QUEENSRŸCHE's TODD LA TORRE Says Drums On Upcoming Album Were '100 Percent' Recorded By CASEY GRILLO
July 25, 2022
QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre, who played drums on the band's last album, "The Verdict", has confirmed to Canada's The Metal Voice that he did not lay down any of the drum tracks for the follow-up effort, the upcoming "Digital Noise Alliance". "It was one hundred percent Casey," he said, referencing drummer Casey Grillo, who has been a touring member of QUEENSRŸCHE since April 2017. "The only thing I was involved with, any drumming, were just ideas like, 'Oh, man. I thought of a cool thing here.' And I might talk it to Casey just as a creative input idea or I would get on the drums and show him the part that I was hearing. And if he liked it, or the band liked it, or whatever, it might have been implemented; if not, it wasn't. So I did not play one single drum hit — nothing. This is a hundred percent Casey. I was just a co-collaborator, as is everyone in the band, with ideas. That's it."
This past February, La Torre told The Metal Summit that "the drum sound" on "Digital Noise Alliance", which is due in October, "is fucking ridiculous… They just sound so, so thunderous and real. It's funny, because sometimes people will be, like, 'Oh, that sounds replaced' or 'that's sampled,' and if you knew the time that was taken into miking the drums to get the perfect sound. It's, like, no, our drum sounds are the sounds that you would wanna replace your sounds with."
He went on to say that Casey "was a part of all of the songwriting, a very integral part of the entire process. And yeah, it sounds great," he said.
For the past five years, Grillo has been filling in for QUEENSRŸCHE's original drummer Scott Rockenfield, who stepped away from the band's touring activities in early 2017 to spend time with his young son.
Last October, Rockenfield filed a lawsuit against the band's fellow original members Michael Wilton (guitar) and Eddie Jackson (bass),alleging, among other things, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful discharge. In the lawsuit, which was filed in Snohomish County Superior Court, Rockenfield claimed that he took paternal leave of absence from QUEENSRŸCHE in February 2017 after his fiancée experienced complications during the birth of their son and had to have an emergency Cesarean delivery. According to the drummer, his leave of absence was approved by the members of QUEENSRŸCHE and he was to retain an equal one-third interest in all QUEENSRŸCHE companies (QR Companies),including Tri-Ryche Corporation, Melodisc LTD., Queensryche Merchandising, Inc., EMS Music, LLC and Queensryche Holdings, LLC.
Scott alleged that or about October 11, 2018, Wilton and Jackson purportedly "voted to dismiss Rockenfield from the QR Companies due in whole or in part to his taking of approved family leave. Rockenfield was informed of his purported dismissal from the QR Companies in a letter dated November 3, 2018."
Rockfenfield also claimed that Wilton and Jackson did not include him in the recording of "The Verdict", "despite his availability and willingness to participate."
This past March, Wilton and Jackson filed a countersuit in which they denied Rockenfield was wrongfully dismissed from QUEENSRŸCHE. In the document, which was obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET, they claimed that Rockenfield announced in March 2017 that he was taking a few months off from touring fully aware that "QUEENSRŸCHE was in the middle of a tour and was contractually obligated to play a number of live concerts, including an upcoming April 1, 2017 concert in California, to be followed by several concerts in the U.S. scheduled for April and May, and that QUEENSRŸCHE, including Rockenfield, had agreed and were scheduled in June 2017 to play 13 live shows at different venues across Europe. Rockenfield's sudden departure required Jackson and Wilton to locate and hire a drummer so that the band could comply with their contractual touring obligations."
Wilton and Jackson went on to say that Rockenfield "made no effort to assist the band in finding a substitute drummer for the remaining concert dates on the QUEENSRŸCHE tour." They also claimed that they, along with La Torre and the band's manager, began attempting to contact Rockenfield "near the end of 2017" to discuss his participation on the next QUEENSRŸCHE album. However, "Rockenfield only sporadically responded to band members and band management about participating in the recording the new album. On those occasions when Rockenfield did respond to members of QUEENSRŸCHE or band management, he obfuscated and refused to commit or agree to rejoin the band or to participate in the process of recording the new album."
According to the document, QUEENSRŸCHE management contacted Rockenfield via e-mail in late 2017 and informed him that "QUEENSRŸCHE had to have a declaration from Rockenfield as to whether or not he intended to participate in recording on the band's album. Rockenfield was informed by QUEENSRŸCHE management that due to his continued obfuscation, that his failure to respond with anything other than a commitment to rejoin the band for their album, would necessarily be deemed a 'no.' Rockenfield subsequently acquiesced to QUEENSRŸCHE hiring another drummer to take Rockenfield's place."
According to the document, Rockenfield opted not to participate in any of at least 65 concerts QUEENSRŸCHE played between March of 2017 and October 2018, and was informed and invited to attend pre-production meetings for "The Verdict" album in 2018. "Although the band's pre-production work was occurring approximately 10-12 miles from Rockenfield's residence, he declined to take part," the document stated.