Adrian Smith – better known as the guitarist for Iron Maiden, and Richie Kotzen – The Winery Dogs, are two unlikely bedfellows.
One comes from a rock machine and the other from heavy metal royalty but both share one major thing in common.
They are both masters of their craft.
Their debut album, Smith/Kotzen is due out on March 26 with Kotzen sitting down with HEAVY to chat about the album.
“Adrian and I have been friends for quite some time,” he began, “and I would be the first to admit that my memory isn’t photographic (laughs) but I recall us meeting about 10 years ago – give or take a year – and we hit it off, our wives became friends, so whenever Adrian would come into town we would go out for dinner and hang out and we started getting into this thing where we had little jam sessions. He’s got a room here in his LA house all set up with guitars and amplifiers and a little PA system and electronic drumset so we would always find ourselves at some point in that room messing around and playing songs. One of these times somebody said you guys should try and write a song together – I believe it was Adrian’s wife Natalie – and so we thought yeah, let’s try it. We got together and threw around some ideas and the first thing that I remember us messing around with was what became the song “Running”. From that point after that experience of working on that and taking the riff and working on the chorus and we turned it into a song I thought there might be something here, I like the idea of trying to pursue this and that’s where it started. It was all very innocent. I think what really made it work was the fact that we knew each other for so long and were already comfortable with each other. We weren’t going in there with anything to prove or I wasn’t trying to show him how well I can play the bass or how well I can do this or that and the same thing with him. We kinda knew each other; we knew our tastes and what we had to say musically and so it fell together really nice.”
In the full interview, Richie talks more about the album and the songs on it, playing with Adrian, producing his own work, the dynamics between the two of them and how they chose their respective guitar and vocal parts, the possibility of Smith/Kotzen live shows, who they might use live, what else he has been up to musically and more.
Watch “Taking My Chances” below: