QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre has once again denied that Scott Rockenfield is officially out of the band, saying the drummer asked for paternity leave almost four years ago and just never came back.
Last month, Rockenfield shot down suggestions that he quit QUEENSRŸCHE or retired from playing music. The drummer, who hasn't performed with QUEENSRŸCHE since early 2017, took to his Facebook page to say that fans "have not been given the facts by any means" and implied that he would offer more details at a later date.
Scott's comments marked the first time he has publicly addressed his status with QUEENSRŸCHE, which has used former KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo for touring purposes since April 2017.
In a brand new interview with "The Eddie Trunk Podcast", Todd — who is promoting his debut solo album, "Rejoice In The Suffering" — was asked if anybody in QUEENSRŸCHE has heard directly from Scott regarding his status with the group. The vocalist replied (hear audio below): "Not to my knowledge. All I can tell you is he took paternity leave, saying he would be gone for about six months, and that was four years ago. [Laughs] Casey shows up every day. He shows up to songwrite, he shows up to record, if needed, and he shows up for the live gigs. So that's all that I can tell you.
"I haven't communicated with [Scott] in years. So I have no idea what he's up to. I couldn't even tell you."
When DJ Eddie Trunk said that he heard from Rockenfield nearly two years ago and that the drummer expressed an interest at the time in telling his story, La Torre replied: "I don't know what story there is to tell. People ask, but, honestly, it is literally like déjà vu. Go play the answer I gave you four years ago, because, literally, nothing has changed.
"As far as I understand, there really isn't communication [between Scott and the QUEENSRŸCHE camp]. And I couldn't tell you anything more than that. Some people think, 'They're not telling us more.' I don't have anything to say, 'cause I don't talk to him; he doesn't talk to me. Casey's been playing with us for four years — going on four years — and he shows up. The guy is doing an awesome job.
"I guess I'd revert back to you," Todd continued. "If you left your radio show saying that you needed six months paternity leave but you never communicated when you were coming back for four years, would the radio station stop running because you quit showing up to work? And keep in mind, you weren't fired, and you didn't give official written notice that you're never gonna come back; you just don't come back or communicate. Does your key still work? Is your name on the door? Or are they gonna find adequate talent replacement to keep things going?
"So I don't have anything bad to say," La Torre clarified. "I don't really have anything to say, other than he asked for paternity leave and just hasn't come back."
The drum tracks on QUEENSRŸCHE's latest album, 2019's "The Verdict", were laid down by La Torre.
Last year, former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate expressed his doubt that Rockenfield will ever play drums again, telling Metal Rules that Scott "has a lot of medical problems and things like that now." In 2019, Tate told 88.1FM WESU's weekly syndicated radio show "Noize In The Attic" that he was "pretty sure" Scott "didn't leave" QUEENSRŸCHE of his own accord. "I can tell you that there's lawsuits involved; I know that," he said. "He's in kind of a really dark place, and I hope he gets some help, 'cause he's really unraveled, you know? In my opinion. It's too bad — he's an incredibly talented drummer, and unfortunately, he never was happy with that. It wasn't good enough for him."
"Rejoice In The Suffering" came out on February 5 via Rat Pak Records.