that final stage where we mix and we master . . . It’s been quite crazy so we’re winding down so we can focus on the final section of the record, which is the artwork and the name and everything else,” Rockenfield says.
QUEENSRŸCHE will head out on the “Return To History” world tour this March and April. The trek kicks off on March 5 in Dubuque, Iowa and makes stops in nine different countries, wrapping up on April 26 in the Netherlands. The band will also take to the high seas on this year’s Monsters Of Rock cruise and Sweden Rock Cruise. The 23-date tour will make stops in New York, Tennessee and Florida as well as in Canada, United Kingdom and Germany, among others.
A 90-second audio sample of a new song called “Redemption” from the the Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE was premiered on the February 22 edition of Eddie Trunk‘s “Friday Night Rocks” radio show on New York’s Q104.3 FM and can now be streamed in the YouTube clip below.
In a recent interview with Metal Assault, drummer Scott Rockenfield stated about QUEENSRŸCHE‘s renewed collaboration with Barton: “It’s a great thing — we’re really excited about it, he’s really excited about it. We’ve wanted to work with him for a while, but for whatever reason, we just hadn’t gone there yet. This is a great time for us to do that, though. We all discussed who we wanted to do the record with, and he was one of the first names that came up. It was easy for us to pick up the phone and call him. It was like our relationship picked up right where it left off, so it’s gonna be a lot of fun. He’s a very creative guy that did some great records with us in the past. I think that’s one of the most important things when it comes to why we want to work with him.”
Asked if fans will see a return to the progressive metal sound QUEENSRŸCHE had in the ’80s, Scott said: “What we’re trying to do, and what has been really interesting since Todd has jumped into the band, we’re trying to revisit the old QUEENSRŸCHE catalog — stuff off of the EP and “The Warning”. That’s always been a part of what we are, so yeah, definitely! I think in my opinion, we’re really revisiting that vibe of why that music was special back then for us. There will be a modern flair to it, though, just because we’re in the modern age. The fun thing about Jimbo being a part of it is that he can help tie together the two sides. He does come from our past and some of the great records and some of the great sounds that we’re known for, but he’s also living in the modern age and doing some interesting things as well. I think it’s going to be a really great QUEENSRŸCHE record. People are going to go, ‘Wow, that’s QUEENSRŸCHE! That sounds just like what we’ve known them to be, and what we would expect them to now be.’ That’s what I think peple will get out of it.”