The progressive rock giants talk dartboards, weddings, cruises, and hint at what’s coming in the future of Queensryche!

A few weeks ago, NRR caught up with founding Queensryche members Scott Rockenfield and Eddie Jackson in Las Vegas, NV during their tour stop in Sin City.

NRR: So I wanted to ask you, you’re touring is zig zagging all over, why is that?
SR: It’s the “Dartboard Tour” wherever that dart lands, that’s where we’ll go. In a couple of weeks we’ll be back in Michigan for two days.
EJ: Yeah, we’re in Michigan like all year long!
NRR: I know! I saw that. So do you love Michigan or what?
SR: Michigan loves us! And we love it back.
NRR: I’m from there actually.
SR: It’s been really funny this year. It’s been like six or seven shows there.
EJ: Yeah over the last year. I’m a big Michigan Wolverine fan. That’s in Ann Arbor right?
NRR: Yeah,  I don’t know…I went to UNLV!
SR: The funny thing is that for us to get to Michigan from Seattle it’s like an all day ordeal. It takes a couple flights…you’ve got to transfer, that kind of thing.
NRR: And aren’t you also going to North Wales really soon?
SR: That’s gonna be a little bit of a jaunt!
EJ: Going there in November, yeah.
NRR: So is it more difficult to not be touring on a traditional type of tour?
EJ: It can be. It’s just a lot of logistics involved, but you’ve got to organize a few things in a short amount of time.
NRR: I like that though…”The Dartboard Tour”.
SR: They’re fun, but it’s certainly a different type of work. Planes, trains, and automobiles..that kind of stuff. And a couple of boats. We throw in a few boats.
EJ: Kayaks.
SR: Hot air balloons…
NRR: So how is crowd engagement now that the band is rekindled?
EJ: Awesome. Very receptive.
NRR: Well we already know how Michigan feels!
SR: So far they keep asking us back. But, no it’s good. Fantastic. The last couple of years with Todd it’s been amazing. Long story short: it’s been amazing.
EJ: It’s nice the transition, once we made that transition of bringing in LT into the group, it was kinda slow ya know? Um, but it’s been great so far.
NRR: Chemistry is good?
EJ: Yeah. It’s awesome.
SR: It’s hard to complain.
NRR: And you’re working on a new album? Where are you recording that?
SR: Ummmm….
NRR: Oh, you’re not allowed to tell us?
EJ: Ah, Yeah…TBD?
SR: That’s yet to be answered. We’re not at that point in the actual…in the studio recording. It’s an ongoing process. We’ve been writing lots of material. We’re going to hit the studio sometime really soon.
NRR: Does the whole band live in Seattle?
EJ: No our singer lives in Florida.
SR: Yeah, the new guy still lives in Florida!
NRR: So he hasn’t made it up North yet…
SR: Well, you know, it’s just a short jaunt for him.
NRR: You can always meet in Vegas.
SR: God forbid!
NRR: On another note, you’re doing the Monsters of Rock Cruise. Are you excited about that?
EJ: We’ve done a couple of them already.
SR: This is actually cruise number seven for us. We’ve done stuff years ago when we started. We’ve done the Monsters thing a couple of times, we’ve done other cruises…the Cruise to the Edge last year. That was a lot of fun. We’ve done cruises in Sweden, like the Sweden Rock Cruise. It’s very interesting.
NRR: So you like them?
SR: We love them. We’ve gotten used to it.
EJ: You know the fans are crazy out there. You’re out in the middle of the ocean (just the bands and the fans).
NRR: So do you have a lot of fan interaction then?
EJ: Yes. There is no escape. You are out there and you’re walking around the cruise with everybody else. It’s nice though ya know? You can pack light because you’re there for business and you’re there for vacation. So speedos and a guitar that’s all you need.
SR: That’s about it.
NRR: Are the fans usually pretty respectful or are you just bombarded the whole time?
EJ: Eh, you know, every once in a while you’ll come across a couple fans like that, but for the most part they respect everyone. They know that you want to go out and have a good time too. If you want your privacy you just go to your cabin. But if you want to get something to eat you’re right out there with everyone else. Every once in a while you’ll get someone coming up to ask you for an autograph or something, but for the most part they understand that when you’re eating, when you’re spending time with family, they’ll give you your space. Then when you’re alone…
SR: Like when you’re at the bar…
EJ: It’s game time!
SR: We’ve been really lucky. Listen, like with the Monsters Cruise that’s coming up next April, we’re going to know half the people on the boat.
EJ: Yeah.
SR: And we have known them for over 30 years. We have some pretty dedicated fans. Some lifers. They’ve just been friends of ours forever.
EJ: And the other bands as well. There’s some great bands on there.
SR: Yeah, half the boat’s full of bands and we know them all. It really is kind of a fun thing.
NRR: Scott, I also wanted to ask you about your drum kit. It’s been a little scaled down.
SR: Like as of tonight?
NRR: Not tonight, but just in general. Is that just because you need to move it on the Dartboard Tour or is it just something you wanted to do?
SR: That’s probably the best answer. You got it right on the mark. You know the last couple of years we’ve done a lot of the dartboard flying around to try to cover as many places that we have been, but also a lot of places that we haven’t been and we’ve approached things a lot differently so it’s been a lot of the one-offs flying and to do that you have to kinda do it the most feasible way possible. However, as we move into this new record, that we’re working on now, and then into next year, when it gets released…and you look at the bigger picture of the only Queensryche in the world now, and we’re gonna be going out and doing the huge deal. That’s when everything gets huge…if you get my drift.
NRR: Absolutely.
SR: Bigger will certainly be better.
NRR: You’re amping up for that?
EJ: Oh absolutely. Yep.
SR: I’m saving up all my pennies to make that as cool as possible.
EJ: We’re very excited ya know?
NRR: Yeah! To be the only Queensryche.
SR: And that’s an exciting point in life right now for us. So it’s been kind of a big deal.
NRR: That’s great! So, outside of Queensryche do you have any side projects going on?
SR: Ya know, all of us are a work in progress. We all do a massive amount of different things. It’s a lot of fun. It’s so hard to define everything, but yes. I think we all do many different things.
NRR: It’s kind of the M.O. now. Seems like everybody has a kind of side project going on.
EJ: It’s just broadening your horizon. It’s still part of what you do. But we’re all kind of busy doing not only just Queensryche, but other things as well.
SR: It’s a busy calendar, the Queensryche calendar. But, there’s definitely time to do other things. That’s a whole other interview in itself! That’s a deep answer…and we can certainly do that at some point.
NRR: So what’s your take on Gene Simmons comment that “Rock is Dead”. I’m sure you’ve heard that right?
SR: No!
NRR: Oh for real?
SR: Gene said “Rock is Dead?”
NRR: Yeah, this was like a few weeks ago.
SR: Wow. From Gene Simmons?! I’m sure he’s getting bombarded. He did it on purpose. He loves publicity. But, we love Gene. We’ve known him forever and he’s been a huge supporter from day one of us to be honest.
NRR: How do you feel about it?
SR: Well he’s in a rock band! But, maybe, listen…Gene’s a smart guy. So he must have had a reason why he said what he did.
EJ: Personally, it’s alive and active still. There’s still a lot of hard rock bands out there touring, releasing albums…so you know radio format, and the whole industry has changed over the last decade. Our means of, almost all the bands means of income, is touring. So that’s why you might see a lot of older bands that would live off of their publishing back in the day, now those older bands from the fifties and sixties they’re touring as well as the rest of us.
NRR: Which is good for fans.
EJ: Absolutely.
SR: I think it’s fun that Gene made that comment. That’s right. It causes us to talk about it. It’s time for people to talk about something. I would start that conversation. Listen…it’s a sold out show tonight. It must mean a lot of people are coming to see a band that plays rock music. They certainly know why they’re here. It’s gonna be loud rock and roll. So we’ll keep going.
NRR: Have you ever played here before? (Eastside Cannery, Las Vegas, NV)
EJ: No. It’s our first time here.
NRR: Well I’ve seen lots of fans in their Queensryche shirts walking around all day.
SR: We’ve got lots of fun people that love to come and see us.
NRR: For sure. You’ve got lots of hardcore fans. I’m bringing a friend tonight as her wedding gift because you’re her favorite band ever.
EJ: I just did a wedding last night!
NRR: What?!
EJ: I attended a wedding last night for a couple of Queensryche fans that actually met at a Queensryche concert a few years ago and they tied the knot last night and I just so happened be the witness. I signed the license.
NRR: Oh they have to be so excited!
EJ: That was kinda fun, ya know?
NRR: Anything else you want to throw out there?
EJ: Thank you all Queensryche fans for your support. We’ll see you on tour!

Photo credit: Mick McDonald

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About The Author

Originating from Michigan, Kelly is currently residing in Las Vegas, NV. Her passion for music began at a Motley Crüe show, and since then has attended hundreds of shows, met many musicians along the way, and has continued her drive to keep rock music in the limelight. Her experiences contribute to her success as a book reviewer for Vegas Rocks Magazine and as one of the Assistant Editors for the NRR.

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