As global touring came to a sudden and unexpected halt earlier this year, Queensrÿche frontman Todd La Torre has been using his recent pandemic downtime to put the finishing touches on his debut solo album Rejoice In The Suffering..
The idea for a solo album was always in the cards for Todd. With Queensrÿche tour dates postponed indefinitely, the world events offered Todd the opportunity to explore his ideas for Rejoice In The Suffering. Todd teamed up with longtime friend and collaborator Craig Blackwell, and alongside producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris created a diverse heavy metal album that draws influence from different styles. These styles will surprise fans who only know La Torre from his previous work with Queensrÿche or Crimson Glory before that. Rejoice In The Suffering is scheduled for release globally on February 5, 2021, via Rat Pak Records
ANTIHERO: You’ve got a solo album coming out. I just wondered if the songs were always designed for a solo record rather than be on a Queensrÿche album?
Todd La Torre: Yeah. Everything was written just for this record. Nothing for Queensrÿche.
ANTIHERO: What about the songwriting? Were they old songs or new?
Todd La Torre: “Rejoice in the Suffering”, we wrote a few years ago. And then we had some riffs from like “Hell Bound” and “Down” and “Pretenders”. Everything else was written starting in March. So yeah, I would say almost all of the record was written and recorded beginning in mid-March in about a four-month period.
ANTIHERO: What about lyrically then? Were you able to incorporate what was going on in the world at that time, or as you said, had the songs already been pretty much written?
Todd La Torre: Lyrically, everything was written starting pretty much in March. Some of it has to do with what’s going on in the world, others various topics from religious things to social issues, to even a couple of songs on there that have to do with my dad and his death. He committed suicide in 2016. And so, there’s a couple of songs on there that have to do with that, but yeah, there are various topics throughout the whole record.
ANTIHERO: What about in terms of creating the album, do you have to adopt a different mindset to do solo material rather than something for Queensrÿche? Obviously, Queensrÿche has an identifiable sound that’s kind of maybe limiting in terms of how you create music, but obviously, you’ve got free reign for the solo album release.
Todd La Torre: Yeah. Yeah. The solo stuff, I just wanted to make it, Craig and I wanted to write songs that just have elements of heavy metal that we like to listen to as fans of heavy metal. And so, we didn’t have any true objective. We just wanted to write fun, cool metal songs. And that was really the approach. There was no pressure with having to have a certain style or sound. We just wrote what we felt like writing.