In a brand new interview with Sonic Perspectives, guitarist/vocalist Richie Kotzen was asked about the status of 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). He said: "We did a North American tour last year and had a great time. While on tour, we talked about getting together periodically in 2020 at each other's homes and throw some ideas around, to see what we walk out of there with. Once we know we have some interesting ideas which are above and beyond the last two records, then we can talk timing and put something out. Assuming all of that comes together, it's possible that in 2021 we can see some new music coming from the band."
Kotzen also talked about the fact that THE WINERY DOGS' sophomore album, 2015's "Hot Streak", was voted guitar album of the decade and whether there is any pressure on him and his bandmates to outdo it on the next LP. "No, because I already did that CD and look what it did," he said. "You know what is really funny, and I hope it doesn't read the wrong way, the beauty of this stuff is that it happened and it exists. THE WINERY DOGS made the first CD, and people responded nicely. 'Hot Streak' exists, and people celebrated it with the award you mentioned. So it already happened, I'm not going to live in the past and try to recreate that. It would be insane. I'm moving on and forward. As it relates to my solo career, I have been making records since 1989; this is technically my 22nd solo record, but there are ten others with THE WINERY DOGS, WILSON HAWK, FORTY DEUCE, Greg Howe, and many others. I have made a lot of records and put a lot of music out. Having done this CD, '50 For 50', I don't need to run back into the studio any time to soon to worry about making music. If I have an idea for a song, and I'm sure I will, I'll record it and proudly share it with people. To answer your question, I don't feel any pressure to win any competitions on the guitar."
Last month, 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 April 14, 2017 via Headroom-Inc.
Portnoy and Sheehan will spend much of the first half of 2020 on the road with SONS OF APOLLO, whose world tour in support of "MMXX" kicked off January 23 in Sacramento, California.