In a recent interview with Bruce Moore and Kris Siegers of the “Brutally Delicious” podcast, Todd La Torre shared his perspective on stepping into QUEENSRŸCHE in 2012 as the replacement for original frontman Geoff Tate. The former CRIMSON GLORY singer has since recorded three studio albums with QUEENSRŸCHE and has helped restore the heavier, progressive sound the band was known for during its heyday after a string of poorly received, experimental albums that were largely driven by Tate.
“I think that we did a really good job overcoming such a huge obstacle,” he said (hear audio below). “There’s a lot of bands that have great singers that come in and kind of, I don’t like to use the word ‘replace,’ but we’ll just use it for simplicity, that replace a very iconic singer in a band, whether it’s Gary Cherone joining VAN HALEN — he’s a great singer — or John Corabi [joining MÖTLEY CRÜE], who’s [also] a great singer. Some people think that those records they did with those bands were amazing and better than even some of the earlier stuff. But I think that we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.
“I think that, obviously, music is a very personal thing to a lot of people and they can’t just separate their biases and their emotions from the actual music they are hearing, so a lot of those biases permeate and distort a fair judgment of what you’re listening to. We have to contend with that. And I think, by and large, we’ve really kind of won over the majority of the QUEENSRŸCHE fanbase. I wasn’t just a one-album guy, so I think it really helps to solidify the lineup and the fact we’re still doing very good business. People are really interested to hear the new material live also, which is a great thing. I think it’s been a great success. You’re never going to please everyone no matter what, and that’s okay. But I think we’ve done a really good job and, obviously, thanks to the people that give this band a chance without Geoff Tate. I’m not that guy. I really couldn’t ask for a sweeter situation, to be honest.”
In April 2014, Tate and QUEENSRŸCHE announced that a settlement had been reached after a nearly two-year legal battle where the singer sued over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being fired in 2012. Original QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton (guitar), Scott Rockenfield (drums) and Eddie Jackson (bass) responded with a countersuit. The settlement included an agreement that Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson would continue as QUEENSRŸCHE, while Tate would have the sole right to perform the albums “Operation: Mindcrime” and “Operation: Mindcrime II” in their entirety live.
La Torre told Metal Wani that QUEENSRŸCHE is “sounding better than it did for over 10 years” now that he is fronting the band. He added: “The fans have certainly voiced that opinion. That’s my opinion, and that’s a lot of opinions we hear every night. And the energy of the other members of the band is way healthier, way happier with [Geoff] gone and me in the band. And that’s just the facts. There’s no stifled creativity, and there’s no kind of leader and followers, if you will, in the band. We all talk and try to make decisions the same, and it’s very democratic. I’m never gonna tell Michael Wilton that his guitar riff is too heavy, for example, and that had happened in the past. The band is way happier, and I think that it’s evident when you watch a live show — not [a clip on] YouTube, but really go to a show and feel what’s happening and see what’s happening. These guys are happy again and they feel like it’s a rebirth of the band and that those dark clouds are well behind them.”