QUEENSRYCHE DRUMMER SCOTT ROCKENFIELD SAYS THE BAND’S NEW MUSIC HAS A “PROGRESSIVE/HARD ROCK” SOUND

queensrychenewsinger400Ruben Mosqueda for Rock Confidential spoke with Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield. Portions of the interview appear below.

 

Rock Confidential: Scott, it’s a pleasure to finally get you on the phone. I’ve been looking forward to it. I’ve been a fan going back to the Rage For Order record. I caught the second show you guys did as Rising West in Seattle last June. Some things have transpired since those shows took place. Geoff Tate is no longer in the band and you guys have elected to press forward with Todd La Torre on vocals. It also appears that amongst the Queensryche fan base there’s been a split; there’s the ‘Queensryche camp’ and the ‘Geoff Tate camp.’ I recently conducted an interview with Geoff (Tate) for Oregon Music News and I received an email from the person who handles the news feeds for a website of a major TV and radio personality that stated that they wouldn’t be running the interview due to the negative feedback that they had been receiving regarding Geoff Tate related coverage. What’s your take on the fan reaction to the split?

 

Scott Rockenfield: I know the fans are rabid, passionate and very protective of the band. I’ve even received ‘hate mail’ and I’m a fan like them. It’s been a major shake-up for Queensryche in the last year. The fans have seen this transpire…here’s where we’re at as a band. Michael (Wilton), Eddie (Jackson) and I are the three main corporate owners in our ‘Queensryche Corporation’ so to speak. Ever since things started to go in ‘not such a good’ way back at the beginning of the year, we had to make some decisions and move on. We did that. We did that under the guise that we were the majority owners of the corporation and that we wanted to continue doing what is best for Queensryche. To us ‘the best thing’ for Queensryche is promoting the brand of Queensryche; making music, playing shows, giving the fans and our audience what they have come to expect from us. We wanted to do that and have ‘fun’ doing it. That’s a long story condensed very short so we can get to the point. That’s what we’ve done and that’s where we’re at now. Our fans are sitting back and seeing what is going on and they get to pick and choose what they want to do. The fortunate thing for us Ruben is that we’ve carried on and the support around the world by our fans; whether they are old-time fans or new fans or whatever it is has been extremely overwhelming.

 

The fans are supporting us. They continue to support us and they are praising all of the shows that we’ve done and they are looking forward to the ones that are coming up. They are also eagerly looking forward to the new record that we’ve just started recording as of last week. We hope to have it out in the first quarter of next year. Listen, for us it basically business as usual. We’ve put aside what we’ve had to deal with in the past eight months and we’re moving on with business. What is business? Business is pushing Queensryche and promoting that. Is there a kettle of stirred up stuff going on out there? Yeah there is, for sure. For us it best not to focus on that stuff rather focus on what we do best and that is to continue what we started out doing 30 years ago; which is Queensryche. I think the defining factor at the end of the day, whether it comes to playing our shows or making a new record, the deciding factor will be the fans. If you don’t have the fans’ support you’re not going to have anything. Thank goodness that we are blessed that the fans have really supported us, so much so that we’ve been able to continue to do what we’ve always wanted to do – be ourselves, make music and play shows.

 

Rock Confidential: How involved is each member in the songwriting process and how does it differ from previous writing sessions?

 

Scott Rockenfield: That’s a great question! I have a great answer! That’s exactly why we’re excited and there’s all this enthusiasm behind the new album. We’re finally…let me back up. Unfortunately, over the course of the past, many records that we’ve done hasn’t been a complete ‘band’ effort. We’ve run into a lot of conflicts of musical tastes or directions that we should take. I think the band has suffered because of it. It was something that wasn’t always done with the music always in mind. That’s why a lot of this has transpired and turned into what it did and we had to move on. Our goal has always been for Queensryche to this particular type of band. One thing we wanted to do was to revisit what that was and that to us is what made Queensryche – our classic material. Why were we so excited then? Let’s find that ‘excitement’ again. We wanted to do that for a while but we haven’t been able to do that. We weren’t ‘allowed’ to do that is probably a better way to put it. In a nutshell that’s what we’re doing. So to answer your question, all five of us – Michael, Parker, Eddie, Todd and I are all writing the material. It’s a huge collective effort. We’re all playing the material and then with “Jimbo” in the fold as our producer and engineer – he’s like the sixth member of the band. The chemistry level is huge and that’s something that we haven’t had in a while. I think that’s what the fans are excited about and the anticipation is so high. Having said that—it’s a hell of a lot of pressure! Whatever, we’ll get through it! (laughs) We’re having a lot of fun. Last week in the studio was really a lot of fun.

 

Rock Confidential: How would you describe the direction that you’re going with the new music and album? Progressive, contemporary rock influences, ‘classic’ era Queensryche? Or perhaps none of the above?

 

Scott Rockenfield: That’s a great selection of choices that you’ve given me to pick: A,B, or C. I think the best way for me to describe it is that it’s in a ‘progressive/hard rock’ direction. “Jimbo” described it really well when we were in the studio last week. We were immersed in it really working hard and brainstorming; driving the ship home so to speak. He said, “I think you guys have combined your first five records into what you’re doing now.” So that’s from our EP all the way through Promised Land, which coincidentally was the last record that we worked on with “Jimbo.” So I think if you stuck all of those records into a musical blender and you’d get an idea of what the music we’re working right now sounds like. There are elements from all of those records that have made it on to the new music. I think that’s a good way to describe it. We have wanted to revisit this great history of ours that we just haven’t been able to do for a while. We have great lyric content, great songs, great melodies and great performances by us; the song crafters and mechanics behind it all. I could go on forever about it because I’m so excited about it. I could play it for you right now on my speakers but afterward I’d have to kill you! (laughs).

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UNIVERSAL TO RELEASE DELUXE EDITIONS OF RUSH’S LANDMARK RECORDING “2112”

Rush2112-300In time for 21/12 celebrations, on December 18th, 2012, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release the Deluxe Editions of Rush’s 1976 platinum-selling, landmark album 2112 in three different configurations: 2112: Deluxe Edition (CD/DVD and CD/Blu-Ray) and a special Super Deluxe Edition (CD/Blu-Ray/Hardbound book case).

 

The deluxe editions contain a CD/DVD or CD/Blu-Ray material including the remastered 2112 CD with three live bonus tracks and a DVD or Blu-ray™ disc with a 5.1 surround sound audio mix and an interactive digital comic book, a new album cover by original album designer Hugh Syme, liner notes and unpublished photos. The super deluxe contains the CD/Blu-Ray and is meticulously assembled in a hardbound bookcase packed with a 40-page comic book representing every song on 2112.

 

Originally released in 1976, Rush’s epic, landmark release 2112 was their creative and commercial breakthrough as well as one of the band’s most highly regarded releases among both fans and critics alike. With lyrics written by Neil Peart, and influenced by author Ayn Rand, 2112 kicks off with the ambitious seven-suite title track (side one), set in a futuristic world run by the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx who regulate “every single facet of every life,” which includes books, music, work and play. 2112 conveys the story of humanity’s instinctual, inner need for one’s free will.

 

After the mythological journey through 2112, side two brings you back to the present and continues with five stand-alone tracks. From hard-rocking tracks such as A Passage to Bangkok,Lessons, and a trip to into the fourth dimension with The Twilight Zone, to the album’s soaring conclusion, Something For Nothing, 2112 is the album that ushered in the next stage in their continuing evolution as artists.

 

2112: Deluxe Editions (DVD Version and Blu-Ray Version):

 

*2 Disc: CD + DVD Audio/Video

*2 Disc: CD + Blu-Ray

 

Expanded artwork, liner notes, lyrics and unreleased photos by original album designer Hugh Syme. Brand new liner notes by David Fricke, Rolling Stone.

CD – Digitally remastered plus 3 unreleased bonus live tracks:

 

– Overture (Northland Coliseum, Edmonton, AB – June 25th, 1981)

– The Temples of Syrinx (Northland Coliseum, Edmonton, AB – June 25th, 1981)

– A Passage To Bangkok (Manchester Apollo, Manchester, England – June 17th, 1980)

 

DVD Audio/Video And Blu-Ray Contain:

 

– Digital Comic Book – experience the comic book formatted for widescreen televisions during playback of the album.

-Photo Gallery – unreleased photos and handwritten lyrics by Neil Peart.

 

-DVD Audio/Video Specs:

 

-5.1 Surround Sound mix by Richard Chycki in PCM (DVD-Audio players) and 48kHz / 24-bit Dolby Digital (DVD-Video players)

– 96kHz / 24-bit PCM Stereo (DVD-Audio players) and 48kHz / 24-bit Dolby Digital Stereo (DVD-Video players)

 

-Blu-Ray Specs:

 

-5.1 Surround Sound mix by Richard Chycki in 96kHz / 24-bit PCM and DTS-HD Master Audio

– 96kHz / 24-bit PCM Stereo

 

2112: Super Deluxe Edition:

 

2 Disc: CD + BLU-RAY version contained in hardbound book case.

Housed in a hardbound book with a 40 page comic book by story artist Tom Hodges (Star Wars The Clone Wars, The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horrors #17) and a 24 page book with expanded artwork, liner notes, lyrics and unreleased photos. New liner notes written by David Fricke, Rolling Stone.

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ROCK N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2013: RUSH & HEART IN, DEEP PURPLE OUT

rush400pixPhil Gallo of Billboard reports:

 

After more than a decade of irate rants and enthusiastic lobbying from fans, Rush is finally a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 

The Canadian trio will be inducted into the hall on April 18th along with Heart, singer-songwriter-pianist Randy Newman, rap group Public Enemy, the late disco queen Donna Summer and blues guitarist Albert King. Label executive and music impresario Lou Adler and producer-arranger-composer Quincy Jones are headed as Ahmet Ertegun Award — aka non-performer — honorees.

 

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, inducted with the hall’s last class, announced the awards Dec. 11th at the Nokia Theater where the induction ceremony will be held next year. It is the first time in 20 years since the festivities have been held in L.A.; it will again be open to the public and aired on HBO on May 18th.

 

This year’s class represents the first time fans have been allowed to participate in the selection process and it’s little surprise that Rush is the big winner. More than any other act’s fan base — with the possible exception of KISS — Rush fans have created online petitions, Facebook pages and websites to push for the band’s induction. Lifeson told Billboard earlier this year that the slight has been mitigated by that dedication.

 

“I know for me, and I would say it’s true of all of us, we felt that you’ve got to enjoy every moment that you’re out there doing this. It’s a privilege to be able to play music, especially for your whole life,” Lifeson explained. “And it’s an even greater privilege to have such a fantastic audience who’s willing to support you and listen to what you’re doing and become so passionate, like Rush fans always become. You know, it’s really, really something special and it’s never lost on us.”

 

Generally speaking, the hall has overlooked bands from the prog-rock era, inducting only Genesis in 2010. This is the first ballot Rush has appeared on.

 

Public Enemy, in its first year of eligibility, becomes the fourth rap act to enter the hall, following Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys. The New York rap group debuted on record in 1987 with Yo! Bum Rush the Show and followed it up with the landmark It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Voted the best album of 1988 in the Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll of critics, it peaked at No. 42 on the Billboard 200.

 

Heart, which appeared on the ballot for the first time last year, has had a particularly active year. Ann and Nancy Wilson published a joint biography,Kicking and Screaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll; released a new album, Fanatic; and maintained an active touring schedule that continues from January through March, in the U.S. and Canada.

 

Summer, who died in May, gets in on the sixth time her name appeared on the ballot. King, whose single-string, bent-note approach to the electric guitar was a significant influence on Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, is best known for Born Under a Bad Sign from 1967. Newman, whose debut was released in 1968, wrote uniquely caustic and insightful pop songs in the ’60s and ’70s before devoting most of his time to film work.

 

Nominees who did not make the cut this year include the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, the Meters and N.W.A. There was some belief among voting insiders that the presence of two rap groups — from opposite coasts — would split the votes and neither would get in. While the album widely acknowledged as their debut, Straight Outta Compton, came out in 1988, a compilation of their singles was issued a year earlier making them eligible for the class of 2013.

 

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CONTRARY TO REPORTS, AEROSMITH’S JOE PERRY INSISTS THAT THE BAND IS GETTING ALONG “BETTER THAN EVER”

 

When asked about the recent reports in the New York Post’s Page Six column stating that the band was not getting along, among other negative claims, Perry joked, “It must have been a slow news week.”

 

The guitarist continued, “We were wondering, ‘Who’s saying this?’ and ‘Why are they saying this?’ It’s totally wrong and irrelevant. The least they could have done was get [the facts] right…[The people they quoted] haven’t have anything to do with the band in 10 or 12 years. The band is getting along better than ever. We were thinking about [releasing a statement], but then why even validate it by even answering?”

 

Perry added, “No matter what goes on [behind the scenes]. We do everything and put aside everything for the fans. We give everything up for the audience.”

 

Perry stated that after Aerosmith wrap up their current tour dates with Cheap Trick in December, the guitarist plans on continuing to work on his book and doing some “solo stuff.” He added that Aerosmith hopes to hit road again this summer.

 

Remaining dates on Aerosmith’s Global Warming tour are as follows:

 

November:

 

20, Madison Square Garden New York, NY

23 Revel Ovation Hall Atlantic City, NJ

25 Nationwide Arena Columbus, OH

27 Air Canada Centre Toronto, ON, Canada

 

December:

 

1 MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas, NV

3 Staples Center Los Angeles, CA

6 New Orleans Arena New Orleans, LA

9 BT&T Center Fort Lauderdale, FL

11 Tampa Bay Times Forum Tampa, FL

13 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN

 

Aerosmith’s new album Music From Another Dimension! was released on November 6th through Columbia Records. The album debuted at Number 5 on the Billboard 200.

 

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BON JOVI ANNOUNCE US TOUR DATES

As Bon Jovi gears up for a monumental year, the all-American rock icons have announced the first set of U.S. dates, taking them from coast to coast on their Bon Jovi Because We Can–The Tour.

 

The tour will begin in Uncasville, CT on February 9th, treating fans to one night-only performances in U.S. arenas nationwide, plus multiple stadium shows including a two night stand at MetLife Stadium in the band’s home state of New Jersey.

 

Ensuring that there is truly something for every fan, Bon Jovi is offering a wide range of ticket options, starting at $19.50 (plus service charges). Tickets will go on sale in select markets beginning Friday, November 30th.

 

Overwhelming demand for the band’s previously announced Canadian dates has already led to second shows in Montreal and Toronto, and Bon Jovi has plenty more in store. The band will expand their current tour schedule with additional North American dates including Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA; Ford Field in Detroit, MI, and many more. The current tour itinerary is listed below, with further details to come. View U.S. tour announcement video below.

 

The tour, promoted by AEG Live in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., will debut brand new songs from Bon Jovi’s upcoming album What About Now, to be released in Spring 2013, loading even more ammunition into the band’s huge arsenal of hits. The group’s return to the road in 2013 will launch the latest chapter in an ongoing blockbuster run which has already secured Bon Jovi’s status as the essential live rock band – having performed more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries for more than 35 million fans.Bon JoviI Because We Can–The Tour will make its way across the globe with dates in Europe, the Far East, Africa, Latin America and Australia.

 

For for up-to-date information, please visit www.BonJovi.com. #BecauseWeCan.

 

Bon JoviI Because We Can–The Tour dates:

 

February:

 

9 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
10 Washington DC Verizon Center
21 Pittsburgh, PA CONSOL Energy Center
27 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena

 

March:

 

1 Tampa, FL Tampa Bay Times Forum
2 Sunrise, FL BB&T Center
5 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena
6 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
9 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
10 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
13 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
14 Louisville, KY KFC Yum! Center
16 Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Arena

 

April:

 

7 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
10 Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
11 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
13 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
14 Des Moines, IA Wells Fargo Arena
16 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
17 Salt Lake City, UT EnergySolutions Arena
19 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
20 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
23 Glendale, AZ obing.com Arena
25 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion at San Jose

 

July:

 

12 Chicago, IL Soldier Field
24 E Rutherford, NJ MetLife Stadium
25 E Rutherford, NJ MetLife Stadium

 

The tour will also hit the following cities, with additional details to come:

 

Memphis, TN
Milwaukee, WI
Philadelphia, PA
Portland, OR
Raleigh, NC
San Antonio, TX
Seattle, WA
State College, PA
Vancouver, BC

 

 

 

 

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LED ZEPPELIN GUITARIST SAYS REUNION TOUR NEVER HAPPENED BECAUSE ROBERT PLANT “WAS BUSY”

Andy Greene of Rolling Stone reports:

 

It turns out that Led Zeppelin fans weren’t alone in thinking the group’s 2007 triumphant reunion concert at London’s O2 Arena would lead to a tour. “Some of us thought we would be continuing, that there were going to be more concerts in the not-too-distant-future,” Jimmy Page tells Rolling Stone Senior Writer David Fricke in the new issue, on stands November 23rd. “Because there was a lot of work being put into the show.”

 

Ultimately, Robert Plant had no interest in carrying on. “He was busy,” says Page. “He was doing his Alison Krauss project. I wasn’t fully aware it was going to be launched at the same time. So what do you do in a situation like that? I’d been working with the other two guys for the percentage of the rehearsals at the O2. We were connecting well. The weakness was that none of us sang.”

 

With Plant out of the picture, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and drummer Jason Bonham continued rehearsing together in early 2008. “We didn’t do any professional recording,” says Page. “We just had a little digital recorder. I thought it was good. I wasn’t going to away from it. But the weakness came up again. It was, ‘We gotta have a singer.'”

 

The idea of a tour was considered, but Plant refuses to divulge the full list of singers who jammed with the group. Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy has publicly acknowledged rehearsing with the group, and Page doesn’t deny that. “It sounded premature,” he says. “I could see what way it was going. Various people thought we should go on tour. I thought we needed a good, credible album, not do something that sounded like we were trying to milk the O2.”

 

Steven Tyler has also said he flew to England to jam with the band. “The timing wasn’t the best,” says Page. “We had put so much toward the O2. And the three of us were catching up with stuff. It was very good, seriously promising. But there was this other thing going on. [Pauses] And that’s it.”

 

In related news, Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day, which captured that show on film, is available for purchase at ledzeppelin.com. Watch a clip of the band performing Black Dog below.

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