QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Todd La Torre recently spoke with TNT Radio Rock. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group's new album, "The Verdict":
Todd: "We all wrote together as a band and came up with what we feel is a really good album, and a great representation of where the band is creatively today. The [recording] process was a really good process, and I think it's pretty evident in what this new record sounds like... I think it's a really great album for where we are today. I think it's a good evolution of the band since the last two records. I don't think it's a continuation of 'Condition Hüman', but I think it's just a natural progression. Overall, it's a rather dark album, but I think it's going to be one of those albums that deserves to be among the more favored albums within the discography."
On the album's musical direction:
Todd: "There are some faster songs on the record. Overall, it still has the diversity of a QUEENSRŸCHE album, but I think it's a heavier album for the band... As we were writing the songs, you come across certain parts of songs that need to change. As you're creating those parts, because we're all working together, we come up with interesting ideas — 'How can we make the song flow, but still have some interesting changes in the music that's progressive and fun?'"
On whether he's "satisfied" with the album:
Todd: "We're all very satisfied with the record. We were all happy with the first record I did with the band. We were even more pleased with 'Condition Hüman'. We are equally, if not more, pleased with this record. It's a really fun album to listen to — it's not too short; it's not too long; it's heavy; it's slow; it's dark; it's moody. It has all of those things that we were hoping that it would have when the record was finally completed, and you get to listen to the album as one full play instead of just having one song here, and then you write another song and you're not really sure how the album will be as a whole. Once the record was completed and you get to listen to it from beginning to end, it's a really fun record to listen to, and we're all very, very pleased with the outcome."
On drummer Scott Rockenfield:
Todd: "I don't really know what he's up to, because I don't talk to him. Casey Grillo has been playing with us for almost two years live as the touring drummer, and he's done a really great job. He fits right in with all of us, and the fans seem to really embrace his efforts and contributions to the band. Everything is really doing well. I know, on the outside, it looks a little chaotic to not have the drummer on the album, but there's nothing we can do. We can't force him to play if he doesn't want to play. I did all the drums on the demos, and I've contributed to a lot of drum parts since I joined the band, so it just made sense that I would be the guy that would play it in the studio since I crafted all the parts and played the drums on the demos. It was just the easiest, most logical thing to do and made the most sense."
On his previous drum contributions to QUEENSRŸCHE:
Todd: "When I joined the band, they all knew that I was a drummer. When we were writing songs for the 2013 record, while Scott's working on some songs, the guys would send me their other songs and asked if I would put drums to it. With Scott's approval and endorsement, I started writing drum parts for a lot of those songs. I did the same thing with 'Condition Hüman'. There were some times where Scott played what I wrote on the demos, and then there's other stuff that I didn't have anything to do with, and he did his own thing. Then there's other things where maybe he took something of what I did and then did his own thing on top of that, or used what I did as a foundation. I've been creating drum parts for a lot of the songs for the other two albums, and since he wasn't a part of this album, I did all of them. Honestly, it's nothing new — I've been doing this for seven years with the band."
"The Verdict" was released on March 1 via Century Media Records. The disc was produced, mixed, and mastered by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (ROB ZOMBIE, ICED EARTH, HATEBREED) at Uberbeatz in Lynwood, Washington; Planet-Z in Wilbraham, Massachusetts; and Watershed Studio in Seattle, Washington.