On September 24, Honduras rock journalist Alvaro Villatoro (a.k.a. Lemmy Simmons) of Hard Heavy conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts from the chat follow.
On the next QUEENSRŸCHE video:
Scott: "A couple of weeks ago, we finished two brand new music videos for the new record. We went down to Los Angeles and shot the next two videos.
"The next single, I believe, is going to be 'Spore'. And then the follow-up single after that is going to be 'A World Without'.
"So what we did is we shot a 10-minute movie of the two songs put together, and it's really great. It's a full scripted storyline, there were actors in the videos, and it's very conceptual. And we do appear in the video as well. But it was really fun and really different, because it's like a movie."
On parting ways with original singer Geoff Tate and replacing him with Todd La Torre:
Scott: "I've gotta be honest. We just didn't know what to expect when we made the decision to move on last year. And Todd has been perfect; I mean, it's absolutely just perfect. He sings so great our old, great songs. Listen, we hadn't done 'Queen Of The Reich' in years, and Todd stepped in and he just sings it — he just does it — and it's just perfect. I can't even tell you how excited we are about what's going on for us right now having him in the band."
On whether the band felt any pressure to release a new studio album as quickly as possible to compete with the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE:
Scott: "To be honest, we actually didn't — we never felt any pressure to get a record out as fast as possible or to do anything to sacrifice the quality that we always had wanted to keep ourselves at. This record was a great example of that. Our focus was on just writing great songs and getting them to where we felt it was at the top of our game, so to speak, and we wanted to keep our level very high and challenge ourselves. And so we were gonna get the record done when the record was gonna be done.
"We were lucky, because the chemistry amongst the five of us now is so great that we just felt that we didn't have any pressures — we knew we were gonna have a great record and feel really good about it. And I think the response is kind of the proof. The fans and the media have embraced the new record in such a high way; I mean, we're getting almost 10-star reviews on this record all around the world. So for what that's worth, I think that's just the proof that we've done what our fans really had wanted us to be doing for a long time. I think they're very happy that we're back doing what we feel good about.
"We've been around for 30 years as a band, and we've made a lot of records, and some really great ones that I'm very proud of. I think this new record is a record that I'm proud of… It's probably a record that I'm most proud for probably the last 20 years. So, for me, it's really special and I feel really great about it. And we're having a great time. We haven't had a great time for a long time, to be honest; it hasn't been very fun. I think this is now a turning point for us and we just feel really good. We're energized and the fans are energized."
On whether "Queensrÿche" signals a return to the band's classic sound:
Scott: "I think so. I really do.
"In the last year that we started playing all these shows with Todd, our setlist is a lot of just our first five records — it's all that great QUEENSRŸCHE classic stuff that we hadn't played for a long time. And in doing that, I think that started to put us in kind of that mindset, that energy that we had back then, and the chemistry we had together. And so I think when we started making this new record, it was almost natural that we were kind of revisiting that feel for us. And I think this record does.
"I think, to me, if somebody asked me where I would place this record in our catalog in terms of time frame, I think this record fits right back in the days of, like, 'Operation: Mindcrime' and 'Empire' and 'Promised Land' — kind of like in the early Nineties when we were making those records. And I think this record feels like it's very much a part of that era. And I'm proud of that. And a lot of our fans are telling us that as well.
"So I think that we did — we grabbed a lot of the great, old chemistry, and we made a record with that energy."