Looking to some of the guitar greats of the Rock 'n Roll genre, Richie Kotzen would definitely come to mind. Kotzen's creativeness is second only to his sheer ability as a guitarist and composer. Recently, Kotzen's new album was released via Lion Music to critical acclaim as usual. The album has a very cool funk vibe and really caught me by surprise. I recently conducted a quick interview with Richie and hope everyone enjoys the read!
Dave: Hi Richie!  Appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions! The new album sounds great!  Talk a bit about the approach to writing the new album.

Richie: I wanted to make a definitive Richie Kotzen record...  so many of my prior cd's are so varied in style and my goal was to make a cd that would truly define me as a solo artist... I feel like I did that with this cd.

Dave: There is a pretty cool funk feel to the album. It really works well and provides an entertaining listen. How is the audience reacting to this album so far??

Richie: I just returned from Japan for a tour off this record... we had a great response to this music and the older stuff we played...  the band was a power trio with Phil Sousson on bass and Pat Torpey on drums...  the music really came to life.

Dave: Talk a bit about putting an album such as this together where you are so heavily involved in all of the aspects.

Richie: I am usually this involved in most of my solo cd's however this was the first time I was the producer\engineer and only musician on the recording... this was a coincidence.... due to the fact that the music was recorded over the course of 2 years. I was able to really take my time and make the cd I wanted to make...  the funniest part would have to be me hitting record in the control room and trying to get in the tracking room behind the drums in enough time to start the song and record myself.   I wish I had that on video.

Dave: Talk about the album release from a distribution level. Lion Music is handling the release worldwide?? Where should the fans be able to find this release??

Richie: In Europe Lion is handling the distribution and in Japan it is being done through Yamaha Records...  I hope to release the
cd in the US later this year.

Dave: What are your touring plans??

Richie: As I said earlier we just did a short tour of Japan and it  went great. I hope to tour Europe later in the year.

Dave: Talk about the live band. Who do you surround yourself with for the live experience??

Richie: For this tour I used bassist Phil Sousson and ex Mr. Big drummer Pat Torpey... these guys have a lot of experience and brought a lot to the music when we played live...  we had tons of fun and the audience was amazing... I feel like I knew the entire crowd personally by the end of the tour.

Dave: What are you personal favorite tracks on 'Slow' and why??

Richie: I like 'Scared of you',  'Don't wanna lie', and Conflicted' because these three songs show who I am as an artist and a musician...  'Scared' is heavy but still has an old P Funk style beat,  'Don't wanna lie' shows my Philly roots, and 'Conflicted' shows off my guitar style.

Dave: Do you have any other projects outside of your solo career??

Richie: I played with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White inVertu which was a fun project... I was also the guitarist in Mr. Big for 2 years after Paul Gilbert left... Paul and I are going to be on the cover of Young Guitar Magazine in Japan... I think it would be fun to make a project record with him sort of like the ones I did with Greg Howe.

Dave: What is your opinion on the state of the music scene and industry??

Richie: I think it is very exciting...  I love the merging of Hip Hop and Rock... I think there are some great new R&B acts out there too like Glenn Lewis... and cool rock bands like Adema.

Dave: Do you have any parting thoughts for your fans??

Richie: I am very grateful that I have the kind of fans that stick with me and provide me with a creative outlet... it was so great to be in Japan with the ones who are listening... I can't wait to go to other parts of the world and have the same experience.

Dave: Thanks!

Official Richie Kotzen Website
Lion Music Website