Metal Express Radio recently conducted an interview with Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) about THE WINERY DOGS, the power trio featuring Portnoy, legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH) and Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON). You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
THE WINERY DOGS' self-titled debut album sold around 10,200 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on July 23 via Loud & Proud Records and in Japan on May 15 via Victor Entertainment, the CD was mixed by Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, ADRENALINE MOB, STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER. Sheehan previously stated about the effort: "I'm really pleased with it. Richie sang his ass off and played amazingly unique stuff, and, of course, Mike annihilated on drums. [It's a] really cool, unique record."
"In all of my years in this business, I've always been part of either a progressive band or a metal band," said Portnoy. "This is the first time I've been in an all-original band that's just a rock band in the vein of LED ZEPPELIN or VAN HALEN."
He added: "It's so refreshing to just play straight-ahead music with lots of twists. Obviously, the musicianship is great in this band, but it's very song-oriented."
Regarding how THE WINERY DOGS got its name, Portnoy said: "It was Richie's name. We had a list of about 50 names. I had about 10 that I preferred over THE WINERY DOGS, but you know, when you're in a band, you have to give and take and choose your battles, and Richie really, really loved this band name. So, you know, it was, like, 'OK.' A name is a name. If you feel that strongly about it, then go for it. So that's who we are."