In a brand new interview with Eonmusic, QUEENSRŸCHE's Michael Wilton has confirmed that there are no plans for drummer Scott Rockenfield to return to the group. Speaking during the band's appearance at Bloodstock Open Air festival, the guitarist said that the drummer "isn't touring anymore."
Michael also spoke of the challenges of the last few years, since the departure of original singer Geoff Tate and addition of Todd La Torre: "We had to establish the band again, obviously, business-wise, but for me, being in, and doing this for over thirty years, this is the next chapter for QUEENSRŸCHE, and a lot of people, most of our fans have jumped on, and some of them have disappeared," he said. "Whatever. This is a new chapter of QUEENSRŸCHE and we're having a great time. I think we're on a great path right now creatively, and we've got a lot of really great people supporting us."
On the "magic" of his early partnership with guitarist Chris DeGrarmo, Michael said: "Obviously the guitar tandem team with Chris was magic, and it was during that time when the band was discovering itself and experimenting. Those were some great times, but now it's a different vibe. You're with people that have different influences, and crunching them all together and seeing what you get is exciting because, for one, there's so much dynamic energy in everybody and contribution, that it's a different type of writing."
Finally, on Scott Rockenfield's status, Michael said: "Well, basically when we started to record 'The Verdict' [in 2018], we hadn't heard from him. He had more of a, personal obligations that he was doing, and then he told us that he couldn't drum on the record. That was kind of as sign that, I think, that he had obligations. He's a very private person, and we respect what he's doing. It left him in a situation where he really isn't touring anymore."
"The Verdict" was released in March via Century Media Records. The disc was produced, mixed, and mastered by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (ROB ZOMBIE, ICED EARTH, HATEBREED) at Uberbeatz in Lynwood, Washington; Planet-Z in Wilbraham, Massachusetts; and Watershed Studio in Seattle, Washington.
The current QUEENSRŸCHE lineup features two original members, bassist Eddie Jackson and Wilton, along with La Torre and guitarist Parker Lundgren.
"The Verdict" marks QUEENSRŸCHE's third full-length release with La Torre, following the departure of Tate in 2012.
For the past two years, Rockenfield has been taking time off from QUEENSRŸCHE's touring activities to spend time with his young son, who was born in early 2017. Filling in for him is former KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo.
La Torre, who has played drums since the age of 13, laid down the drum tracks on "The Verdict".