QUEENSRŸCHE's TODD LA TORRE Opens Up About Touring Lifestyle: 'It Can Get Depressing' And 'Lonely'

March 8, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Talk Louder" podcast, hosted by veteran music journalist "Metal Dave" Glessner and lifelong hard rock/metal vocalist Jason McMaster, QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Todd La Torre discussed some of the sacrifices touring musicians have to make while sometimes spending weeks or months out on the road away from their friends and family members. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[I recall a recent] Thanksgiving, it was rainy and it was cold. And we were at a hotel. And I remember our tour manager said, 'Hey, they have a Thanksgiving dinner you can order inside.' And it was like a little bit of turkey and stuffing and all that. I actually got my own room for that day. And I was, like, 'All right, I've gotta sprawl out on the bed. I've gotta just have my own space.' So I [got] my own room. And then I did a band text. And I go, 'I'm hungry. I'm gonna go down and eat, if anyone wants to join me.' Michael [Wilton, QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist]is the only one that texted me back and said, 'Hey, I'll join you.' So Michael and I went downstairs into the main area and we sat down and we ordered and they brought us our little Thanksgiving dinner. We were done, and then Michael went and ventured and did whatever, and then I went back to my room and watched TV.

"It's lonely, dude," Todd revealed. "It can get depressing. Everyone [who comes to see the shows is, like] 'Yeah, yeah,' and it's happy for that moment, and then they go home. And that was their night out. But I'm gonna go find a shower in that venue. I'm gonna live out of a suitcase. I'm gonna go back on a bus. And I'm gonna do it again. And this is what I'm gonna do for six weeks, while everybody else gets to [be home]. So there are those moments."

Todd went on to say that touring circumstances could very easily trigger mental health issues such as exhaustion, anxiety and depression.

"One of the things that gives me a lot of anxiety is, as your parents get older… When my dad died — he committed suicide back in 2014 — and you get that phone call," he explained. "And I can remember just getting blindsided. I happened to be home. Not that it would have mattered, but I happened to be home. But I get anxiety thinking, 'What if something happens to my mom?' 'What if I get that call and they say this happened to mom. Or my wife calls and says our little dog, he passed away or he had a seizure.' I get these really morbid, dark thoughts. And I think, 'If I'm out starting a tour and something happens to my family member — my sister.' Who knows? What do I do? You've gotta go home, you've gotta see your mom. But then again you're screwing everybody's pay. It's not a good thing. But psychologically, there's no way I could go out there and sing every night. I'd be a wreck. So those kind of things bother me and they worry me as we're aging and these things happen. But any traveling business person would be in the same boat as what I'm discussing. It's not because I'm in a band that I'm special to this."

QUEENSRŸCHE kicked off its 2023 U.S. tour on March 3 at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida. Support on the trek is coming from former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman, with TRAUMA.

QUEENSRŸCHE's current 18-song setlist includes no less than five songs from the band's sixteenth studio album, "Digital Noise Alliance", which came out last October via Century Media. The record was once again helmed by Chris "Zeuss" Harris, who previously worked with QUEENSRŸCHE on 2015's "Condition Hüman" and 2019's "The Verdict" LPs.

Guitarist Mike Stone, who rejoined QUEENSRŸCHE in 2021, contributed guitar solos to the band's new studio album.

Since late May 2021, Stone has been handling second-guitar duties in QUEENSRŸCHE, which announced in July 2021 that longtime guitarist Parker Lundgren was exiting the group to focus on "other business ventures."

Stone originally joined QUEENSRŸCHE for the 2003 album "Tribe" and stayed with the band for six years before leaving the group.

For the past six years, drummer Casey Grillo has been filling in for original QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield, who stepped away from the band's touring activities in early 2017 to spend time with his young son.

In October 2021, Rockenfield filed a lawsuit against Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson, alleging, among other things, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful discharge. A few months later, Wilton and Jackson filed a countersuit against Rockenfield, accusing him of abandoning his position as a member of the band and misappropriating the group's assets to his own personal benefit.

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