Nominated for independent album of the year 8th Annual LA Music Awards
When RICHIE KOTZEN plays, you know it’s him. The guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter possesses an inimitable style that’s both instantly recognizable and immediately striking. After releasing the retrospective THE ESSENTIAL RICHIE KOTZEN on Loud & Proud Records in 2014, KOTZEN returned to the studio for his 20th solo album in 2015, CANNIBALS. It was digitally released January 8 via his Headroom-Inc label and quickly reached #1 on Amazon’s New Rock Releases chart.
“I’m thrilled with the reception I’ve received so far on this record, and am very much looking forward to performing this material live.”
Here’s CANNIBALS, in KOTZEN’s own words:
“CANNIBALS is an interesting record for me,” he explains, “because much of this material is comprised from recordings that are as old as 10 years. The title track is the most recent song I’ve written. That was from 2014, but ‘Come On Free,’ for example, was originally recorded back in the early 2000’s. I always liked the track, but never knew how to fit it into one of my records. Somehow I thought now was the time, so I went back to the original recording and did a remix. The only new overdub is the chant at the end, which happened recently one night when I was playing the song for my friends. I had a bunch of friends in the studio from Brazil and they all started chanting. I was like, ‘ALL THAT!’ and put up the microphone and we recorded it with no headphones. Everyone was having a great time. It was so spontaneous.
The track ‘Time For The Payment’ is also an older recording from 2008. I would have included that on my album, PEACE SIGN, back then, but it didn’t seem to make sense at the time. That recording is unchanged. I just had it mastered and I think it is a great closer for the record.
‘In An Instant’ and ‘The Enemy’ were both written by combining new song ideas with previously recorded material. I wrote ‘The Enemy’ chorus in 2014 when I originally recorded the song, but I didn’t like the verse I had written. After spending a day listening to old song ideas, I found an older song of mine with a great verse idea and intro, and basically copied and pasted that recording into the current recording. Then I sang everything over, made some creative edits, re-wrote some lyrics, and ended up with ‘The Enemy.’ I probably shouldn’t reveal this, but half the song has a drum and guitar performance from several years ago and the rest of the song is comprised of new recorded performances. Crazy concept, but somehow it worked and I ended up with a recording that I’m very happy with. I did the same trick with the song ‘In An Instant.’
I suppose my proudest moment on CANNIBALS is the song I wrote with my daughter, August, called ‘You.’ I originally released this as a single/video at the end of 2014. It was born from a piano idea she had written when she was 13 or 14 years old. I found the original recording of her piano performance on my computer and wrote lyrics to it last summer. Probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever recorded.
I also did a duet with someone who I’ve always been a fan of, Dug Pinnik from Kings X. I was at a house party and Dug was there, and we were talking about how we should do something together one day. When I went back to the studio I was working on the song ‘I’m All In’ and then it hit me. I called Dug and asked him if he would trade vocals with me on the tune and we did it! He added a whole other dimension to the track. I’m glad I called him!”
About RICHIE KOTZEN:
After constant wood-shedding and gigging with local Pennsylvania area bands, Kotzen got his very first record deal with Shrapnel Records at 18-years-old and released his eponymous debut in 1989 which landed him the cover of Guitar World magazine. As his seminal albums Fever Dream and Electric Joy began to stir up excitement amongst the guitar community, Kotzen reached a wider audience by moving to Los Angeles and signing with Interscope records in 1991. His song “Dream Of A New Day” was a featured track on the Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey soundtrack, among establish acts KISS, Faith No More and Primus. Kotzen continued to record solo albums throughout the 90’s for Geffen, JVC and Shrapnel Records. Based on Kotzen’s critical acclaim as a musician, in 1996 Fender Musical Instruments launched two signature model guitars bearing his name. His signature model Telecaster is available worldwide and has been a top seller. Proving his diversity as an artist, in 1999 he linked up with jazz legend Stanley Clarke to form the band Vertu, further expanding his own repertoire and technical arsenal.
As fans worldwide devoured his prolific solo output, Kotzen toured with his trio extensively outside the United States, building a loyal fan base and selling out shows throughout Europe, Latin America and Japan. In 2006, Kotzen received one of his biggest personal honors when The Rolling Stones chose him to open up a string of Japanese shows, placing him in front of some of his biggest crowds to date. Then, 2013 saw him join forces with Mike Portnoy [ex-Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob] and Billy Sheehan [Steve Vai, David Lee Roth] to form the powerhouse trio The Winery Dogs. Their self-titled debut would go on to sell over 10,000 copies first week and debut at #27 on the Billboard Top 200.