QUEENSRŸCHE Drummer Says Singer TODD LA TORRE Has Been 'A Great Addition To The Band'

Ruben Mosqueda of RockConfidential.com recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

RockConfidential.com: What's your take on the fan reaction to the split [with singer Geoff Tate]? I know the fans are rabid, passionate and very protective of the band.

Scott: It's been a major shake-up for QUEENSRŸCHE in the last year. The fans have seen this transpire… Here's where we're at as a band. Michael [Wilton], Eddie [Jackson] and I are the three main corporate owners in our "QUEENSRŸCHE corporation," so to speak. Ever since things started to go in "not such a good" way back at the beginning of the year, we had to make some decisions and move on. We did that. We did that under the guise that we were the majority owners of the corporation and that we wanted to continue doing what is best for QUEENSRŸCHE. To us, "the best thing" for QUEENSRŸCHE is promoting the brand of QUEENSRŸCHE; making music, playing shows, giving the fans and our audience what they have come to expect from us. We wanted to do that and have "fun" doing it. That's a long story condensed very short so we can get to the point. That's what we've done and that's where we're at now. Our fans are sitting back and seeing what is going on and they get to pick and choose what they want to do. The fortunate thing for us is that we've carried on and the support around the world by our fans; whether they are old-time fans or new fans or whatever, it is has been extremely overwhelming. The fans are supporting us. They continue to support us and they are praising all of the shows that we've done and they are looking forward to the ones that are coming up. They are also eagerly looking forward to the new record that we've just started recording as of last week. We hope to have it out in the first quarter of next year. Listen, for us, it basically business as usual. We've put aside what we've had to deal with in the past eight months and we're moving on with business. What is business? Business is pushing QUEENSRŸCHE and promoting that. Is there a kettle of stirred up stuff going on out there? Yeah, there is, for sure. For us, it best not to focus on that stuff rather focus on what we do best and that is to continue what we started out doing 30 years ago; which is QUEENSRŸCHE. I think the defining factor at the end of the day, whether it comes to playing our shows or making a new record, the deciding factor will be the fans. If you don't have the fans' support, you're not going to have anything. Thank goodness that we are blessed that the fans have really supported us, so much so that we've been able to continue to do what we've always wanted to do — be ourselves, make music and play shows.

RockConfidential.com: How would you describe the direction that you're going with the new music and album? Progressive, contemporary rock influences, "classic"-era QUEENSRŸCHE? Or perhaps none of the above?

Scott: That's a great selection of choices that you've given me to pick: A, B or C. I think the best way for me to describe it is that it's in a "progressive/hard rock" direction. Jimbo [producer James Barton] described it really well when we were in the studio last week. We were immersed in it really working hard and brainstorming; driving the ship home, so to speak. He said, "I think you guys have combined your first five records into what you're doing now." So that's from our EP all the way through "Promised Land", which, coincidentally, was the last record that we worked on with Jimbo. So I think if you stuck all of those records into a musical blender, you'd get an idea of what the music we're working right now sounds like. There are elements from all of those records that have made it on to the new music. I think that's a good way to describe it. We have wanted to revisit this great history of ours that we just haven't been able to do for a while. We have great lyric content, great songs, great melodies and great performances by us; the song crafters and mechanics behind it all. I could go on forever about it, because I'm so excited about it. I could play it for you right now on my speakers but afterward I'd have to kill you! [laughs]

RockConfidential.com: One of the things mentioned by [new singer] Todd [La Torre] in a posting on his Facebook page was that he was open to including different vocal techniques on the new music. He said that he'd like to use some death metal growls. That surprised people. I'm a fan of some of music from that particular sub-genre. I think that would be interesting. So would it be safe to assume that you're open to incorporating different types of influences aside from those mentioned by you previously?

Scott: Listen, we really are. When we are writing and collaborating together, the ultimate goal is to write the ultimate song. We approach all songs that way. It's not always about "shredding" or showing off your chops. We don't want to deliver things for the wrong reason. We do what is best for a particular piece of music. Why is it special to us? Why do we feel that it's important for us to work on the song? We throw a lot of stuff into the kettle when we write. We e-mail ourselves scratch ideas all the time. They are good, bad or indifferent. We focus on "why." Why does that song need to be focused on? If it's important for us, what are we going to do to make it the best song? That helps leave things open for direction and that's the best thing for us. It's no surprise that because we're fans of progressive rock and metal that what we're doing sounds that way, but within that we have some flexibility to play around with other stuff. We like to keep our creative options open. You throw Jimbo into the equation who says stuff like, "Hey why don't you try this?" It takes things in yet another direction. The truth is that is really what we do — we brainstorm. Todd has been a great addition to the band and he offers a "fresh" outlook on things. His ability to do a lot of great things with his voice; he writes some great melodies and a fabulous lyricist. Todd also expresses things in different ways. He's a great drummer, he plays guitar and other instruments. Todd is able to offer other suggestions on things that some of us haven't thought about. So, to answer the question you asked as to whether Todd will be "growling" on the new record? We haven't got to that stage yet! [laughs] Half the time, I don't even know what it's going to be until we actually start working on the song. Right now we're painting a picture, we have the paints and the canvas but we haven't completed the painting yet.

Read the entire interview from RockConfidential.com.

Pictured below: Scott Rockenfield

Pictured below: QUEENSRŸCHE with producer James "Jimbo" Barton

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