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Friday, July 20, 2018

Daily Boom Exclusive Interview: Betty Dee of Sweet Sensation

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(Photo: Sweet Sensation's Official Facebook)

So, there was this one Saturday WAY back in 1989 that I can remember like it was yesterday, because I had perfect timing (a rarity). I had arrived for a taping of Dance Party USA and the energy was crazy because one of the guests for that days' taping was Sweet Sensation. I loved them. I mean, we ALL loved them. If you were even slightly a freestyle fan than the opening to "Take It While It's Hot" probably made your heart race. Betty Dee put on one hell of a show even then. Sure she was all sparkles, leather, ripped jeans and big hair but even more so, she was a performer.

When DAilyBOOM first launched in the summer of 2015, I had a bucket list of people that I wanted to interview and Betty was on it. At the time Sweet Sensation was on hiatus but as luck would have it, they returned to the stage by summers' end. In the last few years the ladies have criss-crossed the country, performing for freestyle fans that still know all of the lyrics to their string of hits.

I finally had a chance to chat with Betty this week and the only thing bigger than her laugh is her heart. I wish that everyone could experience a bit of time with her because Betty is one of those rarities that leaves people better than she first finds them. Well, unless she's really mad then you better start running! Seriously though, Betty is equal parts crazy, outgoing Latina and introverted cat lady. She is also ALL parts love, joy, positivity and acceptance. The woman you see on stage is exactly who she really is, and that's a gift to all of us.

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(Photo: Sweet Sensation's Official Facebook)

Cate Meighan: Can you believe that Sweet Sensation has been around for more than thirty years?

Betty DeeSweet Sensation has obviously had personnel changes through the years. Since 1991 it has been me, Jenae Colon and Belle Ritter. I've jumped in and out of the group a few times. The last time that we faded into the music background my dad was really sick and I was dealing with a bunch of other personal things. So I decided to step away from the spotlight and just live my life. In August of 2015, we got back together. I received a call from K7 of TKA, my work husband (laughing) asking me to come back. He said that we needed to return to the stage and start doing shows again. I couldn't believe there was interest but he has been my best friend for thirty years, and so I listened to him. I called the girls and just like that, we got back together. The first thing we did was meet for rehearsals and I can remember thinking, oh my god, I'm going to have to go and by lashes again (laughing)!

CM: How do the logistics work now that you're all older and juggling other responsibilities?

Betty Dee: We all live in different parts of the country. I work a crazy, very demanding, but fulfilling day job during the week and then on weekends, I get to perform. My week is busy. I'm a mom to my kitties and my dog and I do the things that I need to do at home. Then on the weekend, I get to put on lashes, make my hair shiny (laughing) and then hop on stage and perform with my friends. I mix the two lifestyles and they're easy for me to balance because I'm a good multitasker. I need to be busy and performing is something that I really love to do.

If we are in NY for a show then we travel into the city and gather atone location for a quick rehearsal. We'll get ready there, do the show and on Sunday we'll go our separate ways again until the next weekend. If we go out of town and have to really travel then it becomes more work but I love it and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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CM.: How was it coming back this time around?

Betty Dee: Coming back this time has been so different. We're older and we appreciate things more. I feel better now at 50 than I did at 30 (laughing). I'm more energized and I want to keep giving the fans more. I mean, there's a mortality thing of- okay how much longer can we really keep doing this? If I'm going to do it now then I'm going to give 1000% and I've got to give it my absolute all. I think other freestyle artists think the same way.

CM: Freestyle fans are like no other. No matter where the venue is, it really is like a family at the shows.

Betty Dee: The fans are the fuel. They're the gasoline that lights the fire for us. If we went out there and didn't have the support it would be totally different because that's what drives us. I speak for my work husband, my work wives and all of the people that we do shows with. We see each other so often that we really are a family and we really do get together and talk about how amazing it is that we can still do this thing that we love so much. It's valuable to me and not just as an artist. I listen to them perform and it takes me back- like thirty years!

I remember what I was doing when Noel's "Silent Morning" came on KTU in NYC! We sang about love and dancing and heartbreak. I can't find a freestyle song that's not about one of those things (laughing). It's all about love and tears and that music created a bond 30 years ago and it's still there now. We all share that same bond now and I'm humbled by it. Understanding the genre and growing up with the people that listened to it, I totally get it. We hold on to this music and the time in our lives that it takes us back to until it's ingrained in our DNA. It's literally who we are.

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CM: You look like you're in the best shape of your life right now and I've gotta ask, what's your secret?

Betty Dee: I had spent years depriving myself of calories and running around like crazy until my metabolism slowed down. It was in starvation mode and so I was gaining weight instead of losing it. I was trying to stay in shape and I wasn't eating fatty foods and it just wasn't working so I decided to experiment and cut out leafy greens. I would eat more meat and some cheese instead. I also started to work out differently. Instead of being on the elliptical for like, ten hours a day, I started lifting weights and dancing. I was doing that and eating full meals throughout the day because the food was giving me fuel.

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(Photo: Sweet Sensation's Official Facebook)

Once I started switching things around and feeding my body, it did me the service of getting really lean. So no more measuring and weighing food for nothing. Now I eat everything in moderation, including the healthy stuff. I have more energy and I don't feel sick every day. Here's the thing, you have to figure out what works best for you because there's not one set cure-all program

CM: You're one of the happiest people that I think I've ever met. Where does the joy come from?

Betty Dee: We're on borrowed time and we all end up in the same place so don't take life too seriously. Do the things that make you happy and do them 1000%. Life is short and at some point, we lose each other so make the most of it. Be happy and make others happy too. That's where I'm at in my life and if that means going out on stage wearing sparkles and singing songs, then it's what I'm going to do.

Listen to Sweet Sensation:

Sweet Sensation Videos:

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia- Laissez Faire- 'In Paradise'

You are the sun, I am the sky
Together we'll live in paradise
Our hopes and dreams will come alive
In paradise

Do you remember Laissez Faire?  Gina, Marlo and Jennifer first got together in 1989 and eventually put out an album under Metropolitan Records. While Hands Off didn't do as well on the charts as they may have wanted, the ladies did develop a strong fan base within the freestyle community. "In Paradise" the groups' first single did do quite well on the dance charts and brought Laissez Faire enough clout to open for the then-huge Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

This song is Laissez Faire's signature jam and they are still performing it. The ladies recently reunited for the first time in 15 years and it looks like they'll be part of a series of freestyle shows throughout 2018!

Laissez Faire in 2016

Daily Boom 70's Throwback: Chic- ' I Want Your Love'

"Sometime, don't you feel like you
Never really had a love that's real?
Well, here I am, and who's to say
A better love you won't find today?
Just one chance and I will show you love
Like no other, two steps above.
On your ladder I'll be a peg.
I want your lovin', please don't make me beg."

When I was seven years old I discovered disco. Just when I thought that "Disco Duck" was everything my dad introduced me to Chic and the absolute magic of Nile Rodgers.  "Le Freak" became the first single that I walked into a record store and picked out on my own. The beat and riff is infectious to this day.  How do you stay still? I think it's impossible.

While my love for "Le Freak" is unmatched "I Want Your Love" might actually be my very favorite Chic song. It just seems to be a perfect blend of everything that the group had to offer and Rodgers was perhaps at his very best. "I Want Your Love" is one of those songs with a special kind of longevity. It has been covered by a bunch of other mainstream artists and even if they only throw one line of the classic song into the chorus of their own work, it clicks and gets a reaction because we all know "I Want Your Love". Even if you are too young to remember Chic in their heyday, you'll likely know this song. Check out the video below. It's a great way to start your Friday!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Chicago - 'Hard Habit To Break'

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"I was acting as if you were lucky to have me
Doin' you a favor I hardly knew you were there
But then you were gone and it was all wrong
Had no idea how much I cared
Now being without you
Takes a lot of getting used to
Should learn to live with it
But i don't want to
Living without you
Is all a big mistake
Instead of getting easier
It's the hardest thing to take
I'm addicted to ya babe
You're a hard habit to break"

I'm still a sucker for a great 80's ballad and Chicago's "Hard Habit To Break" will probably always hit a nerve with me. I have no gut level love story connected to it. In fact, I was in seventh grade when it reached number three on Billboard's singles chart. But the lyrics? Well, I still always kind of got them. Back in 1983, MTV was enough of a novelty that even the videos for ballads like this one were watched with such interest. I remember my parents hadn't invested in "the music authority" yet so I lived to watch at my best friend's house after school. And it's funny because the very first memory that I have when "Hard Habit To Break" comes on is of sitting on the living room floor with my friend and her older sister and demolishing a bag of Middleswarth chips while watching the video. 

Great memory. Great song. Chicago have had so many hits since the late 60's that's it hard to pick a favorite but this really is mine. Check out Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin sharing vocals below!

Currently Booming: Gloria Estefan - Behind the Music

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Currently Booming: Guns N' Roses - 'Move To The City' (Lyric Video)

Currently Booming: Def Leppard Covers Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus' (Listen)

Daily Boom 80's Power Ballad Playlist

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Mötley Crüe - 'You're All I Need'

Image result for MOtley Crue You're All I Need

"The blade of my knife
Faced away from your heart

Those last few nights

It turned and sliced you apart
This love that I tell
Now feels lonely as hell
From this padded prison cell
So many times I said
You'd only be mine

I gave my blood and my tears

And loved you cyanide
When you took my lips
I took your breath
Sometimes love's better off dead"

When it comes to power ballads, Motley Crue was deadly serious when they released "You're All I Need" . It was originally written by Nikki Sixx for a girlfriend that he believed was cheating with soap star, Jack Wagner. He handed her the lyrics and never intended to turn it into an actual song but the rest of the band had another idea. They rallied for it to be included on their Girls, Girls, Girls album and won.

I remember when the video for "You're All I Need" was about to drop because MTV immediately banned it. It was filmed in black and white and showcased a young couple fighting violently until the woman is eventually killed. The Crue have always maintained that stories on the 6pm news are far worse- and they are. But I have to say, even in 2017 this video jolted me. I know that it horrifically plays out in homes all over the world and that's simply a fact. But the way that this was shot, it makes it all feel very real. You can pick up the emotional rawness in it and I think that's why it was banned. 

In the 80's music relied heavily on videos to sell records and I think that the reaction to this one caused the song to stall out in the bottom half of the top 40 on Billboard's Hot 100. Check out the video below. Do you remember this?

Currently Booming: Judas Priest - Behind The Music Documentary (Watch)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Currently Booming: Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer 2 (Watch)

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Shai - 'If I Ever Fall In Love'

"The very first time
That I saw your brown eyes
Your lips said hello and I said hi
I knew right then you were the one
But I was caught up
In physical attraction
But to my satisfaction
Baby you were more than just a face"

Shai is one of those groups that I expected to go so much further than they actually did. The quartet first got together in the early 90's and by 1992 the title song, "If I Ever Fall In Love" , from their first album shot to number 2 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Their first three albums produced songs that at least charted and after 1996 they dropped off the radar. If you google the group now you'll see that they do still pop up and perform here and there, but it's none of the original members. 

It's strange how sometimes a group with so much potential just kind of fizzles out with no real explanation. The original Shai was super talented, hot and marketable. Check out their video for "If I Ever Fall In Love" below!

Currently Booming: The Story of Queen: Mercury Rising (Watch)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Daily Boom Disco Throwback: A Taste Of Honey - 'Boogie Oogie Oogie'

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"If you're thinkin' you're too cool to boogie
Boy oh boy have I got news for you
Everybody here tonight must boogie
Let me tell ya, you are no exception to the rule
Get on up, on the floor
'Cause were gonna boogie oogie oogie
'Till you just can't boogie no more
Ah boogie, boogie no more
You can't boogie no more
Ah boogie, boogie no more
Listen to the music..."
It's finally Friday and I have to tell ya', this has been a really rough week. I think by late Tuesday it felt like it had to be at least Thursday. So, I'm thrilled to see this one end and there is no better way to shut it down than with a disco classic. A Taste of Honey broke out during the summer of 1978 with "Boogie Oogie Oogie" and it was life changing. My Friday nights were spent at a local skating rink at the tale end of the disco era and this was one of those songs that got everyone up and out on the rink.

It's funny thinking back to how we would all gather on the "mushrooms" to sit and talk but there was a handful of songs like this (and anything by Chic, Patrice Rushen, Gloria Gaynor...) that made all of those conversations stop instantly. I'm not sure where this video was filmed but I'm kind of thinking that it might have been at The Soap Factory, an old Jersey club that filmed a weekly dance show. The Soap Factory used to be exactly that and I think I see a few bubbles floating around in this clip. Check it out!

Currently Booming: Running Up That Hill: The Kate Bush Story (Full BBC Music Documentary)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - 'Summertime'

"It's cool to dance
But what about the groove that soothes
That moves romance, give me a soft, subtle mix
And if ain't broke then don't try to fix it

And think of the summers of the past
Adjust the base and let the alpine blast
Pop in my CD and let me run a rhyme and put your car
On cruise and lay back 'cause this is summertime"

Here's a song that needs little introduction and it seems pretty perfect for the first official full weekend of summer. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's "Summertime" became an instant dance hit when it was released in May of 1991. Just like the lyrics say, it really was a break from the norm. "Summertime" came at a time when house music had truly invaded the clubs and if it wasn't your cup of tea then you were probably riding the Latin freestyle wave. Either way, this smooth groove was a welcome departure.

As a Philly kid, I loved that the video really did give a shout out to the places where we all hung out. It was a realistic ode to summer, complete with lawn chairs and Capri Sun. The industry appreciated "Summertime" just as much as the kids that grooved to it. In 1992, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince won a Grammy for this song!

25 years later this song feels pretty timeless. You just feel like it really is summer time while listening to it, don't you?

Currently Booming: Billy Idol Live at Danceteria in NYC (1982)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Fleetwood Mac - 'Big Love'

"Looking out for love
In the night so still
Oh I'll build you a kingdom
In that house on the hill
Looking out for love
Big, big love
You said that you love me
And that you always will
Oh you begged me to keep you
In that house on the hill
Looking out for love
Big, big love
I wake up alone
With it all
I wake up
But only to fall"

I was raised by parents that loved Fleetwood Mac. I vaguely remember parties thrown by them back in the 70's, a bunch of people crammed into our small living room with Stevie Nicks singing in the backdrop. Then when Tusk first came out my dad was absolutely obsessed. He played the title cut CONSTANTLY, on loop for what seemed like days. I totally got it though. I really was different from everything else that he played and I loved it. Still, I wouldn't exactly peg myself as a Fleetwood Mac "fan". I'm more of a cherry picker, with them and lots of other artists that I'm "supposed to" love.

That pickiness has still led me to a bunch of songs by the band (and by the individual artists' as well) that I do love, like "Big Love". It comes from their 1987 release Tango in the Night, which I generally do like from start to finish. "Big Love", especially acoustic versions later on, really made me appreciate Lindsay Buckingham's voice and guitar skills. He and Christine McVie released an album of duets that havedone really well and is considered to be a follow up to songs from 30 years ago, like "Big Love". Check out the video below!

Currently Booming: MTV Headbangers Ball (10/31/1989- Watch)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Currently Booming: New Music- Tom Bailey- 'Science Fiction' (Listen)

Currently Booming: Live Aid Happened 33 Years Ago Today (Watch)

I know exactly where I was on the second weekend in July back in 1985 and it was not in JFK Stadium in Philadelphia for Live Aid. I mean, a lot of other 14-year-olds weren’t in attendance either, right? But I actually WAS in the freaking parking lot of JFK on July 13th, 1985 and that’s what makes this all pretty ironic for me. 

My mom was super religious and her church would have these huge meetups a few times a year and for reasons that never made sense to me, having thousands of people gather in Veteran’s Stadium in the July Philly heat seemed like a good idea to there we were at Live Aid. Almost. 

I was just as music-obsessed as a kid as I am now and so the buildup for Live Aid made it a larger than life event for me. Every tidbit in the newspaper I’d cut out. I can remember having my dad bring home Philly newspapers leading up to it so that I could save all of the promo and interviews that they were doing to ensure that 100,000 fans would show up. We were actually in the city from Thursday-Sunday with Live Aid, of course, happening that Saturday. Our hotel near the airport was filled with concert goers and I remember finding excuses to stay in the lobby so that I could eavesdrop on any conversation pertaining to Madonna, Duran Duran and whoever else these complete strangers were excited about seeing. 

Right before Live Aid I can remember Madonna’s naked photos being sold to Hustler and then of course published. That meant more coverage for her so I smuggled every newspaper article about her scandalous behavior back home with me too. 
The morning of the event itself I can remember being stuck in traffic literally for hours, which was fine with me. I didn’t want to die for hours in the heat even if it was “God’s will” (or something), I wanted to die in that same heat while wearing a bow in my teased-out hair, lace gloves and a few crop tops layered for coolness. Sitting in traffic was a comfort because I was surrounded by my people, at least until we turned towards the Vet. I sat in my seat hoping that by the time we got out I’d be able to hear something, anything from the parking lot. Philly venues have always been close enough for that to be a reality.  

Leaving the parking lot probably will forever remain my very favorite traffic jam because dad’s big old Buick Skylark didn’t have a/c and off in the not-to-far distance I could hear Ashford & Simpson’s “Solid” which eventually turned into a set by Kool & the Gang. Who followed them? The material girl herself with extended versions of “Holiday” and “Into the Groove”. Honestly, I don’t think I heard all of that second song by Madonna but I did hear enough to feel like I was part of some sort of musical magic. 

Live Aid was originally the brainchild of Bob Geldof, the singer of an Irish rock group called The Boomtown Rats. In 1984, Geldof traveled to Ethiopia after hearing reports of a horrific famine that had killed hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and threatened to kill millions more. Seeing the devastation prompted Geldof to take immediate action.

Organized in just 10 weeks, Live Aid was staged on Saturday, July 13, 1985. More than 75 acts performed, including Elton John, Madonna, Santana, Run DMC, Sade, Sting, Bryan Adams, The Beach Boys, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Queen, Duran Duran, U2, the Who, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Eric Clapton. The majority of these artists performed at either Wembley Stadium in London, where a crowd of 70,000 turned out, or at Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium, where 100,000 watched. Thirteen satellites beamed a live television broadcast of the event to more than one billion viewers in 110 countries. More than 40 of these nations held telethons for African famine relief during the broadcast. The 16-hour “superconcert” was globally a triumph of technology and goodwill, as the event raised more than $125 million in famine relief for Africa. 

memorable moment of the concert was Phil Collins’ performance in Philadelphia after flying by Concorde from London, where he performed at Wembley earlier in the day. He later played drums in a reunion of the surviving members of Led Zeppelin. The U.S. concert ended with “We Are the World.” 

Live Aid eventually raised $127 million in famine relief for African nations, and the publicity it generated encouraged Western nations to make available enough surplus grain to end the immediate hunger crisis in Africa. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Exclusive Interview: Queensrÿche's Founder Michael Wilton on Performing and That Much-Anticipated New Album

( Queensrÿche Official Promo Shot)

The name Queensrÿche is instantly familiar to any true heavy metal fan out there. The band has been around since 1982 and it has worked hard to cultivate a progressive sound like no other. They've sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and have spent a good chunk of this year hard at work on their 16th full studio release. Summer also means a full roster of tour dates and on any given weekend you'll be able to catch Queensrÿche performing beside other rock heavyweights like Scorpions, Foreigner, Skid Row, Great White, Lynch Mob and more.

If you haven't caught a live gig in awhile then you need to check out an upcoming show because Queensrÿche seems to be playing tighter than they have in years (at least based on their M3 Rock Festival appearance last May). I was lucky enough to steal a few minutes of founder/guitarist Michael Wilton's time yesterday and he happy to discuss the current batch of live shows and how the recording process has completely changed since the early days of the Ryche.

(Photo Credit: Christopher Carroll)

Cate Meighan: How is your summer on the road so far?

Michael Wilton: I'm enjoying the summer. Some of the shows that we've done in the midwest have been blazing hot so it's nice to be back in Seattle for a little break. We have a lot of fun performing and so we're always chasing opportunities. Each one of us has made the choice to keep the band going successfully, and the fans are along for the ride with us. This is my choice as a career and so I've honed in on it. I look inside myself to find the hidden talent and just go with it. Playing is something that I do because I love and cherish it. It's like a candle, you have to keep the flame burning and so I do that because I believe that this is what I'm meant to be doing with my life.

CM:  Is that love the thing that still keeps you out there?

MW:  I just keep going like a freight train (laughing). It's truly just a burning desire, I have a love for music and a love for performing.  I've been doing this for so long that it's ingrained in my DNA that I'm a road dog, so I don't mind all of the travel. Although it does wear you down after awhile, I'm up for the challenge. As long as the fans want to keep supporting  Queensrÿche, I'll keep doing it.

CM: You guys have gone through some changes in your lineup over the years, do you feel like the fans have really been along for the ride?

MW: This incantation of Queensrÿche, with Todd LaTorre on lead vocals, has really gelled as a band in the last six years. It's a natural progression and everyone is learning the elements of creativity that fuel the band Queensrÿche. If anything we're getting more polished as far as our sound because we have figured out exactly what everybody needs musically in each song. 

I think that there was obviously a period of confusion because our fans are so passionate about our music. I think that once they came to a live show and soaked up the performance, then they knew we were back. We're still playing tight and playing the songs that they want to hear. It has been a rebuilding process, but we've been touring solidly all over the world and we're still having fun. We also have lots of new fans that only know of us from the last two albums. People are still curious about  Queensrÿche and they want to come and see us and our style of music, which is great. We've stuck to our guns about who we are and the alchemy hasn't been lost.

CM: I know that you guys have a new album in the works. How has the process of creating new music changed for you over the years?

MW: This is really a great band effort and a great album and I'm head over heels on this one. I just can't wait for everyone to hear this. When you're creating something there's so much unknown, you really don't know how it's going to turn out. Musicians are all kind of junkies for the unknown and the tasty surprises that come from everyone putting their creativity into the music. That's one of the things that's great about being in a band.

The way that bands record now is totally different than the way that it used to be. It's not like the old days where you would block out six months to record an album. We're playing on weekends now. We're playing three shows in a row here and then four in a row somewhere else, so the producer working on the album has to be flexible. They are normally producing three acts at the same time and those acts are all playing shows all over the place, so you've got to be flexible. You do gigs and then come back and record, do a few more gigs and come back and record again. That's how albums get made these days and that's why it takes so long to put it all together. You've got to keep the machine going and food on the table in between recording.

(Photo Credit: Savoia Concert & Event Photography)

The key to making new music now is in the pre-production for us. Everyone throws their ideas out there and we see what we have to work with and build from. When it comes to recording everyone is involved but it has become more efficient to record our parts individually or with another person. That's how we do it, we might do the guitar parts one week, go and do some shows and then come back and record some bass. The set way of doing things has changed so much but at this point, this album, it's about 99% done.

Above and beyond that, the record company likes to put out a set of singles that are accompanied by videos, so I anticipate we'll have all of those things out before the actual release of the album. It really is all still to be determined. We don't have singles picked out or a treatment ready, it's all still a few months down the road for us and we anticipate that the album will then be released next year.

CM: Do you miss any of the old school ways of doing things?

MW: I definitely miss the old school way! We have had to rethink and find different ways of doing everything. It's just a different situation for music out there now. Multimedia is amazing because as soon as a video is made it can be uploaded and your fans can see it within 24 hours. That's crazy for us. In the old days, you had to wait three months before it was even edited so the invention of social media is one of the positive ways that things have changed for sure. You can get an instantaneous response and immediate gratification which is nice. Plus, all of these sites are data counters basically and it's almost like they keep things organized for us with their efficiency.

The times have really changed and so we have to figure out how people will want to buy their cd's or if they'd rather buy albums, and then how do we get them into their hands. So many of the brick and mortar shops have closed and it's harder to find physical copies of things now. That is just one reason why so many people prefer subscription services from streaming sites. It provides instant gratification for the fans but as artists, we make virtually nothing from those outlets. Back in the early 90's, the bands were important, the music was important and selling albums was the main thing for everyone. Now the music itself is kind of in the background and that makes it a bit challenging. You have to figure out your way of making it into the marketplace in order to survive.

We're a band that still puts out vinyl and so for this new album, we'll press some vinyl for sure. I'm a total vinyl head- I have a record player, I have a cassette machine and I even have a laser disk player (laughing). The musical connoisseurs really love the sound of the vinyl and record sales are making a comeback, but it's still not the kind of difference we can feel. I'm just going to have to deal with the streaming reality and take my royalty check to Starbucks so I can buy a coffee with it (laughing).

The vinyl is nostalgic for the fans because playing it is a process of putting it on the turntable, putting the needle on it and everything else. It's not a piece of plastic you shove into a computer, it's all purposeful. I remember back in the 70's buying albums for the cool artwork that was on them. Not knowing exactly what the album was going to be like and buying it anyway was such a cool feeling for me.

(Todd La Torre & Michael Wilton- Photo Credit: Savoia Concert & Event Photography)

CM: Looking beyond the new album, does Queensrÿche have any other plans in the works?

MW: We want to keep creating new music for people to hear and we've talked about putting out some live performances. That's on the bucket list, to get some live stuff properly produced for our fans. Being in a band is really a time-consuming job because there is so much that you have to do behind the scenes that most people don't realize. It has to be your passion if you're going to play in any band longterm and for us, it's a dream gig. So we're respecting it and taking care of this privilege for as long as we can. You have to keep yourself in check because it's easy to get lost in the details of being in a band. Through experience, we've learned the rules of the road and how to do things in the best way possible for all of us.

CM: What would you like all of the Queensrÿche fans out there to know?

MW: We're so grateful to the hardcore fans that support and believe in  Queensrÿche. The love is mutual and the fans are very dear to us. I can get lost in the art and sometimes I forget how old I really am. I love what I do and I still go for it. I may not be jumping off of drum stages anymore (laughing), but I'm still giving it my 100% and playing the songs as they were meant to be played. That's something that the fans can always count on.

Check out  Queensrÿche's official site for tour dates, updates on their new album and of course, grab some merch!