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 take all of next year off while the individual members focus on other projects.
The band recently completed a tour in support of its second album, "Hot Streak", which was released in October 2015 in North America via Loud & Proud Records.
During a recent appearance on "Trunk Nation", Eddie Trunk's new show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Portnoy stated about THE WINERY DOGS' plans for the coming months: "We just wrapped the 'Hot Streak' cycle, which went for about a year and did really great all over the world. But we're basically gonna take 2017 off. Richie's gonna do his solo-band stuff, and I think Billy says he might be doing some MR. BIG activity. And I'm gonna spend 2017 with THE NEAL MORSE BAND for the first several months, and then possibly a new FLYING COLORS album, a new METAL ALLEGIANCE album. And also I'm gonna be doing shows with this thing called SHATTERED FORTRESS, which is me playing the DREAM THEATER '12 Step Suite' at select events and festivals throughout the world. So that's my 2017. But Billy, Richie and I have penciled in tentatively reconvening after next year, and hopefully at the start of 2018. And in the meantime, I'm finishing up work on a live DVD, Blu-ray, CD for THE WINERY DOGS that we recorded in Santiago, Chile. And that should be out at the start of next year."
Kotzen told Pollstar earlier in the year that he would likely get right back to making another solo album once THE WINERY DOGS' touring commitments have been completed. "Knowing me, I always say I'm going to take a long break, I always say that in the middle of an album cycle, every time I get in the middle of a tour, I start saying, 'All right. I need a break. I need a long break.' But knowing me, THE WINERY DOGS' cycle will end and I'll probably just dive right back into writing another record. [Laughs] So it's a cycle but you have to have a balance. That's the thing for me. I need that balance. I'm not the guy who can stay on the road all year long without really losing it. And I like to come home and spend time with my family. So we do that. We build that into our schedule and it works out great."
"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.