Posts Tagged “David Lee”

Rocker Eddie Van Halen and his wife, Janie Liszewski, were interviewed by ScreenSlam as they arrived for Esquire‘s 80th anniversary and Esquire Network launch celebration on September 17 at Highline Stages in New York. Check out the footage below.

VAN HALEN backed out of 31 North American dates last year, citing exhaustion, and then Eddie Van Halen was sidelined for four-to-six months after undergoing surgery for the inflammatory intestinal affliction diverticulitis.

VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth gave an interview earlier in the year to Rolling Stone in which he expressed his desire to work on fresh material with Eddie Van Halen and tour outside the U.S., saying, “We have an audience and we have a potential future in many, many places . . . I don’t know where the VAN HALEN future lies aside from the States.”

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Dee Haley of BackstageAxxess.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON) about THE WINERY DOGS, his new power trio with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) and legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

BackstageAxxess.com: The three of you as musicians don’t seem to have boundaries when it comes to your playing styles; you really seem to work well together. The first song, “Elevate”, does seem to have a MR. BIG-ish sound and you have worked with Billy Sheehan before. How did the dynamics of THE WINERY DOGS differ from, say, MR. BIG or the other bands that you have been in?

Richie: The dynamics between me and Billy have always been kind of consistent. We did the MR. BIG thing together and there was a period of time when Billy and Pat Torpey and I were working together with thoughts of maybe doing a project but that never happened. They ended up playing on one of my solo records. Billy and I connected again and I took him with me to Japan when I had the opportunity to open for THE ROLLING STONES. Billy and I have a lot of history, and not just playing together, we like each other and we’re friends. It’s a good vibe there, so to work with him is easy. He knows how to communicate with me and I know how to communicate with him and we get it done. With THE WINERY DOGS record, it was an interesting process in writing, it was kind of two separate formulas really at play. The first thing was half the record was written in such a way that we would literally get in a room and just jam ideas, whether it started from a bass riff that Billy had or a guitar riff that I had or a drum beat. We would just kind of mess around and end up with these little skeletons of songs where you have a verse and a chorus, or a chord, maybe a bridge or solo section and that sort of thing. We recorded all of those in a very quick way. Nothing that was done proper; just a couple microphones and get it going. Those guys went on the road for a while with another project they had so I kind of laid back and threw around some melody ideas and lyric ideas and I pretty much finished those songs. Some of those songs were “Time Machine” and one called “Criminal”, but there’s a bunch of them that we did that way. I would record some vocals and send them off and they would make comments on them. We like that or we don’t like that, can we keep this, can we keep that. That was kind of how a lot of the record was written. The rest of the songs were songs that really I brought in towards the end. Songs like “Regret” or “Damaged” or “I’m No Angel”, even “Elevate”. Those were songs that I had originally had demoed in my studio. I remember there was a couple of days that I was kind of pulling up songs and said hey, what do you think about this? Do you want to make it into a WINERY DOGS song? So the ones that ended up on the record were the ones that I had mentioned and then together we sat down and fine tuned those and made them into a little more fitting in with what THE WINERY DOGS are about. That was really the process. We ended up with 14 songs, but unfortunately, we had to save one for a bonus track in Japan and the other for a bonus track in the U.S. There are two different versions of the record floating around. So people who want to hear everything might have to do a little bit of research to get all of the material but when you come see us live you will hear all 14 songs.

BackstageAxxess.com: What was the timeline in creating this record? I know you had done an acoustic tour before this came out.

Richie: That tour was already booked and in the works prior to the completion of THE WINERY DOGS record so that was already something I knew I was going to be doing. As far as the actual timeline, we had gotten together and Mike Portnoy was the one who really has this engraved in his head, but to my memory, we got together the initial time and we came up with maybe 4 or 5 ideas and I remember going back and finishing the songs, putting vocals on and sending off what I did to the guys, I think I finished 2 of them. We got together again and came up with another batch and at some point we demoed these songs and I went in and sang on these demos and came up with whatever melodies I wanted to sing and lyric ideas. There was one of them that Mike did lyrics on; he demoed it. So then we had maybe 7 or 8 of these songs that existed and we got together at that point to try to start cutting the record. In that process is where I played some of the songs I had laying around and presented them and they became WINERY DOGS songs as well, which were songs I mentioned earlier. In the end, we had 14 songs to cut drums to so we did all that in about two weeks and they took off. I went in and did guitars and vocals. They came back and finetuned everything. They did background vocals, percussion, a couple little lyric tweaks here and there. We sent it off to Jay Ruston to get mixed and we ended up with our record.

BackstageAxxess.com: You had mentioned you had some of the songs. Did you have the music to the songs or the lyrics too? Did you write them together?

Richie: “Regret” and “Damaged”. I have a demo of “Damaged” and it really sounds like a disco song. I have to dig it up one day and put it on a B side. “I’m No Angel” was done, although it was called “Misfortune” and we changed the title. “Elevate” was done in the sense that the chorus existed with the lyrics and the melody and so did the verse, but in two different songs. Originally, that riff and that verse I had in another song with a whole other chorus. It was Mike who decided to put that verse with the chorus that you hear now. When we did that idea, when we put them together, there was a key issue; the verse and the chorus, they sounded weird at first. I remember Billy and I spent a lot of time on that song reconfiguring the bass line and the guitar to make it a smooth transit and that’s how that song came to be. “We Are One” was a song that I had the music to all written out and I had the melodies, but the chord progression was different so Billy and I ended up rewriting that as well. There was a lot of skeletons we dealt with and threw some meat on them. There were some that were finished. The ones that were the most finished would be “Damaged”, “Regret” and “I’m No Angel” as far as the ones I brought in. The other ones were in different stages of work.

Read the entire interview at BackstageAxxess.com.

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Voice Of America recently conducted an interview with Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) about THE WINERY DOGS, the power trio featuring Portnoy, legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON). You can now listen to the report using the audio player below.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER.

“Bands like [LED] ZEPPELIN and THE WHO, THE [ROLLING] STONES, and THE BEATLES, CREAM, and [Jimi] Hendrix. I mean, I grew up with that stuff,” Portnoy said. “And, although I’ve been able to pay tribute to it throughout my career with tribute bands and things like that, I’ve never been in an all-original band that was kind of playing classic rock power trio stuff. That’s how I describe this band: just a straight-up rock band.”

Regarding the songwriting process for THE WINERY DOGS‘ album, Portnoy said: “In all cases, the music was the very first element and from there, Richie would start melodies on top of it. Sometimes the final lyrics were there, coming up on the spot, and other times he would take the melodies and write lyrics later. There were a couple of examples of Richie having something and bringing it in. In those cases, like ‘Damaged’ and ‘Regret’, we just left them. Because in those two particular cases, the songs were great as they were.”

Portnoy was full of praise for his THE WINERY DOGS bandmates, telling Voice Of America: “Billy Sheehan is my favorite bass player on earth and he has been for almost 30 years now. So to work with him and make music with him for me is an honor. And Richie is someone I have the utmost respect for as an artist. I mean, he is just so underappreciated, not only as a guitarist, but as a singer and a writer as well. I think for me, the most exciting aspect of this band is for people to discover Richie that aren’t aware of what a musical genius he is.”

Interview (audio):

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Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press recently conducted an interview with legendary BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the band’s new album, “13”, topping sales charts across the globe:

Butler: “It’s just amazed us. We thought there’d be some interest in it. But never in our wildest dreams would we have expected it to go to No. 1. Around the world, all over the place, it’s doing well.”

On the original BLACK SABBATH lineup being considered the band’s most definitive incarnation:

Butler: “When you mention it to the average person, they’ll know BLACK SABBATH with Ozzy [Osbourne, vocals] in the band. That was our breakthrough (period) in the ’70s. People so often associate Ozzy with SABBATH, and SABBATH with Ozzy. It’s the same thing with a band like VAN HALEN — people like David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, but the classic lineup would be Dave.”

On producer Rick Rubin‘s contribution to the new album’s success:

Butler: “When we tried to do albums in the past, we all had different ideas of what it should be like, and it never ended up being successful. This is what we needed — we needed a producer. Rick Rubin had always made it known he wanted to be the first-choice producer if we all got back together.

“He wanted to go back to the old, basic sort of SABBATH sound — not a lot of overdubs, just a couple of guitar solos. You capture the feeling. With a lot of bands these days — and we have in the past — you’ll go put the drums down, the next day you put on the bass, then guitar. It doesn’t have the same feeling as being in the room together with Ozzy singing. That’s how we did the first three albums.”

On BLACK SABBATH‘s current touring drummer Tommy Clufetos, who has previously played with Osbourne, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie:

Butler: “Tommy‘s a real nice bloke to get on with as well. He’s a phenomenal drummer — he picks things up so quickly. It’s incredible the way he works. He’s really dedicated to the stuff he does.”

On original SABBATH drummer Bill Ward‘s absence from the “13” recording sessions and current tour:

Butler: “It would be great if Bill ever came back, it really would, if all the stars and planets were aligned. It would be a democratic decision, really. If Bill felt up to it, and played like he used to be able to play, we’d have welcomed him with open arms. But you have to maintain a certain standard. You can’t go on with someone not up to standard, no matter who they are.”

Read the entire interview at Detroit Free Press.

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DangerousGuitar.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON) about THE WINERY DOGS, his new power trio with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) and legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH). You can now watch the chat below.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER.

In a recent interview with Guitar World, Kotzen stated about where THE WINERY DOGS‘ name came from: “What’s funny is that in the collaboration of making this record, everything was easy and just happened so naturally. The hardest thing was actually coming up with a band name. [laughs]”

He continued: “I had suggested the name THE WINERY DOGS. They were dogs that were used many years ago to guard vineyards and keep stray animals from screwing up the vines. I thought that was cool because in a weird way, it parallels what we’re doing musically.

“Many artists these days have gotten more into programming and using samples. Even though some of those new records are cool and creative, they’re not necessarily made by musicians in the sense of what we know a musician is capable of doing on an instrument. So, where winery dogs are protecting the vineyard, we’re protecting (or promoting) the old-school thought of making a record by playing an instrument and not sampling or tuning your vocals.”

Regarding how the songs on “The Winery Dogs” came together, Kotzen said: ” The three of us got together at my studio and started throwing around some ideas. Then we ended up demoing a few of those arrangements, and after Mike and Billy left, I sat down with what we had recorded and came up with some lyrics and melodies and sent it back to them. The guys really liked them, so we decided to try a few more. We did that a few times and ended up developing those ideas into finished songs.”

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Metal Express Radio recently conducted an interview with Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) about THE WINERY DOGS, the power trio featuring Portnoy, legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON). You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

THE WINERY DOGS, the power trio featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB), legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON), was interviewed on this past Wednesday’s (August 14) edition of the nationally syndicated radio show “Rockline” with host Bob Coburn. You can now listen to the chat at RocklineRadio.com.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER. Sheehan previously stated about the effort: “I’m really pleased with it. Richie sang his ass off and played amazingly unique stuff, and, of course, Mike annihilated on drums. [It’s a] really cool, unique record.”

“In all of my years in this business, I’ve always been part of either a progressive band or a metal band,” said Portnoy. “This is the first time I’ve been in an all-original band that’s just a rock band in the vein of LED ZEPPELIN or VAN HALEN.”

He added: “It’s so refreshing to just play straight-ahead music with lots of twists. Obviously, the musicianship is great in this band, but it’s very song-oriented.”

Regarding how THE WINERY DOGS got its name, Portnoy said: “It was Richie‘s name. We had a list of about 50 names. I had about 10 that I preferred over THE WINERY DOGS, but you know, when you’re in a band, you have to give and take and choose your battles, and Richie really, really loved this band name. So, you know, it was, like, ‘OK.’ A name is a name. If you feel that strongly about it, then go for it. So that’s who we are.”

Interview (audio):

(Thanks: NJthrasher)

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THE WINERY DOGS, the power trio featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB), legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON), was interviewed on this past Wednesday’s (August 14) edition of the nationally syndicated radio show “Rockline” with host Bob Coburn. You can now listen to the chat at RocklineRadio.com.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER. Sheehan previously stated about the effort: “I’m really pleased with it. Richie sang his ass off and played amazingly unique stuff, and, of course, Mike annihilated on drums. [It’s a] really cool, unique record.”

“In all of my years in this business, I’ve always been part of either a progressive band or a metal band,” said Portnoy. “This is the first time I’ve been in an all-original band that’s just a rock band in the vein of LED ZEPPELIN or VAN HALEN.”

He added: “It’s so refreshing to just play straight-ahead music with lots of twists. Obviously, the musicianship is great in this band, but it’s very song-oriented.”

Regarding how THE WINERY DOGS got its name, Portnoy said: “It was Richie‘s name. We had a list of about 50 names. I had about 10 that I preferred over THE WINERY DOGS, but you know, when you’re in a band, you have to give and take and choose your battles, and Richie really, really loved this band name. So, you know, it was, like, ‘OK.’ A name is a name. If you feel that strongly about it, then go for it. So that’s who we are.”

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Valerie Bastien of VoiceYourselfGoes360.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON) about THE WINERY DOGS, his new power trio with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) and legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH). You can listen to the chat using the audio player below.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER. Sheehan previously stated about the effort: “I’m really pleased with it. Richie sang his ass off and played amazingly unique stuff, and, of course, Mike annihilated on drums. [It’s a] really cool, unique record.”

“In all of my years in this business, I’ve always been part of either a progressive band or a metal band,” said Portnoy. “This is the first time I’ve been in an all-original band that’s just a rock band in the vein of LED ZEPPELIN or VAN HALEN.”

He added: “It’s so refreshing to just play straight-ahead music with lots of twists. Obviously, the musicianship is great in this band, but it’s very song-oriented.”

Regarding how THE WINERY DOGS got its name, Portnoy said: “It was Richie‘s name. We had a list of about 50 names. I had about 10 that I preferred over THE WINERY DOGS, but you know, when you’re in a band, you have to give and take and choose your battles, and Richie really, really loved this band name. So, you know, it was, like, ‘OK.’ A name is a name. If you feel that strongly about it, then go for it. So that’s who we are.”

Inteview (audio):

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According to The Pulse Of Radio, Sammy Hagar says that nearly a decade after last performing with VAN HALEN, he’s happy to let his run in the band stay in the past. On September 24, Hagar releases his star-studded solo set, called “Sammy Hagar & Friends”. Among the high-profile guest performers and/or writers are Hagar‘s CHICKENFOOT bandmates Michael Anthony, Chad Smith, and Joe Satriani, along with Kid Rock, Ronnie Dunn, JOURNEY‘s Neal Schon, HEART‘s Nancy Wilson and various members of MONTROSE. The album will feature covers of BOB SEGER‘s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” and DEPECHE MODE‘s “Personal Jesus”.

Hagar spoke to Rolling Stone and when asked if he would ever consider dueting with former touring partner and fellow VAN HALEN frontman David Lee Roth, Hagar said, “It’s so hard! Because, probably, if he came to me, fuck yeah. I’ll do anything. But to go to him and put myself in that vulnerable position, I would get probably the wisest fucking crack that ever came out of his mouth. I don’t think Dave wants to sing with me. I don’t think Dave wants to be in the same room with me, to be honest with you. I don’t know if I intimidate him or if I piss him off or if he just flat don’t like me, or if he’s afraid of me. I don’t know what it is, but he and I do not get together. We tried. I gave it every shot I had on that tour. And I could care less. I mean, I’m totally over the guy.”

Hagar couldn’t let the VAN HALEN subject go, adding: “As a matter of fact, the whole idea of VAN HALEN — people ask me all the time, ‘What if Eddie [Van Halen] called you up and asked you to be back in that?’ I just hope he doesn’t do that. I’m so past it, and I’m so happy and proud of what we did, I wouldn’t want to tarnish it again like that ’04 tour. And now what they’re doing, acting like I was never in that band, just playing all that early material. . . How can they do that? But Dave can’t sing it, so what the fuck. It is what it is, and I’d just as soon let it be. Let them finish it off in their own way, and whatever happens, it’s all good. I would love to be friends with those guys. Michael Anthony is one of my dearest friends, and I don’t see why Ed and Al [Van Halen] shouldn’t be that, someday, in our lives. But until then, it’s all fine.”

For his new solo set, Sammy Hagar partially revived his early-’80s supergroup with JOURNEY‘s Neal Schon, with the addition of his CHICKENFOOT bandmates Michael Anthony and Chad Smith — a band which Hagar maintains is a force to be reckoned with. “That band is so good, that we got the first take on ‘Goin’ Down’ and we got the first take on ‘Personal Jesus’,” he said. “Y’know, we went ahead and took some more, but it was the first take that was fine that was the magic. When you’ve got musicians like that. . . We even wrote another song, I mean, we just jammed another song that coulda be another song instantly, [laughs] I was just out of time for, y’know, creating new songs. But that band right there, [laughs], which we’re calling HSAS, is capable of going in and recording an album in a week and going out on tour, like CHICKENFOOT and putting on a phenomenal show.”

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The “Out Of The Box” show, which airs on the New York classic rock station Q104.3, recently conducted an interview with THE WINERY DOGS, the power trio featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB), legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON). You can now watch video footae of the chat below.

THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER. Sheehan previously stated about the effort: “I’m really pleased with it. Richie sang his ass off and played amazingly unique stuff, and, of course, Mike annihilated on drums. [It’s a] really cool, unique record.”

“In all of my years in this business, I’ve always been part of either a progressive band or a metal band,” said Portnoy. “This is the first time I’ve been in an all-original band that’s just a rock band in the vein of LED ZEPPELIN or VAN HALEN.”

He added: “It’s so refreshing to just play straight-ahead music with lots of twists. Obviously, the musicianship is great in this band, but it’s very song-oriented.”

Regarding how THE WINERY DOGS got its name, Portnoy said: “It was Richie‘s name. We had a list of about 50 names. I had about 10 that I preferred over THE WINERY DOGS, but you know, when you’re in a band, you have to give and take and choose your battles, and Richie really, really loved this band name. So, you know, it was, like, ‘OK.’ A name is a name. If you feel that strongly about it, then go for it. So that’s who we are.”

THE WINERY DOGS will guest on the nationally syndicated radio show “Rockline” with host Bob Coburn on Wednesday, August 14 at 8:30 p.m. PT / 11:30 p.m. ET. Fans are encouraged to speak with THE WINERY DOGS by calling 1-800-344-ROCK (7625). The show will be streamed on the “Rockline” web site for two weeks beginning the afternoon after the live broadcast.

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