RICHIE KOTZEN On Recording An Album With ADRIAN SMITH - "I'm A Massive IRON MAIDEN Fan; I'm Very Honoured To Be In This Situation"
April 7, 2021, a week ago
Smith/Kotzen, the exciting partnership between guitarists & vocalists Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) and Richie Kotzen (solo artist, Winery Dogs, Mr Big, Poison), recently released their self-titled debut album via BMG. Kotzen spoke with Radio Forrest about the record, being an Iron Maiden fan, how he records multiple instruments when making a solo record, not playing with a pick, and if he's talked to the guys from Poison after getting kicked out in 1993.
Kotzen: "I'm a massive Iron Maiden fan. When I was a kid I had two T-shirts I would wear to school: one was Iron Maiden -Number Of The Beast and the other was a Black Sabbath shirt. The first hard rock concert I saw was Piece Of Mind; I don't remember what year that was, but I was probably 13 years old. Fast forward to now... to hold an album in my hand and see the letters 'SK' and our names, it's pretty surreal. It's very cool and I'm very honoured to be in this situation right now."
Recorded on 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 highly respected musicians who co-wrote all the songs and also share lead vocals and trade off on guitar and bass duties throughout the record.
Exploding with powerful melodies & harmonies, the album embodies the spirited attitude of 70’s classic rock with a melting-pot of influences ranging from blues, hard rock, traditional R&B and more, blending the pair’s backgrounds and life experiences to result in a thoroughly contemporary sound.
The record features special guest performances by Adrian’s fellow Iron Maiden bandmate Nicko McBrain on drums for the track “Solar Fire”, and Richie’s longstanding friend and touring partner Tal Bergman on 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 couple of years ago. We’d been jamming as we’d been friends for a few years before that. We both share a love for classic rock and bluesy rock so we decided to get together and start writing some songs and it went from there. Pretty much everything on the album is handled between Richie and myself including the production. We had developed a really strong idea of how we wanted it to sound and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. There’s a lot of cool songs on there that we are really happy with.”
Richie adds: “We had a very fluid process in writing. Sometimes Adrian would send me a riff and I would immediately hear some kind of melody or a vocal idea. And sometimes it was the other way round so it was a kind of circular motion. We’d get together whenever we could and throw some ideas around and it just evolved, which was great because there was no pressure and nothing other than just a natural course and I think the record really speaks for that.”
The album is available in these formats:
- Digipack CD
- 12” black vinyl with embossed sleeve
- Digital (streaming and download)
- Limited edition 12” red & black smoke effect colored vinyl
Order at this location.
"Taking My Chances"
"You Don’t Know Me"
"I Wanna Stay"
"Running" lyric video:
“Taking My Chances” video: