Nightcrawler: (Rockett) Queen For A Day

Rockett Queen

The Crawler talks with up-and-comers Rockett Queen during Palladium stop; Bottle Rockets pull double duty at Iron Horse

There are so many entry points when it comes to interviewing Rockett Queen frontman Walter Lee. His band’s hit single “The Next Big Thing” was featured in the film John Tucker Must Die. They’re big in Japan. And, after getting tapped to open for Creed’s Scott Stapp more than a year ago, he had the proverbial cord yanked courtesy of said singer’s highly-publicized breakdown. That tour finally got back on track this month — including recent stops at Hartford’s Webster Theater and Worcester’s Palladium. But despite all this, the Crawler decided to come out Guns — and Roses — blazing.

Crawler: Hey Walter, nice to talk with you. “Rockett Queen” — great G’N’R tune! I imagine you are big fans and psyched for this reunion.

WL: We are fans, and yes, very psyched about that. As for the name, the truth is, we were formed back when there was no incarnation of Guns N’ Roses out there. In fact, that was part of the reason for us doing it. It seemed like no one was doing straight up, big time rock and we wanted a name where people would instantly know what to expect. Of course, now the original Guns — or at least several of them — are getting back together, which is great for rock n’ roll in general and us as fans, personally.

Crawler: And you are so right about the decline of the big “rawk” shows we got to see as kids. I recently reviewed Mötley Crüe and bought tickets so my kids could see them the second time around. I wanted them to experience power chords through a Marshall coupled with pyro, cherry pickers and the smell of gunpowder wafting in the air because I don’t know who else will be doing it and for how long.

WL: Absolutely. The funny thing is, you know who actually has the budget for some of the production? Country music.

Crawler: That’s true. I remember seeing some crazy Garth Brooks stuff years ago and that he was inspired — and a fan of — KISS. One of our own homegrown talents, Aaron Lewis of Staind, is also having a great “second act” to his career in country.

WL: That’s right. I don’t know too much about him other than I do like everything I heard and he certainly appears the real deal.

Crawler: Speaking of rock stars and appearances, it appears that, after a year of working on some personal issues, Scott Stapp has resurfaced and your tour is finally happening.

WL: Yeah man. You know, it happens. We all have our inner demons. But this was a deal put together by some mutual contacts we had. We were psyched to get word we would be involved, and disappointed when it was put off. But he’s 100 percent now, it’s back on and the timing worked out perfect for us, so here we go.

Crawler: That’s great news, particularly the 100 percent part.

WL: By everything I have seen and heard, yes. It really all comes down to supports, and he has great people around him now, you know?

Crawler: I do know. In fact, if you ever have time for an interesting experiment, you can watch Scott Weiland deteriorate nightly on YouTube during his last tour. Then you’ll find two or three seemingly random, pretty solid performances thrown in. Then you cross reference that with his social media, and you’ll see those show dates directly line up with days he is pictured with his wife and other family and friends.

WL: That’s crazy. Weiland, yeah, that one hit really hard for me. Like I say, man, everyone has those demons. But I’m telling you, Scott Stapp’s in a good place and excited to spread our music to the masses. Don’t count rock out just yet!

Stay tuned next week for info on the Valley’s very own Rock Is Not Dead concert at Maximum Capacity Feb. 6.

Last up, since this edition is apparently Rocket-fueled, St. Louis’ own Bottle Rocket will pull double duty at Noho’s Iron Horse this Sunday, Jan. 31. They’ll start with their own set proper in support of their recently released 12th studio effort South Broadway Athletic Club. Then they’ll step back to support celebrated songwriter Marshall Crenshaw, serving as backing band for his headlining set. Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.•

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email

Gary Carra

Author: Gary Carra

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