Jimmy Kay of The Metal Voice in Canada recently sat down with Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison, The Winery Dogs), who is promoting the debut album of his collaboration project with Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden. Smith / Kotzen, will release their self-titled debut album on March 26, 2021 via BMG.
On how the two met and the idea that they are working together:
“I first met Natalie, his wife, and that’s how I met Adrian. We were out one night to meet a friend and my friend spoke to him and said that I was playing music. guitar, then she said her husband played guitar in a band. Then she (Natalie) said he was Adrian Smith in Iron Maiden and I was all excited because I’m a huge fan of Maiden. C was one of my first gigs as a kid. I saw them in Pennsylvania on the Piece Of Mind tour. Natalie and Adrian were having those holiday parties in LA not too far from home and we would have those meetings and there was a room where the guitars and amps were and it would become a jam session. Lately Natalie has been like, “You and Adrian should try writing something together. “We got together, one thing led to another and we thought we were going to make a record.”
On the musical direction of the album:
“It reminds me of one of those classic rock albums that I would have had back then. I would play my Ozzy record and my Scorpions record and then play it. It kind of takes me back to a time when people were making records and actually playing real instruments and rock albums on guitar. Classic rock but a little heavier and blues. “
About playing Iron Maiden tunes during concerts:
“That’s a good question and something to think about because we only have nine songs on the album. I imagine we would play the whole album, maybe add a couple of covers. Then maybe we’ll do one of Adrian’s songs from Maiden, maybe pick one of my songs from one of my records? That’s something we need to think about. “
“Running” is the third single from Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen’s highly anticipated debut album Smith / Kotzen. The track is released worldwide via BMG. Watch a lyric video below.
Adrian says of the song, “It’s kind of a really cool driving track, one of the heaviest on the album and we’re excited to release it before the album comes out. We’ve both been delighted with the reaction to our music so far and can’t wait to see each other again as soon as possible, to write more songs together.
Richie adds, “’Running’ was the first song Adrian and I worked on. Adrian came up with that heavy verse riff that got me talking about what lives like our chorus in the songwriting. Running is surely one of my top three favorites on the Smith / Kotzen album and I can’t wait to play this one live ”.
“In addition to the duo who co-write, co-produce and share the guitars and vocals, Richie also plays bass and drums on the track.
With the previous two singles “Taking My Chances” and “Scars” having been enthusiastically received by fans and media alike, “Running” is the perfect final choice ahead of the eponymous album’s release on March 26 to showcase the amazing diversity of talents and musicals. diversity between this unique couple of two of the most respected rock artists.
Recorded in the Turks & Caicos Islands in February 2020, produced by Richie and Adrian and mixed by Kevin “Caveman” Shirley, this nine-track opus is a consummate collaboration between these two well-respected musicians who co-wrote all the songs and also share lead vocals and discuss guitar and bass tasks throughout the record.
Bursting with powerful melodies and harmonies, the album embodies the fiery attitude of classic 70s rock with a melting pot of influences ranging from blues, hard rock, traditional R&B and more, mixing backgrounds and experiences. life of the couple to give a resolutely contemporary sound.
The record features special guest performances by Nicko McBrain, fellow bandmate of Adrian’s Iron Maiden on drums for the track “Solar Fire,” and Richie’s longtime friend and touring partner Tal Bergman at the drums for “You Don’t Know Me”, “I Wanna Stay”. and “’Til Tomorrow,” with Richie picking up the sticks on the other five songs.
Adrian comments: “Richie and I started working together a few years ago. We had jammed because we had been friends for a few years before. We both share a love for classic rock and blues rock so we decided to get together and start writing a few songs and off we went from there. Almost everything on the album is handled between Richie and me, including production. We had developed a very specific idea of how we wanted this to sound and I am very happy with the result. There are a lot of cool songs out there that we’re really happy with.
Richie adds, “We had a very smooth writing process. Sometimes Adrian would send me a riff and I would immediately hear some sort of melody or a vocal idea. And sometimes it was the other way around so it was kind of a circular motion. We would get together whenever we could and throw in a few ideas and it just evolved which was great because there was no pressure and nothing but a natural course and I think the record speaks for it. really.
The album will be available in these formats:
– 12 “black vinyl with embossed sleeve
– Digital (streaming and downloading)
– Limited edition 12 “red and black smoke effect vinyl
Pre-orders can be placed now here.
List of tracks:
“Take my chances”
“Road to Glory”
“You do not know me”
“I want to stay”
” See you tomorrow “
“Take my chances” video: