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In Words: Queensrÿche

- Parker Lundgren - June 2013 - Jody Hickman -

© Jody Hickman

Queensrÿche, Parker Lundgren - June 2013 (on the phone)

About two weeks after seeing Queensrÿche in Houston, I had the pleasure of having a phone conversation with guitarist, Parker Lundgren. Here's how it went.

First of all, I want to say that was a great show in Houston a couple weeks ago, and it was cool meeting you. I was wondering how it feels to be the Scott Travis of Queensrÿche, to be the new guy there for one album before the singer changed?

It's been interesting. It's been pretty crazy the past few years to say the least. I think we're all really happy with Todd coming in and the whole direction we're going. We all see eye to eye. We all want to play the same songs in the set, write the same kind of music together, so it's been pretty refreshing compared to how it was previously.

Starting out, you were in Geoff's first solo band, right?


Then you had the unique position to be married to his daughter for a while. How was that, joining the band with your father-in-law?

Um, you know, that whole thing was pretty short lived. It only lasted about six months. So it was awkward for different reasons, before, during, and after. But I didn't see Geoff that way. At the time, we were just pretty close friends. It was like being on tour with your buddy, that kind of relationship.

Was there any trouble gaining acceptance, that you may have had some favoritism with Geoff when you joined Queensrÿche?

Yeah, of course. Almost like an Eddie Van Halen - Wolfgang kind of thing. So that kind of worked against me. I could tell the rest of the band was hesitant because of that, because what if it ends badly? Which it did, but we got through it. What happened was, I was playing in Geoff's solo band so I knew a lot of the material already. I was friends with the rest of the guys in the band. When Mike Stone left, they needed someone who knew the material, who they'd be comfortable living with on a bus for nine months. So basically, I just learned all the material and auditioned with Michael, and it all worked out.

Once you were in the band, when did you notice friction between Geoff and the rest of the band?

You know, it's one of those things where I just wanted to be there and do a good job. Whatever they had going on, it was all behind closed doors. I wasn't really part of it, the business aspect of it, so I really didn't know what was going on until this year when all the court documents became public. I just kinda tried to stay out of it. But there's always differences in little things, like what songs everybody wanted to play in the set, or what kind of tour to do...just little things like that. There were always creative differences, but it was never anything out of hand like that.


You were on the last album with Geoff, Addicted to Chaos. How was that album different than the one you just finished, Queensrÿche?

It was so different. Previously, it almost felt like there was a battle between what songs to use, mainly the producers. It was almost like they wanted to cut the band out of it, even being a part of the process. That's how I felt. There were songs that ended up on the record that I never even heard. The record comes out and I'm like, "I never heard that song when we were in the studio." It was just bizarre. Whereas this record, we worked on every song together. It all happened super organically. Everybody would contribute to everything, and it worked out a lot better. We're really happy about this record.

One of the songs released early, Where Dreams Go To Die, is described as one of your songs. Can you tell me about it?

Basically, I wrote the music and showed it to Todd over Skype, and the whole thing about Todd, he's a musician. He can contribute musically. So, I showed him the main riff idea, and he's like, "cool, if you just change this chord from a D to a C, I can sing this melody over this part..." So, he kinda changed the chord structure that way. I had it written and he gave me some input. He also recorded drums for it in the original demo. I sent him the lyrics and said feel free to use some, none, or all of them. It was just an idea I had. He ended up using all of 'em. He came up with the melody and added some lyrics, too. That's pretty much it. Then Michael added some guitar stuff. He wrote like a small bridge part. Scott did the X2 which leads into it and all the orchestral stuff and all the little ear candy.

Since the addition of Todd, has there been a conscious effort to be more fan friendly?

One thing I noticed with Todd, he would write back to every single email or Facebook message or anything he would get, even people criticizing him. He would always write back saying "I know where you're coming from..." He's always really cool to everybody. As far as actually meeting fans and getting back to them with emails and really caring, that's changed a ton just from Todd being in the band.

Are there any plans for a live DVD?

We have a lot of live footage that's been filmed over the past year. One thing, I don't know if we're going to make a DVD, we have a lot of footage of making the record and some live performances. I don't know if we're going to film for our CD release party. That would be something kinda cool, but it's all still up in the air.

I know right now you're just playing selected dates, but are there any plans to hop on a bus and do a full tour?

That's in the works right now. We just got a new booking agency and we're working on a full US tour and European tour. Right now they're just trying to connect the dots on where to go when. Once the record's out, we're gonna try to go everywhere.

I know you've played different festivals and things. Who are some of the bands you enjoy playing with?

As far as playing shows with? It's always cool to play with bands we're fans of, ya know. Then you get to start being friends with them. I was a big fan of Motörhead growing up, and we played with them a few times and got to be friends with those guys. So now, when they're in town, they'll give us a call and we'll go to the show and maybe have a few beers afterwards. Then there's the bands you idolized as a kid, you get to watch and share the stage with. Like my first tour, we played with Heaven and Hell. It was cool to see Dio before he passed away.

Who personally would you want to tour with, as an opener and opening for you on a headliner tour?

Um... I think everybody in the band would like to tour with Iron Maiden. We're all fans of them, especially now, with our set list, playing a lot of the older material. It fits with metal more than some of the more modern bands. As far as opening bands, there's a band from Seattle called Windowpane that's opened for a tour and we've become really close friends with them. It would be great to bring them back out on the road. They're super talented. I hate to see a band like that not touring all the time. It'd be cool bring friends out and have fun.

Well, thank you for your time. Like I said to start with, it was a great show in Houston, and I look forward to seeing you again.

I appreciate it. Hit me up next time and we'll meet up.

Sounds great! I'm gonna hold you to it.

Parker Lundgren and Jody Hickman

Jody Hickman


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