The Interview with Parker was taken by Aefa on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 @ the LKA Longhorn in Stuttgart
(with support from Marcela/Romania ;-)


Over the past few month many people have asked me who the new guy on guitar was, and as Geoff would say on stage:

"It's Parker Lundgren, baby!"

So I figured it would be a great idea to introduce Parker to the European audience. So here it is, the German Empire proudly presents Parker's very first European interview - and what a fun guy he is :-)


Tell me about your musical career: When did you start playing the guitar? Did you play in any local bands before you joined the band?
I started playing when I was about 13. Right after that I started in a band, figured out a couple of cords and started playing with other friends who were just as bad at music as me at the time. I am from small town...


...are you from the Seattle area?
Itís a really small town, about 3 hours away from Seattle. There was nothing to do, so I just practised guitar a whole bunch and the rest is history. Iíve been in probably 50 to 100 different bands *jokes*...


What music do you listen to privately? Do you have any favorite bands and influences?
I use the whole saying: A chef doesnít really want to cook for himself when he gets home. Itís the same thing: You play metal, you practice and you play 4-10 hours a day. When you get home you donít want to listen to Queensryche or Metal, you burn out on it. I donít listen to a whole lot of rock, except for classic stuff that I grew up on, anything with good guitar, jazz guitar players, even country guitar players.


Do you have a favorite band, favorite guitar player?
Favorite guitar player would have to be Django Reinhardt, a jazz guitar player.


Have you been a Queensryche fan before you started playing with the Geoff Tate band?
Of course, living in Seattle, I knew a lot of their music and I got the opportunity to audition for Geoffís solo band. It was great playing in that band, and then when Mike Stone left Queensryche, I was at the right place at the right time, so itís a dream come true.


How did you get to join the Geoff Tate band? Did they have a regular audition?
I was friends with a couple of people that were going to play in the band - or thought they were going to play in the band - but they ended up not making it. A drummer that I knew was friends with Geoff and he asked me to play guitar. So they put together this band, out of that whole band, everybody else got the boot, except me. And then he started filling in other people, Scott on drums. It was a weird situation with my friends, they asked me to play with them and then they ended not being in the band.


Did you have any other career objective before you became a rock musician?
I knew I was going do something in music Ė you really canít get too many good day jobs with a tattoo on your neck *laughs*


...a banker maybe *lol*?
That was a motivation tool. Before Queensryche I was working in a recording studio and also I taught guitar.


I figure - youíre 23 now? Out of school, I donít think you saw yourself become a rock star that fast?
Oh no, I never thought I could play music for a living, which has always been my goal.
 


When Queensryche announced you were touring with them, did you have a certain time frame in which you had to learn all the songs, or did you know how to play them long before you joined the band?
I kind of expected it. I saw what was happening with the band. I got wind that Mike Stone might be leaving so I learned a lot of the material beforehand. I never really played with Whip or Ed, and Scott and Geoff wanted me to be in the band. Whip didnít really know me and he had a bunch of people that he wanted to play in the band. Of course they know a lot of great musicians theyíve met over the years. He probably called a lot of guitar players, but the time frame was really short. So there wasnít a whole lot of opportunities because nobody can learn three albums in a month, itís really tough.


It is a big step to perform with Queensryche who have been around for so many years. How did you handle all the outside pressure?
It was looking back when Mike Stone and also when Kelly Gray joined the band, I heard there was going be lots of critical people, so it was kind of expected. I actually thought that people were a lot more accepting than I had expected...


...the Fanclub people are pretty much accepting...
Yeah, I think they respect Queensrycheís decision Ė that helped a lot. I really just wanted to try to play the material as best as I could and try not to make any mistakes. After that, now that the band is tight, you loosen up and have fun.


The question everyone is curious about - how is it to be on tour with Geoff Tate who is your future father-in law?
I am sure people out there cringe at the thought of touring with their father-in-law, but when your father-in-law is Geoff Tate itís not bad at all...

...I was not suggesting itís bad ;-). But isnít it more difficult?
Not really. Itís like dating your best friendís sister. Thatís the kind of relationship Ė there are certain things you are not going to say in front of them, but everyone in the band and the crew, we are all good friends. We tour the road, have fun together. This last tour Geoff brought out three of his daughters, his wife and their three dogs. Itís like the whole family is on tour, itís like a vacation. We separate family and business and everything has been great so far.

I donít know if this is a silly question Ė but I have been wondering: why did you and Whip change sides on stage?
It had to do with the techs. On this tour Jason [Ames] Saunders is playing guitar, too. Most people have a tech assigned to each band member, but we just have two really good techs, they can do it all. One tech in particular can only do drums, we had to switch sides so he can cover me and drums and Ed on bass.

There has been some confusion about your status in the band. When they first announced you were going to join Queensryche, they announced you to be filling in for the tour. Then I was quite surprised that when the autographed Fanclub pictures were sent out, you were part of the band. So what is the current status?
Queensryche is always going to be a four piece band and they are always going to have a fill-in guy. So I donít see myself as part of the band at all and I donít think anybody else does. I guess the photos are just for the tour, for the time being. If you look back at the Fanclub photos...



...I have a whole bunch of them with Chris de Garmo, Kelly Gray, Mike Stone, but they were all considered official members, so I have been wondering...
They all played with the band for quite a lot of time. Iím expecting to finish this tour, and then who knows. They want to crank up the next album quickly...

...thatís good news! :-)
Hopefully Iíll be able to be a part of that. The last album they had, even when Stone was still playing with them, Michael Wilton did all the guitars. So who knows...

Back to the tour: You have been touring ever since April, all the traveling and being on stage every night - do you ever have time to actually realize what's happening to you?
It goes by really fast. We rarely have breaks and itís the same routine every day. Itís hard to sit back and enjoy and see whatís going on. But it is what Iíve always wanted to do, itís amazing.


Is this your first time in Germany?
Itís my first time out of the country. Before the tour, Iíve only been to the West Coast I havenít really traveled for other bands I played in and did tours. So this was my first time traveling to the East Coast and everywhere else in the US and also coming to Europe. When the tour is all done, we will have been to 13 different countries, so it is really exciting.

Is there anything you want to say to the German audience or the German Empire? You did get a first impression last night in Munich...
Germany is definitely a very interesting and fun place, much different than home. I guess I havenít met enough of the German Empire, itís too early to say...


 

 

Parker Lundgren can't lose - by The Greek Empire

...you still have a couple of shows to go...
Yeah, I am really excited because itís the one country were will be doing a full week in. So I hope we get to meet everybody and have fun Ė I am looking forward to it.
 

One final question - and Iíve heard a bunch of rumors: Whose idea was it to do your [Dude, Iím totally nailing Geoff Tateís daughter] picks?
It happened from an interview that Geoff had. He said that thereís two different ways to explain that I was joining the band.

One was to say: "He auditioned and heís playing the solo project, then heís seeing Geoffís daughter and ends up playing Queensryche".

Or Parker can say: "Yeah, I auditioned for Queensryche, I got the gig and Iím totally nailing Geoffís daughter - High Five" *laughs*.

Susan (Geoffís wife) thought that was the funniest thing ever. So she said that I should put it on my guitar pick. At first I thought "I donít know about that". But everybody thought it was fun, it was cool with the whole band. Geoff thought it was hilarious, too.
 

 

Thanks for taking your time and we all think Parker Ryyyyyyyyyyychez big time (...and can't lose!!! ;-)

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