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January 1, 2021

Detailing the Evolution of Queensryche

By Gregory Twachtman

As the 40th anniversary of the legendary Queensryche looms just around the corner, the story of the band's rise from its roots in the Seattle music scene through its waning popularity and ultimate resurgence will be told.

Building An Empire: The Story Of Queensryche will cover the band's history from the people who were around the band through its long and sometimes turbulent journey.

“The origins of Queensryche preceded the Internet by more than a decade,” book co-author Brian Naron said in an interview. “A lot of information is just not out there for their early years.”

Naron, along with co-author James Beach, are coming off the publication of Rusted Metal, a look at the metal scene of the Pacific Northwest from 1970-1995. In the process of assembling that tome, the authors came to realize that no one has really taken an in-depth approach to telling the band's story.

“I have wondered why a band as big as Queensryche has never had a biography written about them,” Naron said. “There has always been a 'stock' story, but being a hardcore fan, seeing and hearing the things I have over the years, a bigger story has been begging to be told.”

The biography will cover the entirety of the band's career, but as co-author Brian Heaton notes, there is “quite a bit of time devoted to the early years and seeing how the band was put together. We felt that was vital, so fans only familiar with the basics have a complete understanding of all the pieces that fell into place for Queensryche to emerge from Seattle. But it is a complete look at Queensryche through the present.”

To that end, the authors began this project talking to the immediate circle of people around the band.

“When we started to put pen to paper on this book, James Beach and I decided that we were going to build our story of the band through current interviews with family members, friends, fans, musical associates, and peers,” Naron explained.

He added that no members of the band have contributed to the biography. “We have reached out to the founding members of Queensryche through friends, family, and so on, but we have not heard back from them at this time. That said, we sill hope to talk with some of them, if possible, for the book.”

To help fill in those gaps, the biography will reference the perspective of the band members themselves as captured in interviews across various media throughout the band's career.

“There are so many factoids that we have uncovered and memories that people have offered up,” Naron said. “We are going to surprise even the most knowledgeable fan.”

Building An Empire: The Story Of Queensryche will feature a foreword from Paul Suter, acclaimed writer for Kerrang! magazine who broke the band's story in 1983, as well as an afterword by Heaton, who maintains an unofficial historical retrospective of the band via the website AnybodyListening.net. The book is targeted for publication in fall 2021/winter 2022.

Gregory Twachtman is a contributor to AnybodyListening.net, and has been a journalist for more than two decades. He's been a Queensryche fan since 1988.

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