Blasting-Zone.com recently conducted an in-depth interview with QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield. Several excerpts follow:
Blasting-Zone.com: What was the main motivation behind the recording of "Operation: Mindcrime II"?
Scott: "It almost started when we put the first one out. It was a big record for us and everyone was like, 'What happens next?' It was always kinda left open, ya know? We knew we were probably going to revisit it at some point, with the way the story unfolded and the way we left it at the end. During the last eighteen months, we've been touring with the original 'Mindcrime'. We decided to resurrect it and recreate it theatrically with actors and everything. We had been doing a world tour thing with 'Mindcrime' in its entirety up until last fall. That got us started going. 'Let's do this,' with the plan that we'll just revisit the second half as the tour goes on. It just seemed like a good thing, ya know? Fifteen years later, people were still knocking on our doors constantly wanting to know when we were gonna do it. We were like, 'Let's do this and get them off our backs.' (laughs)."
Blasting-Zone.com: Were you concerned you wouldn't be able to accurately re-capture the original "Mindcrime" experience?
Scott: "Yeah, the pressure was on us internally. The idea was to take another look at the original and re-live it, which the tour did every night, so we got a chance to get used to what it is and see what we could play with. It just kinda feel into place. We kinda morphed some of our history into it. There are even some elements from 'Rage For Order' in what we've done. There's a cool sonic palette that's goin' on…a lot of different textures, a lot of different technologies. We kinda blended that era with our 'Mindcrime' era and our new era. We tried to bring it into a contemporary time so it wouldn't seem like we were just relieving the past. We were trying to blend the past with the present…that's what we were trying to achieve. So far, so good. I guess it's all up to you guys now. (laughs)."
Blasting-Zone.com: How did Ronnie James Dio become involved with the project? He seems like the perfect choice to play Dr. X…
Scott: "It's just one of those old relationships that we've had for quite a long time. In 1983, when we first started out, we toured Europe with DIO for a few months. We kinda got to know each other through that. Through the years, we've kinda bumped elbows at different things, so when it came time for us to do this project and we were looking for something interesting, it just seemed like a cool thing. We got a hold of him and he was like, 'I'm in.' He has this voice that's just bigger than life. On top of it, he's a really nice guy who is fun to hang out with and is really gracious, so it was very nice. We were very flattered that he wanted to come and do this with us. Besides, it's not like you gotta tell him what to do or anything. It's not like he sings out of pitch (laughs). He pretty much comes in and says, 'Where's the lyrics?', sings it and walks away."
Blasting-Zone.com: Any truth to the rumors that you were originally had Rob Halford in mind for the role?
Scott: "That was just a rumor. I think it was basically fed because we had just toured over the summer with JUDAS PRIEST. I think a lot of the fans, when they heard there was going to be a special guest, just went ahead and said, 'Oh, god. It's gonna be Rob.' They tried to put two and two together, but…surprise (laughs)."
Blasting-Zone.com: How do you plan on handling the portrayal of Dr. X within a live setting?
Scott: "That's a good question. We haven't crossed that bridge yet. It's possible that we could film a character of X or even Ronnie for that matter. We could have it on film and have it sync because everything we do is time coded, that way the film could run exactly in sync to us performing. We may have someone come out on the road with us or we may even get lucky in some cities and Ronnie may actually show up."
Read the entire interview at Blasting-Zone.com.