I just found this link on QR's MySpace page - http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=365258694&blogId=477913516
Friday, March 20, 2009
Exclusive interview with Michael WILTON (QUEENSRYCHE, SOULBENDER)
Released in March 2009 by YvesZ for WICKED NEWS
. Hi, Michael ! What a pleasure to release this interview with one of my favorite artists ! I’ve been following QUEENSRYCHE since 1984 and it’s a great honor for me to have this talk with you.
Well, thank you very much. We finally get to talk.
. So, let’s talk about your new project : SOULBENDER. After years of rehearsals and studio work, SOULBENDER’s first album is out. What does it represent for you ?
SB started out as a personal project with some of my musician friends in the northwest Seattle area. I wanted to explore a more organic approach in the
writing and recording. What I mean by that is not a super hi tech individual
format. I wanted it to be like the way QR used to write back before the dawn of
Pro Tools. Soulbender explores the darker side of our psyches. We created songs that were super fun to perform live meaning we rehearsed the tunes live before committing to tape. But what was surprising for me was that it enhanced the way I play in QR, kind like a fresh perspective for creative purposes.
. SOULBENDER sounds harder than QUEENSRYCHE, with a 70’s hardrock feeling. We can also find that dark touch that you use to
give to the Ryche’s music. It sounds like ‘ALICE IN CHAINS (‘Three towers’, ‘This ocean’), jamming with Jake E.Lee (the kick-ass intro of the song ‘Loaded’) and VELVET REVOLVER (‘Samsara’). What a killer mix !!
Thank you very much. I attribute my influences to the crappy weather we have here most of the year. I think that brings out that dark touch in me. If I lived in
a place that was sunny and nice all the time I don’t think I would write in the
same style of music.
. How does the writing process use to go, with SOULBENDER ? You’re so busy with QUEENSRYCHE that it should not be easy to find the time to rehearse as often as it would be, with your band mates?
After the first SB release QR started touring quite a bit and QR is my day job so a lot of the new tracks are being sent over the internet via mp3. When I am home
we then get together at my studio and lay tracks but it is tricky. I do not want to release anything until it feels like the songs have gelled and are glued together.
. I read here and there some reviewers wrote that with this album, you’re finally out of Chris DeGarmo’s long shadow. I guess that you founded SOULBENDER for some other reasons. I know your involvement into QUEENSRYCHE’s music and I’ve seen you so many times on stage
that I know you didn’t need SOULBENDER to prove that you’re just as talented as a guitarplayer and composer as Chris.
I look at it this way QR is about the song. Whatever is best for the song. SB is more about taking chances and jamming. I don’t view what I do as a competition, just different colors in the sonic spectrum.
. Nick Pollock (vocals) and Wes Hallam (drums)
recently stepped down from their roles, and you currently work with Travis Bracht (SECOND COMING) and Ray Hartman (formerly of ANNIHILATOR) as new singer and drummer. With Dave Groves and Chuck Miller (guitar ans bass), is it the line-up which will release SOULBENDER’s sophomore album ?
I am currently still working with Dave Groves. Nick had personal issues to take care of and Wes contracted some alien virus that zapped his energy playing drums. I think Ripper Owens will sing on the next one. As far as drums go I will use whoever is available, that goes for bass as well.....
. Ray Hartman is well known for working with ANNIHILATOR, in the past, but could you tell us more about Travis ?
Travis is a friend of mine who came in and filled Nicks shoes when he had to leave. We had numerous shows lined up and Travis saved our ass. Travis is known for singing in the band Second Coming.
. On SOULBENDER’s Myspace page, a demo song has been posted on the player, recorded with Tim Ripper Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, BEYOND FEAR) on vocals. Could you tell me more about this collaboration ?
Tim is a good friend of mine and he has sung on a half dozen demos. He is a lot like me, very fragmented and multitasking different projects at the same time. He has a killer voice and can scream like a banshee.
. What are your touring plans with SOULBENDER ?....
When we finish the next album we will have to find a touring line up then we can talk about touring.
. You’re also known as ‘Hellboy’ … and in June, you’ll play at Hellfest in France with QUEENSRYCHE, your first show in my country since 2004. So, I really expect you’ll give us some hell of a show !
I always deliver the goods. It should be a hell of a good time.
. Could we expect to see QUEENSRYCHE on a headline tour in Europe later this year ?....
QR is taking one step at a time in the sketchy economy. I hope that we can headline and play festivals like we did last tour.....
. Geoff (Tate) and Scott (Rockenfield), have also their solo projects. Does Eddie (Jackson – QUEENSRYCHE bass player) involve in some other musical projets than QUEENSRYCHE ?
Edbass tells me that he is working on a solo project so expect one in the near future.
. Just a few words about Whipwear
As you may know my nickname is “Whip”. Some of the road crew noticed at our live shows that sexy girls were always in front of me. My tech started calling them
“Whiptresses” Thus the seed was sown and Whipwear was born. First just a few
T-shirts for friends than I was hounded for a clothing line and began coming up
with new designs and now Whipwear is available online and will be in stores as
. This interview wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t thank you one more time for all what you’ve given to me and all your fans all along those years. It’s been a blast to follow QUEENSRYCHE on stage all over Europe (the last time was in Spain last year. Killer show in Barcelona!!). I really hope it will still lasts for a long time, with the Ryche and now with SOULBENDER !
Thank you dude. It has been a wonderful music journey for me and when our music connects with people it makes it that much better. I’ve always said I am a work in progress so expect many more years of my whipping guitar playing. Metal!