GLEN DROVER And TODD LA TORRE Talk New One-Off Song "Discordia" In Exclusive BraveWords Interview
August 26, 2014, 9 months ago
As everyone knows by now, former Megadeth / King Diamond guitarist Glen Drover has teamed up with Queensrÿche vocalist Todd La Torre for a one-off song entitled "Discordia", which has been climbing the iTunes Top 100 charts. BraveWords caught up with the duo to discuss how the song came together prior to the online release.
"I had a few different ideas of what I wanted to do musically once I got settled in my new home and had the studio all set up," Drover begins. "I started messing around with some new stuff in my studio system. There's a detune pedal (DigiTech Whammy DT) that I was messing around with because I'm able to have those lower tunings without using a seven string, in incraments of half steps. I was playing along with a lot of different drum patterns just trying to come up with riffs, I stumbled upon this cool beat, and it really inspired me to come up with a bunch of new things in a heavier vein."
"I was thinking about doing an album of heavier stuff and have a bunch of guest musicians and singers on it. Chuck Billy (Testament) was going to do something on it, Henning Basse and I covered an old Eidolon song that was never officially released, so I was toying around with having a different singer on each song. I just wanted to work with people that I really like in the industry and respect as musicians. I got in touch with Todd and asked him if he'd be willing to do a song, and he really like the tune I sent him. One thing led to another, we did the track, and we're really excited about it."
"We kind of put it away because he's really busy with Queensrÿche, but we decided that people need to hear it because it's a really strong song, and you know how picky I am (laughs). I'm very happy with the song, very proud of it."
"Discordia" marks Drover's first full-on metal tune in years, much to the appreciation of his distortion-fed fans. Asked to describe the music versus his back catalogue, he considers the track a mix of old and new territory.
"Does it sound like Eidolon? With the lower guitar tuning I think it sounds heavier, but I think it's got a sound that I'm known for. The song wasn't intentional. It's got a bit of a Nevermore vibe to it, and Todd's got these really power ful vocals. I think it gave him the chance to show off some of the stuff he hasn't had the opportunity to do so far, like add more aggression to his voice and use accents like the more growling kind of stuff. But he's still got his signature sound; for the people that know his voice, it's there. I think the song is a great marriage between my playing and his voice. I'm very happy with it."
As are the fans, with La Torre's following being particularly vocal in their appreciation of his aggressive performance on "Discordia"
"When I'm doing Queensrÿche stuff I can't use my voice like that because the music doesn't call for it," says La Torre. "When I heard Glen's stuff I knew what I could do with my voice for it because it's a different animal. There are parts on this song where nobody's ever heard that more aggressive side to my voice. As soon as I heard the track I thought it was great. Glen told me to just see what I could do with it, no pressure, no rush, and it turned out to be pretty quick and easy. I tried to be melodic but heavier in some parts. I wrote all the lyrics and the vocal melodies and harmonies, and sent it back to Glen when I was half done for his feedback because I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. He thought it was cool and told me to keep going."
"Glen initially told me he was doing a compilation with various artists and asked me if I'd be interested in doing a song," he adds. "I said yes because it sounded like fun. This song was intended for that compilation, but I think he liked it so much that he didn't want it to sit until the whole project was done."
Of course, some fans are hoping La Torre puts in a similar performance on the next Queensrÿche album, while the requisite number of online trolls have accused him of playing copycat versus having his own vocal style.
"I'm not a one trick pony; I write what the music calls for," La Torre states bluntly. "So, if people start saying 'I hope he sings like this on that next Queensryche album...' I have to say it's not going to happen. The Queensrÿche material doesn't call for those vocal stylings. If there's a sliver that does, fine, but don't count on it. 'Discordia' allowed me to show off the singing styles that I have, which most people have probably never heard from me before."
Fans should note that this is not a project and not the start of a new band. Drover has a number of projects on the go, while La Torre is 100% focused on Queensrÿche.
Photo by J Helm Photography