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), will reconvene this month to begin work on its sophomore album, to be made available later in the year. A world tour will follow the new CD’s release.
Kotzen was asked by GetYourRockOut whether he felt any pressure trying to follow up the success of THE WINERY DOGS‘ self-titled debut album as the group prepares to begin work on its sophomore CD. “Personally, no,” Richie said. “With music, I’m one of those people that, like… I don’t think about anything other that doing what feels right to me. I mean, I probably could have put myself in situations where a lot more people would know about me, but I don’t, because I don’t wanna play music that I don’t wanna play. I learned that in the past. And so either, personally, I’ll play music that I wanna play, that I believe in, or I won’t play music at all. And I’ve done that; that’s me. And I think the other guys [in THE WINERY DOGS], I won’t speak for them, but making a record with them, and knowing them as well as I do now, I don’t think THE WINERY DOGS would make a record that the three of us would put out that we all didn’t love.
“Once you start looking at music like a math equation and you start making choices that are outside the realm of creativity, you put yourself in a situation for a lot of emotional failure. And when you are there, then the music is meaningless and everything suffers and then things fall apart. So, I think, whatever we do, we’ll do what feels natural and what the three of us can get behind. Even in the decision-making process, if I make a suggestion and one of the other guys loves it, but the other guy doesn’t, we don’t do it. We don’t move unless all three of us agree to move. And then that way, once you’re in a position, at least you know all three of us decided to go here; it’s not like we were drug here by… you know what I’m trying to say?! By someone that didn’t wanna go there.”
Asked if THE WINERY DOGS will make a conscious effort to create a second album that will be stylistically similar to the debut, Richie said: “I don’t think in those terms. We’re gonna write what we we’re gonna write. We’re gonna get in a room and we’re gonna do what we did last time. Mike‘s gonna play a drum beat, I’m gonna sing a chorus idea and Billy‘s gonna play a bass thing, and we’re gonna jam on it and manipulate it and write to it. And it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be, because, like I said, music isn’t math to me; music is something that you feel, that comes from creativity.
“As someone that writes lyrics, I personally need to take a break. I feel like writing music is output, so you’re constantly putting things out. You’ve gotta have input, and so to have input, you’ve gotta separate yourself and get away from it. So we’re gonna do this last tour, and then we’re gonna take a break, and then we’re gonna reconvene. In that break, we’re gonna do some other things, do a little living, live a little bit, and come back and we’ll be fresh, and then we’ll be able to write.”