Michael Wilton: Dear Guitar Hero
How did you guys come up with the military concept for your new record? —Hollis Tarpin
It came from our singer, Geoff Tate. We noticed from touring during the past six or seven years that a lot of our fans are from the military, plus a lot of our relatives are in the military or have served. Geoff got the idea of speaking to them and getting their stories, and the seed for American Soldier was sown. We interviewed a bunch of soldiers and recorded the dialog. It was quite an adventure. By doing this we made a lot of friends in the military and hopefully opened up doors for us to play for the troops in far away places, like Iraq.
Queensrÿche have so many amazing albums under their belt. Do you ever feel pressured by your own legacy? —Yi Lin
I’m just thankful that I can do this and make a living. You just have to believe what you feel and try not to be consumed by the media and other people’s opinions. It’s only a matter of connecting with the guitar and getting in touch with the creativity that’s embedded in your DNA. It’s cerebral. I kind of get lost in it, and that’s what I love.
As far as trying to do better than something we’ve done, maybe it’s just better to look at it as a snapshot in time. [Playing music] is always a work in progress, and I haven’t “made it” yet, at least in my eyes. It’s always a challenge for me, especially if you’re hanging out with these young shredders that are just super fast. It’s always fun to go to NAMM and hang out with Alexi [Laiho] from Children of Bodom and Gus G. from Firewind and watch those guys play. As far as Queensrÿche goes, the fact that we’re still making records and still have people come to our shows is just a blessing. But I always try to stay in the “now” and just forge ahead and not get caught up with where I’ve been.
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