Posts Tagged “Richie Kotzen”

Some of rock’s biggest names have joined together in an auction to benefit famed music producer George Tutko (OZZY OSBOURNE, KISS, LITA FORD, PAT BENATAR, JOURNEY, ROD STEWART), who was recently diagnosed with cancer. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of rock ‘n’ roll history, and all proceeds will go to the George Tutko cancer fund to aid with his medical bills.

Up for auction is a Schecter Diamond Series guitar signed by:

* Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE)
* Bruce Kulick (KISS, GRAND FUNK RAILROAD)
* Vivian Campbell (DEF LEPPARD, WHITESNAKE, DIO)
* Rick Springfield
* Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE)
* Richie Kotzen (POISON, MR. BIG, THE WINERY DOGS)
* Micky Dolenz (THE MONKEES)
* Uli Jon Roth (SCORPIONS)
* Albert Lee (legendary blues guitarist)
* Kerry King (SLAYER)
* Carlos Cavazo (RATT, QUIET RIOT)
* GREAT WHITE (Mark Kendall, Audie Desbrow, Michael Lardie, Scotty Snyder, Terry Ilous)
* QUEENSRŸCHE (Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton, Parker Lundgren, Todd La Torre)

To bid, please go to this location.

Even if you can’t bid, you can still make a difference in someone’s life by sharing this post or making a donation of any size at YouCaring.com.

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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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Jeffrey Easton of Metal Exiles recently conducted an interview with Richie Kotzen of THE WINERY DOGS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Exiles: The three guys that make up THE WINERY DOGS is an amazing musician in his own right. How did you make room in the songs for each one of you to stretch out?

Richie Kotzen: That is the interesting thing with this record, is that nobody lost their identity. It could have been really easy to get into the studio and everybody starts fighting for space, and there is a few reasons why it worked out the way it did. One, it is a three-piece and I am comfortable in a three-piece; it’s all I ever do when I play with my band. I think Mike [Portnoy, drums] wanted to try something new, so let the cards fall where they may, so to speak. He is being Mike Portnoy, but he realizes that it’s a three-piece, so he is listening and understands we are playing off of each other and playing on a smaller kit as well. Billy [Sheehan, bass] and I have played with each other for years, so we knew how to play together. Also, I think it had a lot to do with the way the material was written. We have songs on there that were written out of jams, just sitting in a room together and all of the parts just locked together. There were a few songs that I had written previously that I thought would be good for THE WINERY DOGS, but even on those songs, it was pretty well mapped out what was going to happen. The third thing that tied it together is that we have been musicians for so long that you learn how to work with other people.

Metal Exiles: As musicians, you have had very diverse careers from each other. How did you make all of this diversity come together in the writing process?

Richie: For the blues-based thing, you have to find a common ground and for anybody that knows me knows I am not a blues guy by any stretch, but my influences, even though they were rooted in rock, were heavily blues-influenced. For me, this record was not a stretch stylistically, but when you compare the other guys and their influences, they all have the same influences; they are just getting it from another place. We can sit down and talk about 20 bands and there might be 10 that we completely disagree on, but then there are those that we can connect on like CREAM, LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO and the list goes on. So with me being the guitarist, singer and primary songwriter, in the end I am going to push us in that direction.

Metal Exiles: I know you have worked with Billy many times in the past but this was your first time with Mike Portnoy. Were there any growing pains in the studio while doing this record?

Richie: It went surprisingly smooth, and I honestly thought there would have been some hiccups here and there, but there weren’t. There were a few times where one of the guys was excited and trying to convey an idea and one of the other guys was trying to get his idea through, but that shit is normal in that environment. There were no problems; everybody gave the right amount of space. Those guys trust that I am the singer and guitar player, and although the door is open for ideas, eventually you have to let someone do their job. If I write a song, I am going to suggest a certain drumbeat because a song is written around a drumbeat, but it’s your job and I am not going to tell you how to do your job. I dont want to do that; I don’t want to tell you how to play because I do not want someone to dictate how I play.

Metal Exiles: The album is out and it did really well the first week. Do you think it did well because of the names on the album or the music itself or a combo?

Richie: I think it was combinations of that, but remember, they had plenty of time to hear the music because the record was out a month and a half in advance in Japan. People have followed the band on YouTube because we have three videos out and then you have the elements of the names, because they know who we are and they are curious. They want to know what we are going to do. Are we going to make a record where I can listen to the songs or is it going to be chaos? Let’s be honest, people were wondering what it was going to be like. In the end, when you hear the record, you say, “Cool, these guys made a musical record where you can hear some crazy playing but then you have songs you can listen to and remember.”

Read the entire interview at Metal Exiles.

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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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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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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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The free Pinball Rocks table now includes a whole new game soundtrack — featuring hits from THREE DAYS GRACE, RED, THE SWORD, QUEENSRŸCHE, THE VIRGINMARYS, FILTER, NORMA JEAN, FOR TODAY, ANVIL, KROKUS, LORDI and Richie Kotzen.

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The Winery Dogs, featuring rock veterans Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) and Richie Kotzen (Poison), have signed with Loud And Proud Records.

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Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE), Richie Kotzen (MR.

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Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE), Richie Kotzen (MR.

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