Richie Kotzen (THE WINERY DOGS, POISON, MR. BIG) spoke to IndiePower TV about his upcoming 50-song solo album, "50 For 50", that will be released on February 3, the guitarist's 50th birthday.
"I didn't know I was gonna do this," he said (see video below). "I had maybe 14 or 15 songs done that I knew I was gonna put out on the next record, and while I was on a tour, I had a copy of one of my hard drives that has a lot of stuff on it that I was working on. It goes back as far as the early 2000s. So I made a list — it had way more than 50. And I said, 'Well, let me just see how many of these I can finish.' Many songs had the drums already done, some were just missing a verse vocal, others had no vocal and needed to be written. But in the end, by the time I got through all this and I hit 50 [songs], I was, like, 'I don't ever wanna step foot inside a studio again.' And then two days later, literally, I was in there recording one of my wife's songs. So I guess I'm kind of like a studio rat."
Kotzen first teased the release in an August 25 video he posted to Instagram. Two weeks later, a subsequent Instagram post revealed additional information. He included the hashtag "50For50," which was also featured in a subsequent post the following day that displayed a screenshot of the work-in-progress.
Some of Kotzen's tentative new song titles include "Stick The Knife", "When God Made You", "Turning The Table", "Nickel Hustler", "Devil's Hand", "Confession", "Dirty Tricks" and "Mountains".
Although Kotzen gained international recognition via his work on POISON's 1993 album "Native Tongue", through his three-year stint in MR. BIG (with whom he recorded two albums, 1999's "Get Over It" and 2001's "Actual Size") and as the frontman and lead guitarist of THE WINERY DOGS (a group that also features his former MR. BIG bandmate Billy Sheehan and ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy), he is also a prolific solo artist who to date has released 20 studio albums.
He has also recorded two collaborative albums with fellow Shrapnel Records alumnus Greg Howe and one with the jazz/fusion group VERTÙ, which also featured the rhythm section of RETURN TO FOREVER, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White.