In a brand new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, Richie Kotzen was asked for his thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic happening right now and how so many shows and festivals are being canceled because of it. He responded (hear audio below): "I don't quite understand it. I don't quite understand why there's this kind of crazy pandemonium around it, because… What did they say? The latest news is that 24 people died [in the U.S.] with the coronavirus, but all of them had other ailments, so it's not much different than someone already being sick and a flu kind of taking them down — it turns into pneumonia or what have you. I'm not a scientist, I'm not a doctor, but for some reason with this, it seems like there's way more of a crazy panic around this thing that I don't quite understand. I remember in the '90s, I had a lot of friends that died from AIDS, and I don't remember this much panic then. I don't quite get it. I don't wanna undermine it, but it just seems kind of strange — it seems very strange.
"I would imagine some of these people that are canceling concerts, I would say it's probably not because the people putting on the concert are worried about getting sick," he continued. "I think there's other elements at play. Especially if you're in another country — like, Italy now is under quarantine, from what I heard — so if you're in another country and suddenly you can't leave or you can't come home or you get stuck on a cruise ship, I think that's the real thing. And they're talking now, I heard somewhere, that any event over a thousand people, they're not going to have those kinds of events, and that happened out somewhere in California — that was implemented. Everywhere around it seems like complete — I hate to say that it seems like a massive overreaction, but when you look at numbers and past viruses, or whatever you wanna call it, this seems a little strange to me. But I'm not a scientist, and I don't know. I have no idea."
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.