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Michael Wilton



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When and why did you start this new project  Wratchet Head  next to your work by  Queensryche  and  Soulbender?
The  Wratchet Head  album came to me when I was on the road with  Queensryche. We had a lot of time in between shows so I just wrote guitar riffs all the time. I got a drum program called “Drumcore” and put the parts together in “Pro Tools”. I realized that I had created a new animal that was not in the vein of  QR  or  SB  so I just went with it. When I got home off the road I had to get some work done on my car. I went to mechanics garage and saw him using his ratchet set and the vision came to me in my head.

Can you introduce us the band  Wratchet Head?
Jessie Paul 2nd guitar, Steve Jackson bass, Adam Clark drums and Rane Stone vocals

With  Wratchet Head  you released a single called  Coming For You  (Rat Pak Records) - how are the reactions so far?
The reactions have been very good. Radio and internet stations have been and still are playing it and locally here in Seattle we were band of the week on KISW 99.9 Fm. Everyone wants to hear more and it sound pretty good on the radio.

Will you also bring out a full album and are there plans for a tour with the band?
My plan is to get the  Wratchet Head  album finished this year. Once that task is finished there are multiple opportunities to tour. We debut the first show in Seattle which was sold out playing with  HELLYEAH  and  Hail The Villain. The crowd was into it even though they had only heard 1 song.

Any news about  Soulbender?
Soulbender  is on hiatus at the moment. You have to realize that  Queensryche  tours so much and very sporadically so it is hard to dedicate the needed time on these projects. I actually have 75% of the  Soulbender  2 written so it will get finished I just don’t know when.

Beside your work with the bands you also are the man behind  Whip Ale  and  Whipwear  clothing. Why did you start to make your own ale or did you only give your name to use for the ale?
As you can see I am a busy guy. I am always doing something. I have been working the  Whip Ale  for almost a year. It is a very tasty pale ale that does very well in the Seattle area. I have 22oz bottles and kegs. As for the name, my nickname is “Whip” which I have had since I was 16 years old so it is only fitting that these businesses have my name.

Do you decide what will be on the  Whipwear  and who is making the graphics for the T- shirts?
Whipwear  is a small business so there are only a few people involved at the moment. I make the ultimate decisions in all matters concerned. I plan on some new  Whipwear  this year.

How important is it to have contact with the fans when you are not on tour, for example on MySpace, Facebook and other new medias?
I think it is very important in these times. You have to stay current and in the medias eye. I do my best to post and stay current and I have people that make all the technical stuff happen.

I know, during tours of  Queensryche, members of the fanclub can get Meet & Greets with the band after the show. What does it mean to you to see and hear reactions from fans after the show?
Queensryche  has some long standing great fans. They follow us around and support the band whenever they can. Having been in this business for a long time you learn to appreciate your fans.

How many guitars do you have in total?
A lot! Having been with ESP guitars for about 20 years I have received a few every year. I have donated guitars to Hard Rock Cafes and helped charities as well. I have also had a few stolen. I really don’t know exactly.

How many different ESP Glow-in-the-dark-skull guitars do you have?
I have 4 that glow, but the ones from the 90’s didn’t glow so in total I think 8.

How many guitars do you use by recording an album and how many you bring with you on tour?
Whenever I record guitars I always bring about 8 electric and 2 acoustic. I try and cover the midrange spectrum of sound so a mix of Les Pauls and Strats and V’s get the job done. As for touring I bring what is required in the song list that we are performing. Many of the  Queensryche  songs are in different tunings so I have a guitar for that tuning and a back up. Usually it is around 6 guitars.

Are there any news I didn’t ask you and that is important for you to tell us?
Check out all my social media sites. Get started at

We wish you all the best for 2011, thanks for your time!!!
All the best my friends!





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