In a new interview with Darren Paltrowitz, host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz", QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre spoke about how the band's fans have embraced him since he joined the nearly a decade ago as the replacement for QUEENSRŸCHE's original vocalist Geoff Tate.
"It's funny. I always hear, 'There'll definitely be an all-original lineup reunion. Every band does it.' And I'm thinking, if you knew what I know, I don't think that's gonna happen," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And other than the optics of it, why? What's the point? We saw for 15 years what it sounded like. And I think when I came in, I said, 'Hey, let's play in standard tuning. I have homework to do. If I'm struggling, let me work on coming up to you instead of you coming down to me.'
"If, at some point, I'm not able to sing in the original tuning and we have to downtune, I will do it gracefully," Todd continued. "But I'm not gonna bullshit my way about it. I'll be, like, 'Yeah, I can't sing as high as that anymore. And so, yeah, we downtune a half a step,' or whatever it is. I'm not gonna make some B.S. reason why we do it.
"But nevertheless, I think it's almost like catching lightning in a bottle. There are those bands that have successfully [replaced lead singers]. But then you have the Gary Cherone-VAN HALEN situation where no matter good the guy is as a singer, it really boils down to, does the audience embrace it? Period. And there's just that 'X' factor that you can't always put your finger on. And so I feel fortunate that I think the majority of people, if they put their biases aside, go, 'You know, this sounds pretty legit,' and they feel like they have their band back.
"It'll be nine years in July, I think, [that I've been in QUEENSRŸCHE]," La Torre added. 'And I'm glad, because I wasn't, like, a one-album guy. It was, like, okay, we're doing the fourth [QUEENSRŸCHE] record [with me], and we're contracted for two more with Century [Media], so you'll definitely get five records out of me under Century Media. And then we're gonna keep going.
"These guys, this is all they do. They're gonna do this until they can no longer physically do it. And at that point, hell, I will have been in the band longer than I think even maybe [original guitarist Chris] DeGarmo at that point. He's been out of the band longer than he was in the band, and I'd have to see how many years he was in the band — 16, 15… I don't know. Whatever it is. It's a long time — I'm not there — but at some point, I assume that I would be there.
"I had a really good conversation with somebody yesterday, and we talked about, when is a band considered a tribute band? If you have no more original members, like FOREIGNER — and they play, and people love it, and it doesn't really seem to be that problematic.
"I'm not the original guy, but after nine years, 10 years, 15 years, or the guy's been in [the band] almost 20 years, am I in the fucking band?" Todd said. "When is enough enough, and you just say, look, I'm collaborating with original members. I did do two records with almost all the original guys. And things are going really good. Things are good, and we're still putting out new music. But it's a delicate situation with the audience, because, again, no matter how good you are, if they don't embrace that or accept you, that's just something that you can't control."
Tate has gone back and forth on the subject of a possible reunion with QUEENSRŸCHE, telling The Rock Vault in November 2019 about the prospect of rejoining his former bandmates: "I think that would be something that makes sense, and I think it would be an interesting thing to do, if everybody could get in the same room and actually talk to each other." However, just eight months earlier, he dismissed the possibility of a QUEENSRŸCHE reunion, telling Greece's "TV War" that he had "no interest in that. No. Not at all. [I have] absolutely no reason to," he said. "I don't need the money. That'd be the only reason to do it. Maybe if they paid me, like, 10 million dollars or something like that. [Laughs]"
He continued: "It was a good thing for a long time, and then it went really bad. And I just don't want that kind of negativity in my life. My life is so good, and I have such great friends and family. I travel the world and sing songs for a living. I mean, it's lovely. I have wonderful, positive people in my life, and to go back and be in that negative land again… aargh, I just couldn't do it. It's not worth it."
Tate previously described his time in QUEENSRŸCHE as "a strange, strange sort of relationship." He told The Metal Gods Meltdown: "We weren't really friends, you know — we were business associates. We had a wonderful entity that we shared called QUEENSRŸCHE, but it wasn't an equal sort of partnership as far as involvement goes. You know, so there wasn't a real camaraderie amongst everybody in the band… From my perspective and my involvement, it wasn't an emotional sort of brotherhood kind of thing that some people might think existed. That wasn't my reality with them."
Todd's debut solo album, "Rejoice In The Suffering", was released on February 5 via Rat Pak Records. Todd created the LP with his songwriting partner Craig Blackwell and producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris.