Scott Rockenfield (Queensrÿche)

Scott! Thanks for coming by here. I'm getting yet another opportunity to check off one of my “goal interviews” on this site. I love this job! I think I've seen you play 3 times or so and every time I'm blown away by how solid of a drummer you are.

AF: You've been in the business for a long time. I believe you guys started in the early 80's right? Since then…for better or for worse, what has been the biggest adjustment for you as this industry changes?

SR: Our goal from the beginning was always to just make music that we enjoyed and to not allow ourselves to be swayed by anything within the industry, and so even now that is what we still live by. Most things we try and adjust to relate to how we deliver our music. The internet has offered us a HUGE vehicle to expand and promote our goods.

AF: I think that's the most serious question I've ever asked on this site! (laughs) Anyway...Since the beginning of your career, you've had some really cool drumkits. Does any of them stand out to you as favorites or anything? I really like the kit you used in the “Eyes of a Stranger” video off Operation: Mindcrime. It had such a dark industrial feel to it. But there again, all your kits have a sort of “vibe” to them.

SR: Yeah my kits have become somewhat of a style for me. My first kit in the early 80's had my chain cymbal stand idea incorporated and to this day they are now back! (laughs) I always strive to be different!

AF: That you do! Now your new kits feature your drum wraps which is a really cool idea by the way. Where did this idea originally spawn?

SR: Being that I have always worked on my kits as kind of like art pieces, about 10 years ago I decided it was time to create a method of actually being able to change the finish of the drums themselves. RockenWraps custom drum finishing was born from this idea.

AF: I really love the idea and got an opportunity to check them out face to face at the NAMM show a month ago where you and I spoke a bit. You really have come up with an amazing product!

SR: Thank you! We have some really great designs being offered and have some very talented artists from around the world who now supply us with unique artwork. We recently just finished Joey Jordison's wraps for the up and coming 2008 SLIPNOT world tour, and they came out looking fantastic!

AF: How much time do you spend during any given day taking care of RockenWraps business compared to your usual business with Queensrÿche?

SR: QR is somewhat of a well oiled machine, so fortunately I have enough time to work on my duties with RockenWraps and also to be able to expand my goal of becoming more involved with film scoring. I recently finished scroing an entire full length feature horror film being released early 2008. Tentative title is Albino Farm. I am also starting to get more offers to do more scoring this year. Gonna need more hours in the day! (laughs)

AF: So you're touring currently. This is a variation of a standard question, what's your favorite restaurant to frequent while on the road? I usually ask what's your favorite, IHOP or Wafflehouse but its a new year so time to change it up a bit.

SR: I pride myself on staying as fit and healthy as possible and my family tries our best to eat only organic foods. That being said, if I have my choice, I would pick a good sushi restaurant any day of the week!

AF: Okay so how about your favorite late-night tourbus snack?

SR: Organic trail mix.

AF: Other favorite foods?

SR: Indian...

AF: Speaking of touring, here's a fun question. If you could put together any tour package of your choice with bands (dead or alive) to tour with Queensrÿche, who would be on that bill?

SR: I have always wanted to play on the same stage as Pink Floyd. Keeping my fingers crossed! (laughs)

AF: I think you named every musicians dream! (laughs) Another touring related question. When you're out on tour, what are some of your essentials you MUST bring? I.e. iPod, favorite movies, etc.

SR: My phone to keep in contact with my wife and kids is the most important. However, my iPod is essential, as well as a good movie collection. But my most important items are my laptop recording studio I bring all around the world with me .It gives me time to continue to work on new music.

AF: Ah speaking of movies, what would you say is your favorite?

SR: If i had to pick one that has always inspired me, it would have to be The Fifth Element.

AF: Great movie. What about you favorite music that you're listening to right now?

SR: My listening tastes for many years have been in film scores. My iPod if full of all sorts of old and new film scores...keeps my mind fresh! One of my current favorites is James Newton Howard's score for "I Am Legend."

AF: That's awesome! I'm a huge fan of film scores. My iPod has tons of scores from Hitchcock films like North by Northwest to scores by Hans Zimmer (personal favorite), Rolfe Kent (a new favorite), and of course John Williams among others but, I digress.

AF: When you're not on tour or in the studio, how do you like to spend your free time?

SR: Spending as much time as I can with my wife and kids. The are my complete INSPIRATION!!

AF: Family, now that's what its about my friend. Speaking of which, my brother John was the one responsible for turning me on to a lot of bands growing up, Queensrÿche being one of them back in the 90's. So I thought I'd let him pass on a few questions in as well. These next four are from him.

JF: What factors do you consider when putting your parts into a song?

SR: I really depends on the song. I have the luxury of owning my own recording studio and so I can really take the time I need to sink into each song we are working on.
JF: How as your approach to percussion evolved since the first days of Queensrÿche?
SR: I have always been excited about percussion and it has been a part of my approach in QR since the beginning. I suppose the biggest evolution I have been able to enjoy is all the new "tools" available for me to experiment with.

JF: Over the years you have likely had many labels applied to you. Which ones do you see that seem to fit the least and why?

SR: I suppose I would consider ALL "labels" inappropriate for QR. Our goal is to just do what we do. We really don't care about that stuff...

AF: I knew my brother could only keep it serious for so long...his final question is...
JF: Since you've got married and had children, have you been compelled to buy a minivan?

SR: Oh yeah, I used to have a mini-van. (laughs)

AF: Give us one random fact about yourself.

SR: I only have ONE small tattoo on my left hand.

AF: What is your biggest touring pet-peeve?
SR: Back lighting. I want my FRONT to be lit so I can see my fingers!

AF: Who are you listening to right that you'd recommend to others?
SR: Bach Prelude no. 15 BWV 860
"Like Always" by The Association
"This Will Be Our Year" by The Zombies
"When Your Light's Turned On" by The Hollies
"Complain" by King's X
"I Wanna Go Where the People Go" by The Wildhearts

AF: You have an instructional DVD entitled "Get Out of My Yard"; how do you prepare and choose what you want to include on a DVD like that?

SR: I just tried to choose the most interesting guitar parts from each song of the "Get Out of My Yard" CD. And I wanted to include some overall advice on different techniques, especially picking.
SR: Being nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998 for scoring my first ever film.

AF: Wow. Congrats. That's quite the accomplishment! What other goals do you still want to achieve in your career or with RockenWraps for that matter?

SR: The goals and achievements are still many to come. I would absolutely LOVE to get more offers of scoring for feature films. Writing orchestral arrangements has become such a huge part of my time. Other than that, as I explained earlier, I want to travel the "BucketDrums" around the globe and spread the joy of drums to all!

AF: What a great goal man. Scott, thanks again for taking time out of your schedule to do an interview. It goes greatly appreciated! Cheers…

SR: Pleasure is all mine!