Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult magazine recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ghost Cult: The new self-titled QUEENSRŸCHE album is the best album in years and it feels like a genuine band effort. How do you see things?
Scott: That’s exactly what it is. Thank you for liking the album and we’re certainly proud of it. We’re feeling great about the music. A year ago, things were very different, until we found Todd [La Torre], our new vocalist. The whole year has been fantastic so far, with sold-out gigs around the world, and when we started writing songs last summer, it turned out be a perfect situation for us. The chemistry we had was just so great. The new album is a great representation of how we feel QUEENSRŸCHE should sound like and what the fans expect from us. I think the new record fits somewhere between “Empire” and “Promised Land”.
Ghost Cult: The album feels like a combination of the songwriting prowess of “Empire” and the dark and brooding atmosphere of “Promised Land”…
Scott: “Promised Land” is one of my favourite QUEENSRŸCHE records. We tried to recapture that energy we had in the “Mindcrime” to “Promised Land” timeframe and put that back in the new band. As you may know, the last year has been quite a struggle for us, with Geoff [Tate; former singer] and the music the band was making and our lack of excitement about it. We wanted to do something very different and Geoff didn’t want to do that. That’s why we feel so excited about the new record and we can’t wait to play the new material live to our fans.
Ghost Cult: Todd La Torre turns out to be quite a revelation in the vocal department. How did you guys find him?
Scott: We’ve been so fortunate to find Todd and that he found us. It’s been a perfect match together. What happened is that Michael Wilton [guitarist] met Todd at the NAMM convention in January 2012. None of us even heard of him before. What happened is that Michael and he became friends and they discussed doing a project together, something outside QUEENSRŸCHE. Michael introduced him to Eddie [bass player] and I soon thereafter. We talked about doing some shows together, because QUEENSRŸCHE wasn’t doing anything at the moment. We learned some old QUEENSRŸCHE songs from the “Queen Of The Reich” EP and “The Warning” and so on, and put together a live show consisting of the songs Geoff was never interested in playing live. We called ourselves RISING WEST and we played two shows in Seattle in June last year and they were so much fun and the fans loved it so much that we knew we had something good going on. Soon after that, everything started to fall apart with Geoff and we had to make the decision to move on without him. It was just perfect timing and Todd was the perfect guy to move on with, because he can sing the old stuff just great, the fans are loving it and we love playing the old material. It was fate that we meet each other. Todd is just walking around happy all the time.
Ghost Cult: So when did you really started to sense things were starting to unravel when Geoff Tate was still in the band?
Scott: It’s been quite a while back, to be honest. It’s been like 10 years. Things were starting to become uncomfortable. It was a slow process, but over time it became apparent that Michael, Eddie, and I were drifting apart from Geoff, especially when it came down to the music and the general direction of QUEENSRŸCHE. Why we didn’t take charge earlier was because the whole process was like a long and painful divorce. You know that things aren’t going right, but you hang in there, hoping things would turn around. You keep doing you best at it, but things kept getting worse and worse. It got to the point that we had to move out without Geoff. That point was the infamous spit incident in Brazil.
Read the entire interview from Ghost Cult magazine.