Queensryche's Todd La Torre calls out music industry 'roaches'

Queensryche's Todd La Torre
Queensryche's Todd La Torre (Image credit: Getty)

Queensryche’s Todd La Torre has called out the “roaches” in what he describes as a “saturated” music industry.

The singer says exposure is “exponentially much easier” in the age of the internet, and home production means more bands can self-promote, make music and videos. But he says these practices have lost much of their value – as they don’t translate to concert ticket sales.

He tells The Underground: “It’s a very, very, very cut-throat business – everyone makes money off your talent, everyone’s taking their percentage. The music scene is a bunch of roaches trying to eat cookie crumbs, and everyone is scrambling for the cookie crumbs.

“I think it’s much easier to have your name exposed, but making a name for yourself is kind of vague, because there’s people that have millions of views on YouTube, but they can’t sell out a 1000-seat venue. The only way you can make a good living, or a living – some make a great living, some starve – is to play live shows.

“It’s very easy for people to click ‘like’ with a mouse, or it’s very simple to just go to YouTube and watch something, and that’s counted as one view. That’s all well and good, and exposure is exponentially much easier.

“But because it’s so much easier, you have a saturated industry. There’s a million bands, everyone has a video, everyone can record stuff at home.”

La Torre continues: “So, recording your own music, having some HD cameras and filming a video is nothing special. I mean, it’s fun to look at, but it doesn’t have the value or serve quite the purpose that it did when there was MTV and very few people had a video. If you had a music video, that was a huge statement, and it said, ‘Wow! This band has arrived. They’re huge. They’re famous.’

“Now people judge your value on how many ‘likes’ your Facebook page has, or how many views your YouTube video has. That doesn’t translate to people actually buying a concert ticket and coming out to see you at a live performance at a venue.”

Queensryche are currently on the road in Australia. They’ll tour the US next month with support from Armored Saint and Midnight Eternal.

Queensryche US tour dates 2016

Oct 13: Adelaide Fowlers, Australia
Oct 14: St Kilda Prince Bandroom, Australia
Oct 15: Camperdown Manning Bar, Australia
Nov 15: Seattle Showbox, WA
Nov 16: Sacramento Ace of Spades, CA
Nov 18: San Diego House of Blues, CA
Nov 22: San Antonio Alamo City Music Hall, TX
Nov 23: Houston Scout Bar, TX
Nov 25: Tyler Clicks, TX
Nov 26: Dallas Trees, TX
Nov 29: Jacksonville Mavericks at The Landing, FL
Nov 30: Ft. Lauderdale Culture Room, FL
Dec 01: Tampa The Cuban Club, FL
Dec 02: Charleston The Music Farm, SC
Dec 03: Baltimore Baltimore Soundstage, MD
Dec 04: Lancaster Chameleon Club, PA
Dec 06: New York Irving Plaza, NY
Dec 07: Pittsburgh Rex Theatre, PA
Dec 08: Chesterfield Diesel Lounge, MI
Dec 10: Sioux City Anthem at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, IA
Dec 11: Peoria Limelight, IL
Dec 13: Omaha The Waiting Room, NE
Dec 14: Overland Park Kanza Hall, KS
Dec 15: Colorado Springs The Black Sheep, CO
Jan 20: Verona Turning Stone Resort & Casino, NY
Feb 02: Port Tampa Monsters Of Rock Cruise, FL

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Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.