Guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen says that he "would love to" make a third studio album with THE WINERY DOGS, his power trio with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) and legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH).
The longtime solo artist addressed the possibility of fresh material from THE WINERY DOGS while filming a new video message on Cameo, which lets users hire celebrities to record brief, personalized video messages about virtually any topic.
Asked if THE WINERY DOGS are going to release new music, Kotzen said (see video below): "Hopefully. I know we'd like to. But I think everybody got a little sidetracked, a little derailed, a little taken off course, so to speak. Personally, I kind of took this time to just sort of take a break away from music. I just did a 50-song album, and I recorded another record with a friend of mine that's supposed to come out sometime next year. So, personally, I'm just taking a step back. I've been very busy with music, so I'm kind of staying out of the studio for a hot minute. But, yes, the answer is I would love to make a third WINERY DOGS record. It's just a matter of when. I think we thought about writing some stuff this year, and, like I said, we got a little sidetracked. So, hopefully sooner than later."
Kotzen was also asked what it is like to "play with drum god Mike Portnoy." He responded: "Man, it's everything you would imagine. He's a fantastic player. He always has great concepts in his playing — a very conceptual player, and exciting, inspirational. As a soloist, it's fun to feed off of a drummer that kind of plays off the things that you do, so we're able to get into some nice jams. So, it's fantastic playing with Mike. And Billy, of course, who I've played with for many, many, many years. I've known Billy since I was 19 years old. So it's a fantastic rhythm section. Being a part of THE WINERY DOGS has been excellent, and I look forward to doing more work with them."
This past January, Portnoy told Sonic Perspectives that THE WINERY DOGS' 2019 tour was done "just for the fun of it — just for no other reason than to play together again, because it had been a few years. I think it reignited our love for each other, and I think it showed us that there's still so many fans out there that love this band," he explained. "It reignited our desire to make another record, so I think as soon as we can, we will."
Kotzen's 22nd solo album, "50 For 50" is now available via his own custom label, Headroom-Inc. The three-disc collection is just what the title implies: a collection of 50 previously unreleased compositions produced, performed and written by Kotzen in honor of his birthday. It's the follow-up to his critically acclaimed "Salting Earth" album, which was released in April 2017 via Headroom-Inc.
Portnoy and Sheehan spent much of the first three months of 2020 on the road with SONS OF APOLLO, which has been touring in support of its second album, "MMXX".