Seattle-based progressive metallers QUEENSRŸCHE have shot down Internet rumors that founding drummer Scott Rockenfield has left the band.
For the past year, Rockenfield has been taking time off from QUEENSRŸCHE's touring activities to spend time with his young son, who was born last spring. Filling in for him is former KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo.
In response to online chatter regarding Scott's status in QUEENSRŸCHE, the drummer's bandmates released a statement earlier today in which they reiterated that "he has not quit" the group. "He told us he's taking time off and we have no timeframe on when he will return," they said. "We thought he would take few months off. Obviously, he doesn't want to tour right now. There is nothing more we can say about it and we can't be more honest about it than that."
QUEENSRŸCHE is currently in the studio with producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris recording the follow-up to 2015's "Condition Hüman" LP for a tentative summer release. The band said: "We only have vocals and guitar solos to finish, but we're very happy with the direction of the new album."
It is not presently clear if Rockenfield laid down the drum tracks on the new QUEENSRŸCHE disc. However, the band has confirmed that Grillo did not play on the record, which will mark QUEENSRŸCHE's third full-length release with singer Todd La Torre, following the departure of Geoff Tate in 2012.
La Torre told KNAC.COM in December that the band had just spent "about 10 days doing pre-production" for its next album. "We had about 30 song ideas," he said. "Some of them were fairly completed, some were completed, others were just ideas. And so we've narrowed things down to about 13 songs right now. So if we have 10 to 12 songs on the record that are super solid, we'll be happy with that. But yeah, we're working with Chris, and he's done a great job. You know, after you've been sitting on songs a long time, you just kinda feel like you've taken as far as you can. Sometimes you're burned out on the material and it needs that fresh ear to come in and help orchestrate things and find a better arrangement."
Asked where he is getting his lyrical inspirations from for the new QUEENSRŸCHE material, Todd said: "A lot of the stuff on this, I think, just has to do with, again, the political spectrum and just what's going on in the world. And QUEENSRŸCHE always injected those kinds of topics in their content. And so a lot of it has to do with just what's going on socially and politically, and globally and these subjects are timeless. So, if you listen to songs from the '60s that have to do with social discourse and stuff like that, it still applies today."