Posts Tagged “Drummer Mike Portnoy”

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Dream Theater: proggy style

Many longtime Dream Theater fans feared the worst when iconic drummer Mike Portnoy left the fold in 2010. The rather suitably titled A Dramatic Turn Of Events followed a year later, introducing Mike Mangini to the prog metal world and kickstarting the most significant new chapter in the band’s entire history. With Mangini now firmly embedded within the Dream Theater collective, the prog legends’ new, self-titled album has arrived, promising more direct involvement from their new sticksman and a breathtakingly bold addition to their legacy as true innovators of progressive, forward-thinking music. Check it out via Roadrunner.

In a whole different universe comes the blinding new album from London smashers, TRC. While 2011 debut Bright Lights was a definitive highlight of the UK’s fast rising hardcore scene, Nation is a monstrous collection of thunderous groove metal riffs, endless hooks and a star turn from frontman Chris Robson, whose lyrical prowess has grown immeasurably. If you want to see rap metal done right, this is your next album right here. Grab it now via SOAR/Century Media.

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Fan-filmed video footage of THE WINERY DOGS‘ September 15 headlining concert La Maroquinerie in Paris, France can be seen below.

THE WINERY DOGS is 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).

The band’s 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 told Voice Of America. “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.”

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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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Helena Rosendahl of Ghost Cult Magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ghost Cult Magazine: Your first release featuring new drummer Mike Mangini from its inception, truly his “right of passage” into the band, what has been your collective intention with the album?

LaBrie: Well, I think that as a band what we realized is that with “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, leading up to that album, one of the original members left [referring to ex-drummer Mike Portnoy], and then we did the auditioning. We found a guy that we knew from the very start was going to fit like a glove, and I think from that point it was a matter of us doing what we do. Let’s write a great album; this is really necessary. But Mike Mangini wasn’t involved in that writing process for “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, but granted he came in and he came in and still did a phenomenal job when it did come down to him doing his tracks. I’ve known Mike Mangini for over fourteen years, he played drums on three of my solo albums; first two MULLMUZZLER albums and “Elements Of Persuasion”. So I’ve known him for quite some time. And so I also knew that he’s the man.

Ghost Cult Magazine: Is that because you had that “working relationship” already in place?

LaBrie: Yeah, just because I love his personality; he’s one of the easiest guys to get along with, you know, he has such a great attitude. He’s a phenomenal drummer; the best, I feel, on the planet and I don’t think I’m alone on that one. I think what really helped was we had an entire world tour (“A Dramatic Tour Of Events”). When you’re out on the road, that’s when the true colors of someone really starts to show themselves and not only that, you get much more in tune with, no pun intended, the musician and you understand how he works, he reacts, he interacts, and I think that by the time we went in to start thinking about what we wanted to bring this album, he was fully on board. We knew that it was just going to be a phenomenal ride with him — which it was. He showed up from the very first day that we started writing and he was ready. At the same time, what was really great about him was he’s very respectful, like he understood, you know, that “these guys have been doing this for 20 years plus, they’ve got a chemistry going on here so, you know, I’m gonna sit back but at the same time I’m also going to be involved and really enthused,” which he was. That wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t done fifteen months out on the road with us, so that was a crucial step. So moving right to that point, now usually what we do is we discuss where we think we want to go or what we think is necessary or what we’d like to see be included within this album, the next musical journey.

Ghost Cult Magazine: I understand that you once again recorded your vocals separately with engineer Richard Chycki in Canada. Why do you prefer this approach?

LaBrie: I don’t like anyone to be around when I record my vocals. It’s the same with John Petrucci when he’s doing his solos or tracking his rhythm guitars; he doesn’t want anybody around. That’s just the way that I work best. I work where it’s just me and the engineer. It’s my interpretation, it’s my bringing, conveying what I feel it emotionally says to me. If anyone else is in the studio, I find it to be a distraction. So yeah, Richard Chycki and I have a huge history; we’ve known each other for 25 years. We were in a band in the ’80s together called WINTER ROSE and so we have a great connection and a great chemistry with one another. And the thing is that Rich, he knows me probably just as much as the guys in DREAM THEATER as a vocalist. He knows how I like to work, he knows how I like to really be patient in the way that I find the voice that is right for that particular section, and it’s just worked wonderfully for the last two albums under those those principles. What’s funny is that I worked under those principles the first few DREAM THEATER albums and then we started bringing in John and Mike [Portnoy] and if I could go back, it would’ve been, “Let’s not ruin a good thing here, let’s keep like I know I can work my best.” Not that I’m ashamed of, or I feel that I didn’t do something vocally there that I shouldn’t have, but it’s just that I know that this is the best way to work.

Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult Magazine.

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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 by Terrie Carr for the latest edition of “Box Of Rock” on WDHA-FM 105.5 FM, the rock music station licensed to Dover and Morristown, New Jersey. 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.

“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 told Voice Of America. “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.”

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On September 3, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release “Live In Tokyo” by PORTNOY SHEEHAN MACALPINE SHERINIAN on DVD, Blu-ray, 2CD and digital audio and video formats.

“Live In Tokyo” was filmed/recorded on November 14, 2012 at Zepp Tokyo. This 95-minute concert is the first release of material from the PSMS supergroup, and it showcases a wide range of instrumental performances from each of the members’ careers and collaborations (moved up from a later paragraph). Wider fanbases of DREAM THEATER, MR. BIG and BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION will definitely stand up and take notice.

Drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, THE WINERY DOGS, TRANSATLANTIC), bassist Billy Sheehan (TALAS, MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH), guitarist Tony MacAlpine and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION, DREAM THEATER, BILLY IDOL) brought their collective strengths to Japan this past fall. The result was a 16-track deep cornucopia of the members’ individual highlights. The group unleashed a fierce storm of sonic musicianship on songs such as “Shy Boy” from Sheehan‘s band TALAS, MacAlpine‘s “The Stranger”, Sherinian‘s “Apocalypse 1470 B.C.” and DREAM THEATER‘s “A Change Of Seasons: The Crimson Sunrise”. The DVD and Blu-ray also offer an exclusive peek at this production with a behind-the-scenes featurette.

“Live In Tokyo” track listing:

01. A Change Of Seasons: I The Crimson Sunrise (DREAM THEATER song)
02. Acid Rain (LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT song)
03. The Stranger (TONY MACALPINE song)
04. Stratus (BILLY COBHAM song)
05. Atlantis, Part 1: Apocalypse 1470 B.C. (DEREK SHERINIAN song)
06. Tony MacAlpine Guitar Solo
07. Been Here Before (DEREK SHERINIAN song)
08. Birds Of Prey (Billy’s Boogie) / Billy Sheehan solo
09. The Farandole (TALAS song)
10. The Pump (JEFF BECK song)
11. Mike Portnoy Drum Intro
12. Nightmare Cinema (DEREK SHERINIAN song)
13. Hell’s Kitchen (DREAM THEATER song)
14. Derek Sherinian Keyboard Solo
15. Lines In The Sand (DREAM THEATER song) (abridged)
16. Shy Boy (TALAS song) (Billy Sheehan on lead vocals)

A performance clip of “Birds Of Prey (Billy’s Boogie)”, taken from “Live In Tokyo”, can be seen below.

In an interview with Prog Sphere, Portnoy stated about the new band, “It’s a blast. I love Derek; he’s a fun guy. I still stand by the fact that I’m not sure if he was ever right for DREAM THEATER. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t love the guy as a player and person. I really do — I love being with him and I love playing with him and I’m glad to be able to work with him again. And, you know, it’s a cool project because obviously it’s very much… I think of everything I’m doing it’s the most like DREAM THEATER or it’s more even like LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, probably. But you know, it’s just me being able to play that kind of music with some amazing musicians. Not only Derek, but, obviously, Billy Sheehan‘s a dear friend and I’ve got two different things going with Billy at the moment, and I love working with him; he’s one of my favorite bass players of all time. And Tony MacAlpine is an amazing guitar player, so I’m honored to be playing with him as well.”

Portnoy formed the lineup to perfom at two drum events at the NAMM show in January 2012. Due to overwhelming response, that band has decided to take their show on the road.





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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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