In a brand new interview with Myglobalmind, guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen was once again asked about the status of THE WINERY DOGS, his power trio with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) and legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, TALAS, DAVID LEE ROTH). He replied: "[There is] nothing [planned] at the moment, I don't foresee anything happening for a couple of years.
"It's an interesting thing, with THE WINERY DOGS I wasn't looking to join a band for the rest of my life," he continued. "My idea was to take a break from being Richie Kotzen and do something more collaborative. I thought it would be fun to do the first WINERY DOGS CD and tour to some key market shows and that would be the end of it. We ended up getting a great response and toured for over a year. People loved the CD so much that we got back in the studio to do the second one.
"For me, it's time to come home and do what I've always done. I have been making Richie Kotzen records since I was 18; it's a source of survival, sanity, art, and everything you want to call it. I know the other guys have something very exciting in the works which people will love. It may fill a WINERY DOGS void."
Kotzen added: "I'm not saying it's over; you never know in a couple of years from now we may get back together and do something. What I am saying is THE WINERY DOGS are the furthest thing from my mind right now with a new [solo] CD coming out."
THE WINERY DOGS last year completed a tour in support of its second album, "Hot Streak", which was released in October 2015 in North America via Loud & Proud Records.
"Hot Streak" debuted at No. 30 on The Billboard 200 chart, having shifted 13,000 equivalent album units in the week ending October 8, 2015.
THE WINERY DOGS' May 27, 2016 performance at Teatro Cariola in Santiago, Chile was professionally filmed and recorded for an upcoming DVD and Blu-ray, tentatively due later in the year.
Sheehan told HNGN that THE WINERY DOGS was always committed to being more than just a one-off collaboration. "When we started working on the first record, the idea was that if we're going to do this we should do a band, and if we do a band, it should be a real band and we should plan this out for many years and look forward to our sixth record and all of that. And I was totally into that, because as a fan — and I'm a big fan of a lot of music and I've got a huge iTunes collection — I invest emotionally when I get into a record or a band. They become part of me; music is the most important thing in my life, so when I find a new band I like, in a way I'm invested emotionally, and I'm sure other fans do the same thing, and I know how heartbroken I am when a band puts out a record and then they don't tour or they put out a second record and they have a different guy in the band or I found out later that they all hate each other. It breaks my heart. [Laughs] A lot of bands I found out later that they hated each other, they had separate tour buses, they didn't talk to each other, and here I was thinking they're all friends and happy and when I listen to their music I imagine them all hanging out together and having a good time. So right from the beginning we said if we're going to do it we should do it for real. Because if people are going to invest in us, we don't want to scam them and let them think it's something that it's not — it's either really a band and we're really doing this or it would just be another side project, and none of us wanted that."
Kotzen's new solo album, "Salting Earth", will be released on April 14 via his own custom label, Headroom-Inc.
Photo credit: Julia Lage