Aniruddh "Andrew" Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Assault: Let me start this by talking about the latest piece of QUEENSRŸCHE news that came out, the Billboard chart #23 position. How do you view that? Do you see that as some sort of validation for all your efforts?
Scott: Yeah, it certainly feels good. We are so proud of ourselves. We were so happy making the record and had such a great time, we felt like we really succeeded in making a record that we were excited about. It's been a great last year doing that, but to have it come out and get the response from the fans and the media, and like you're saying about the chart positions and everything, it's kind of a "wow" factor right now for us, Andrew. [laughs] We haven't felt this way in a long time, so yeah, it's quite humbling, to be honest, after so many years of working in QUEENSRŸCHE and its legacy. To have it now and after what we've gone through in the last year as well, it feels great that we've done a good job and what we set out to do.
Metal Assault: With the success the album has had, it makes we wonder whether it was ever intended to be a "commercial"-sounding album or all this just happened on its own.
Scott: I think our goal was just strictly to write really great songs that we liked and felt good about. When we feel like we've written a great song, we feel the things that mean most to us, like great performances on everything that we played, great song structure, good hooks, good melodies, and good lyrics. So for me, what we ended up with was a great-sounding QUEENSRŸCHE record that has some really strong, catchy music, lyrics and melodies on it. So I think we've got a combination of everything. There's a commercial aspect to some of the songs, there's an epic, cinematic side in some of our material, for which QUEENSRŸCHE is very well known through our career. There's metal stuff and rock stuff, and I guess we've just been able to get everything into this one album.
Metal Assault: The one thing that slightly surprised me was that your new singer Todd [La Torre] has co-written eight of the songs. So, you basically made him feel like an integral part of the group from the beginning rather than treating him like a new member.
Scott: Yeah, that's exactly it! Our goal for QUEENSRŸCHE is always to make it a team effort on everything. That's why we made great records all the way back in our early days, and had a great time making records together. That creative team energy is exactly what we did on this new record, and it's the same thing in our live shows. We're all equal in our ideas, in what we want to work on and how we want to do things. I think that's really important and it makes the band sound solid on the new record and also in the shows that we're doing. We sound very "together" and that's a great thing. Todd offers a lot of vocal and lyric ideas when we're writing together but he's also a really great musician. So he's able to offer all sorts of ideas and suggestions, and it's a great way for us to collaborate. Team effort is really a big part of what we're doing in this band.
Metal Assault: Another thing worth talking about here is, the album is only 35 minutes long which is kind of an old-school way of doing it. In the olden days when albums were pressed on actual vinyl records, the sound quality would stay at its best for around 35 minutes and then fade away. Was the length of this album ever a deliberate thing on your part? Some critics have even called it "too short."
Scott: Not at all! We didn't even think about the length of the record until after we were mastering it. It's interesting, because the length never occurred to us. For us, the goal was simply to make a great-sounding record that had the right songs on it, that were of the highest quality and worked well together. It's just one piece of music that feels really good to us and says what we wanted to say with it. I think it takes the listener on a journey. They listen from the beginning all the way to the end. Most fans are telling us that it's perfect and when they're done listening to it they just play it over again. [laughs] So, I think we did exactly what we wanted to do and focussed on the best quality music that we could do at the time.
Read the entire interview at Metal Assault.
Photo credit: Savoia Photography Live