VERSAILLES — In April 2022, Queensrychee finished a five-week North American tour supporting metal gods Judas Priest. That tour wasn’t merely a fiery return to the stage for Queensryche after a two-year pandemic: it was a rejuvenation. The sound of a band locked-in and firing on all cylinders.
The group will be performing Oct. 21 at the BMI Event Center in Versailles.
“The Priest tour was a great springboard for us to get back onstage in what’s essentially a new world,” said founding guitarist Michael Wilton. “We had so much momentum going off of our last record [2019’s The Verdict] and then, the world, our business, came to a grinding halt. We had to survive, pick ourselves up and get back to being Queensryche.” Now, their legacy has coalesced into another career milestone for the Bellevue, Washington borne band with the release of their 16th studio album, Digital Noise Alliance.
It was the isolation of Covid-19 that fueled the first creative stirrings for Queensryche.
“Being left to your inner abandons brought up a lot of feelings,” Wilton said. “It was a weird, strange time and not knowing if you were going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It sucked, but it did ignite some of the creative elements for the new record.”
Those ideas started to come together in early 2021 when Wilton met up with vocalist Todd LaTorre and began assembling the bare-boned riffs for Digital Noise Alliance at the singer’s home studio in Tampa, Florida.
“It was a chaotic, uncertain time,” said bassist Eddie Jackson. “But the bottom line for us was to do what we always have done, which is to continue to create music, even in the face of adversity.”
“We started from scratch, face-to-face, in a room with our producer Zeuss,” said LaTorre, who joined Queensryche in 2012 and has been a driving force in the band ever since. “We were creating together in the same room, not file sharing. “It was all immediate, in real-time and nothing came from earlier sessions or discarded ideas.” Writing sessions continued for a year with tracking on the album commencing in the first week of January 2022. Drums ended up being tracked in a Florida mansion that once belonged to wrestling legend, Hulk Hogan with Zeuss recording on a mobile rig. “There’s a trust factor with Zeuss,” says Wilton of the band’s now three-album-running relationship with their producer. “He came in as a fan and really understood what Queensryche is about. With Zeuss, there’s a level of trust and understanding that we’ve rarely had with a producer. Everyone’s ideas and energies are on 10 and he knows how to harness that.”
That cloying together of Queensryche’s past and present has become the mark of the band who regrouped in 2012. Over the course of its last triptych of albums “Queensryche” (2013), “Condition Human” (2015) and “The Verdict” (2019), the five-piece took hold of the proverbial flame to give fans Queensryche in its purest essence. Moments like the lush, contemplative “Forest” echo career defining highlights like the band’s Grammy-nominated hit single, “Silent Lucidity”. Digital Noise Alliance is every bit as emotionally passionate and forward thinking as anything in their expansive discography.
With its current lineup of LaTorre, Wilton, Jackson, guitarist Mike Stone and drummer Casey Grillo, Queensryche is looking towards the future while looking back on the influence and impact of its past.
Sacred Warrior — composed of Bruce Swift, Tony Velasquez, Steve Watkins. Tom Sanderson and Erik Schelling — will be opening up the night up. Sacred Warrior is a Christian heavy metal band formed in 1988 and based in Chicago, Illinois.
General admission tickets are available now starting at $30 or people can purchase reserved seats between $30-$50. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bmieventrcenter.com or in person at BMI Karts & Parts’ showroom at 769 E Main St. in Versailles. Tickets will also be available at the door but the price increases the day of the show. Doors open at 5 p.m. and show starts at 7 p.m.