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Interview with Queensrÿche | Michael Wilton: «We are not rock stars, we are musicians»



Hello Michael !

Michael Wilton: Hello guys. how is the weather there in Greece, guess what's happening here in Seattle, it's raining!!!


Oh really? Funny enough, we have the same weather here too. Too bad. Well, let's start the interview, tell us what have you been doing?

Michael Wilton: Well, we just finished the first part of our 'Verdict' tour with Fates Warning. so we are back in Seattle. We'll do some shows in the US in the next couple of months and then heading to Europe for summer festivals and Greece of course after a long time so this is exciting.





Tell us about the new album

Michael Wilton: It's our 15th album and the 3rd with (singer) Todd LaTorre. He's been with us for 7 years now, so as a band we are evolving and building up together and have a great vibe. We started about a year ago and our drummer Scott Rockenfield said he couldn't make it this time so we could either use a session drummer or have Todd play the drums as well. So, we recorded a song with Todd and it came out fine so we decided that was the way to go. We had about 20 ideas for songs that we refined down to 10. Every song was built from the drums up, everybody was involved in the creative process, everybody came up with ideas and that was very exciting, it made the album very special. It reminded me of the early 80's in the band. The record company loved it, we loved it, the fans loved it. The reviews were great and we are very excited with it.








Do you have a favorite song in the album?

Michael Wilton: Well you know the cliché, they are all like our children. But I do like Inside Out a lot, it's a special song for me. I had written it about 15 years ago, it never made it in an album but this time it fitted perfectly and a lot of people have pointed it out as their favorite and I'm very happy about it.




How do the fans react to the new songs live?

Michael Wilton: Oh, the hardcore fans absolutely love them. We are playing 4 songs now from the new album, and they love it. Even the less hardcore fans that only know the classsic songs say they love it, and, if it means anything, we are selling out cd's and vinyl every night at the merch desk.



Do you think that this album is closer the more classic 'Ryche albums?

Michael Wilton: I think most people think so, that it has roots to the classic albums, but the songs sound very new too and that's why we are getting so many new fans and younger fans in our concerts.



Is the result what you were expecting or was it more spontaneous?

Michael Wilton: It is above and beyond what we were expecting. The drums have a live feeling the way that Todd recorded them, and the production was amazing. Some of the songs are energetic, they hit you right in the face. I can listen to it over and over and find things that were done spontaneously. I say to myself 'Oh, that's great' so yeah, I'm overjoyed with the final result.


What about the future? How do you see the band in 10 years, say?

Michael Wilton: The future is wide open. We want to continue evolving, and the energy level is very high, we are having a lot of fun, we still enjoy touring. As long as we are having a good time and the fans want to listen to us we'll keep writing and recording and touring.



After all these years and the hard times the band went through, are you happy with where you are now?

Michael Wilton: I think,it takes time. Being in a band is a lots of ups and downs. First and foremost we take pride in the musicianship in the band. Everybody is an A player when performing or recording. We always had a bit of a progressive edge and of course we are not rock stars, we are musicians.


If you could go back in time would you change anything?

It's a tough question. There's always the 'what if, could have, should have' but I think that life's a journey the band has been going for 37 years. I joined when I was 20 years old. There's always bumps in the road.So, would I do some things differently? Possibly, but at the end you have to go the way you are going and let it happen. You can always say we could have done that sooner, or earlier, or never. But with everything there's a reaction and a reason and it got us on the path that we are now.



Are you listening to any interesting new bands?

Michael Wilton: Yeah, we always try to find new bands for our tours and we always try to listen to new stuff when we are out. I could give you some examples but maybe it wouldn't be fair to the others. But, we always try to keep up and find new bands.


Is there anything that you want to try and never have yet musically?

Michael Wilton: There are always side projects and new things that I want to try around but my life is consumed by Queensryche. It's a full time thing, there's no time for anything else. But in the fragments of time I have I would like to finish some of the side projects I have, like Soulbender and Wratchet Head and also a solo project. I have some unfinished work there.



What are your plans for the future?

Michael Wilton: Well, we'll be touring the album for about 2 years. The gap between this album and the previous one was about 3.5 years and the plan is to make it shorter this time. You know, I'm not getting any younger so I need to extract my creativity as much as possible.


What can we expect from your shows in Greece?

Michael Wilton: We'll be playing with Firewind and Gus G, so it's a good package. I think the fans really like it when it's a package like that, I hope all our fans will come out and have a good time. We want to thank them for standing with us, it has not been easy, so a big a thank you.



Thank you Michael, see you in Athens !
Michael Wilton: Thank you guys, see you soon !





Chris Mouskos, Elena Manta



Black Velvet Radio

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