Queensryche’s Michael Wilton: “The Cohesiveness In The Band Is Great Now”

Special thanks to Teresa Morgan for interviewing Michael Wilton at there Sacramento, California show for on March 30, 2019, for All That Shreds Magazine.

With all of the acclaim that The Verdict is receiving, does the band have the energy of when the band first was starting out?

MW:  I mean obviously, this is an evolution of Queensryche and the energy in the band right now is great.  The creative and the cohesiveness of the writing and everything is perfect. It took a while but that’s what we’re doing.  This is the Queensryche machine and has everybody in it now that’s writing really well. It’s a great band experience and I love it.

It’s kind of based on the career right now of having to tour so much for hard rock bands and progressive rock and metal because not many people are supporting and buying CDs.  People are just aren’t supporting and buying CDs.   They just stream music.  And if you’ve seen the royalty payout on streaming, it’s 1/100th of a cent for one play.  No band can live off that.

Photo by Teresa Morgan

With outlets including All That Shreds have said this is the best Ryche album in 25 years.  Does that bother you that 25 years of music might not be up to par with that QR faithful?

MW: it’s the evolution of the music. Obviously, it’s going to sound like Queensryche because the DNA is in the band right now. So when people listen to it, we hear this all the time, hey, it reminds me of old Queensryche. With the cohesive band element right now, it puts us more in touch with the modern know there’s an edge with the band and we’re getting lots of young kids at the concerts now.

How do you come up with the setlist from your newer albums from the legacy ones?

MW: We’ve kind of split the set list up so it’s  50% legacy and 50% Latorre Queensryche. Obviously, you get the casual Queensryche fans at the concert and want to hear the hits and you get the hardcore Rychers that want to hear the new music.  It was a blend that we had to put together in a 90-minute set.  We took the new songs out and put them on YouTube and played in rehearsals.  We wanted to represent each album.

Photo by Teresa Morgan

Do you improvise while playing onstage?

MW: We try to stay true to the melodic structure of playing and solos. If they’re very melodic and, uh, you know, something that can remain in your mind, those are exact, but if it’s a super fast run or whatever, we can change it up a bit,

With Queensryche touring for over 40 years, do you still get nervous when you’re about to go on stage?

MW:  There’s no real apprehension. Sometimes there are nerves when we’re playing the new music first live.  You don’t know how it’s going to sound in a live situation, right. With an audience and a different mix than something listening to on headphones.  I relate it to a pro golfer when they get up to the swing, they have lots of people around them, this zone of concentration and it’s a focused concentration and they block everything out.

Photo by Teresa Morgan

Do you stay in contact with Chris DeGarmo?

MW:  Chris and I are longtime friends.  We golf all the time and stay in contact.  He loves what we’re doing with the band now with Todd.

What are your touring plans for 2019?

We can do fly out dates for weekends or a couple of weeks at a time. We’re going to Europe and doing all the big festivals in June and July.  Then we’re coming back and doing more of different flying out dates.  We’re also doing the Megadeth cruise in the fall.

For more information on Queensryche, please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial/

2 Replies to “Queensryche’s Michael Wilton: “The Cohesiveness In The Band Is Great Now””

  1. Great interview Teresa! I agree that the band still has the Ryche sound on the new stuff too, I’m digging it! 🤘❤️🤘

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