By John Thibault

Shockwaves: I notice you guys have a ton of websites out there.

Rockenfield: We have a couple hundred. Our official one, Queensryche.com, is the band's. All the others are done by whoever. We get, like, thirty-thousand hits a month.

Wilton: LA., New York, Chicago--where's the rock radio?

Rockenfield: It's gotten so confused. Thank God our fans know when we're coming to town sometimes, because even besides the fan clubs, the radio is not helping much these days. Not like it used to.

Wilton: It's so corporate. All the radio stations are owned by big companies. DJ's don't have any say. They have meetings, kind of like at this table right here, and they say, "This is what you're gonna play."

Rockenfield: We get apologies from people in radio saying, "I'd love to play it, but my hands are tied."

Shockwaves: They have to make room for Britney Spears.

Wilton: Literally.

Rockenfield: God loves Britney.

Wilton: So does Dow Corning.

Shockwaves: How's [new guitarist/producer] Kelly Gray working out?

Rockenfield: Well, actually, Kelly, he comes from way back. He's an old school buddy of mine, so I've known him for that long. He played in bands with a couple of us prior to Queensryche. We had picked him to produce the next Queensryche record before Chris [De Garmo] left the band. During the tour, we wanted to work with Kelly because of his recent production credits. So he was slated to produce the next Queensryche record, then when we got off the road, Chris came in and dumped the big one on us that he was taking off. So he left, and it was soon thereafter that we're chatting with Kelly about how to proceed with guitar players. He's thinking we're looking for his input on who he knows that we could get to fill [Chris's] shoes. Meanwhile, we're just staring at him. He's a great player. He jumped in and we started working together January of '98 and about a month later we had the songs done. And we spent the whole year writing and recording at his house.

Wilton: He hadn't played guitar in, like, eight years. He looked like he had arthritis; he couldn't play any of the songs. And after about six months he started getting his chops back, and now he's happening.

Rockenfield: He works great. He translates the old stuff really well. He fills the shoes fine and obviously plays the new stuff great, and he's a funny guy to hang out with.

Wilton: He hasn't been on the road for twenty years, so he's partying.

Shockwaves: Must be nice to have new blood in the band. No bands live the rock and roll life any more.

Wilton: We live it vicariously through Kelly.

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