A collaboration that has completely taken the rock world by storm in 2021 is Smith / Kotzen, with their self-titled album out now through BMG.
Adrian Smith is best known as one of Iron Maiden’s principal guitarists, having also enjoyed success as a solo artist. Richie Kotzen is the frontman for The Winery Dogs as well as having been the guitarist for both Mr Big and Poison during his long and acclaimed career, which has to date seen him release more than 20 solo albums. Both artists are also prolific songwriters.
Exploding with powerful melodies & harmonies, the album embodies the spirited attitude of 70’s classic rock with a melting-pot of influences ranging from blues, hard rock, traditional R&B and more, blending the pair’s backgrounds and life experiences to result in a thoroughly contemporary sound.
Having the opportunity to recently chat with Richie about the album and how it came together, it was one of those musical pairings that just evolved naturally and the end result is this stunning album.
“Well, we met, maybe 10 years ago. Adrian has a place out here in Malibu not too far from me. Over time, we got friendly, our wives got friendly. We’d go out, go to dinner, hang out, but never really played much together. But what started to happen, once a year around the holidays, they’d have a party at their house. At some point, in the evening, we’d all go in this room, they’d have guitars setup, the amps, drums, and a PA system. So we’d end up drinking and having fun and playing music, you know, cover songs. And then one of these times, somebody suggests “you know, you guys should try to write a song”. So we thought, well, yeah, let’s try and write some. Fast forward, we got a record…”
Recorded on the Turks & Caicos Islands in February 2020 before the pandemic hit, the album was produced by Richie and Adrian and mixed by Kevin “Caveman” Shirley. Richie and Adrian co-wrote all the songs and also share lead vocals and trade guitar and bass duties throughout the record. A record that Richie himself regards as one of the easiest he’s ever made.
“I had a great time making the record with Adrian and the process was really easy. Very simple. No bullshit, you know, a really nice vibe. He’d come in with an idea and then I kind of come up with something. Another part, another section, we go back and forth, almost like volleying in a tennis match, so to speak. And then before you knew it, we’d have a finished song. It was probably the easiest record I ever made.
When I say it was easy to make, you would think with two singers, two guitar players, it would be difficult. But really, it was this nice kind of back and forth, real calm kind of vibe. So I think it allowed for a very creative workflow.”
The first song released from the album Taking My Chances, would have no doubt been a track fans of Kotzen’s past work dug immediately, but follow up single Scars is the one that Kotzen himself rates as one that holds special meaning…
“Coming out with Taking My Chances, made a lot of sense, because that song shows the different sides of things. It’s got the, the bluesier kind of verse, it’s got the, higher ranged vocal performance in the chorus and something you can remember. It’s a sentiment lyrically that I think people can relate to. Then you have that middle section where for a minute almost gets a little fusion.
Then you have Scars, a song that’s real special to me and one of the very first ones we worked on. It’s got a real, mysterious kind of sound to it. I like the way we play off of each other, it really builds in a way that I think is really powerful. So that’s one that I’m real proud of. I’m proud of the whole record. But I think those two songs were good choices to release to lead up to the actual album release.”
Whilst Richie and Adrian handled the lions share of playing duties on the entire album, the record features special guest performances by Adrian’s fellow Iron Maiden bandmate Nicko McBrain on drums for the track Solar Fire, and Richie’s longstanding friend and touring partner Tal Bergman on drums for You Don’t Know Me, I Wanna Stay and ‘Til Tomorrow, with Richie picking up the sticks on the other five songs.
“Tal Bergman is as a good friend, someone I’ve known and played with for a long time. Nicko McBrain, was really exciting for me to have him on the record, because I’m such a big fan of Iron Maiden.”
With the first three singles having been incredibly well received by rock fans, it’s now time for the world to hear the album that will no doubt be high on many peoples Top Rock Albums of 2021 lists.
“Hopefully it goes over well, with all the people out there. But for me, I’m thrilled with it. I love the fact that I got to make a record with Adrian in the first place. I was and still am such a big fan of what Iron Maiden represents. You know, they’ve been there my whole life, I’ve been listening to Iron Maiden since I started getting into music, so it’s a real important album for me. Hopefully it translates to everybody else.
The full track-listing is:
Taking My Chances
You Don’t Know Me
I Wanna Stay
The album will be available in these formats:
12” black vinyl with embossed sleeve
Digital (streaming and download)
Limited edition 12” red & black smoke effect coloured vinyl
Grab a Vinyl copy of Smith / Kotzen now via the Rock Lives Here Store…
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Dave Gleeson of The Screaming Jets
Dave Gleeson and The Screaming Jets need no introduction, having taken the Aussie music scene by the scruff of the neck over 30 years ago, cementing their spot as one of the absolute Rock N Roll powerhouses in the decades since.
C’Mon the track that opened up this latest Podcast Episode was the song that may have been your first taste of The Jets, but it was debut album All For One and Better that introduced the band to the masses.
Celebrating it’s 30 year anniversary this year, The Screaming Jets have just announced a re-release of All For One, with re-recorded versions, as well as a National Tour that kicks off in July through October that will see that legendary album played from start to finish.
I had the pleasure of recently chatting with frontman Dave Gleeson where we talked memories of the “electricity” recording All For One in Paradise Studios, Sydney, The Jets finding their place in a rock world that saw them playing with Pearl Jam at their first ever L.A show – to supporting hair metal band KIX. For those hanging for a new studio album from The Jets, Dave has some news for you there as well…
Be sure to head over to The Screaming Jets website to check out a bunch of cool pre-order options for the All For One Release and grab your tickets to one of the shows coming to a City near you!
THE SCREAMING JETS ALL FOR ONE
30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR DATES – 2021
GENERAL ON SALE – 10AM FRIDAY 23RD APRIL
FRI 13 – FREO SOCIAL, FREMANTLE, WA (tickets here)
SAT 14 – CHARLES HOTEL, PERTH, WA (tickets here)
FRI 20 – THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE, QLD (presale here | general on sale)
SAT 21 – BRIBIE ISLAND HOTEL, BRIBIE ISLAND, QLD (tickets here)
FRI 27 – CENTRAL HOTEL, SHELLHARBOUR, NSW (tickets here)
SAT 28 – REVESBY WORKERS, REVESBY, NSW (tickets here)
FRI 3 – GATEWAY HOTEL, GEELONG, VIC (tickets here)
SAT 4 – COMMERCIAL HOTEL, SOUTH MORANG, VIC (tickets here)
FRI 10 – YOUNG SERVICES CLUB, YOUNG, NSW (tickets here)
SAT 11 – BATHURST PANTHERS, BATHURST, NSW (tickets here)
FRI 17 – BELMONT 16S, BELMONT, NSW (tickets here)
SAT 18 – SAWTELL RSL, SAWTELL, NSW (tickets here)
FRI 24 – THE BRIDGE HOTEL, ROZELLE, NSW (presale here | general on sale)
SAT 25 – THE BRIDGE HOTEL, ROZELLE, NSW (presale here | general on sale)
Austrian rockers Shine ‘Bring Me Back That Feeling’
In a first for Rock Lives Here, Shine are the first Austrian band to be featured… It’s awesome to be introduced to new artists from around the world and Shine’s blend of anthemic rock with a country tinge has been going down a treat here in Australia, with plenty of radio airplay.
The extremely talented entertainer and singer Gregor Glanz founded Shine, with the band releasing their first single We’ll Be Alright in July, 2020. Follow up single Bring Me Back That Feeling is a song about yearning for the good old days, for the times before the crises when we could get together with our friends and loved ones without a worry in the world. A time when we felt free. A time, I’m sure, we will get back again soon. But for now, I think this is a song everyone can relate to.
I had the opportunity to fire some questions the way of the band, check out the interview below and get more acquainted…even better, give them a listen whilst reading. Spotify link below!
In 33 words or less, describe to readers what Shine all about ?
Shine’s sound can be defined as pop/rock/country and can be described as authentic, honest and captivating. Modern melodies, rock guitars and profound lyrics characterise the band’s songs.
You’ve released two singles over the past 6 months, whilst the world has been in the grips of a pandemic. Thinking back to the recording process for the songs, what are some of your most immediate memories of the process, the location etc?
Thinking back on our first single We’ll be Alright I can remember we were so in the zone that it was written in half an hour! It was an amazing feeling. Everything just clicked. Our second single came alive after a funny coincidence while filming the video to We’ll Be Alright. One of the actresses on set was wearing a leather jacket with Bring Me Back That Feeling“ printed on the back….and so the idea for the next song was born! It’s funny how life can inspire you sometimes when you least expect it.
Musically, the songs have a really anthemic rock edge to them. What are some of your
greatest musical influences and what are some of your favourite rock anthems of all time?
Of course AC/DC has been a huge influence throughout the years. Also Bon Jovi and Keith Urban are high up there. Last but not least, the great Tom Jones has influenced us greatly. A few of our favourite rock anthems would have to be: You Shook Me All Night Long (ACDC), Livin’ On A Prayer (Bon Jovi), but also Sex Bomb (Tom Jones) and Somebody Like You (Keith Urban) have to be up there. We’ve got to keep it eclectic!
Lyrically, what would you say is the greatest inspiration to your lyrics?
A lot of our inspiration comes from ongoing world events. But also personal experiences, both past and present, play a big role in our lyrics.
What would you say are the key “ingredients” that are essential to the songs of Shine?
Big vocals, rock guitars, relatable lyrics and a splash of country elements make up the recipe!
With your first two singles having been released, what are the plans in 2021 as far as
further singles, an album release, etc?
We’re planning to release our 3rd single in August and a Christmas song in November. We are also working hard on finishing our debut album. We have just 3 more songs to write to complete it, which is very exciting! We are hoping to release the album in late 2021/early 2022.
What Movie Soundtrack from the past would have been perfectly suited for the music of Shine?
Winner Takes It All by Sammy Hagar from the movie Over The Top would have been great for
You are based over in Austria and obviously been getting a lot of airplay over here in
Australia. I can’t help but ask who have been some of your favourite Australia music
artists over the years?
ACDC, Midnight Oil and Keith Urban have always been a must on our playlist down through the
Now aside from Shine, who are some Austrian rock bands that we need to check out?
OPUS is a great Austrian rock band…maybe you can remember their hit Life is Life? Great song!
Looking ahead to the end of the year with much positivity, complete this… 2021 will have been an awesome year for Shine, because…?
- We will have released 3 singles and a Christmas song.
- Will have completed and hopefully released our debut album.
- We will finally have been allowed to get back on stage and perform our first live gigs for our fans
all over the world!
‘The Queen Of Rock N’ Roll’ SUZI QUATRO chats about new album ‘The Devil In Me’
It’s got to be a very special release that has Suzi Quatro announce proudly: “The Devil In Me is the best album in my career to date!” On the strength of these 12 songs what make up the new album that is out now, I don’t think anyone will be arguing with her…
It was such a great experience to recently chat with Suzi about the album and firstly, checking in on how her own personal battle with Covid is now treating her
“Yes, I got Covid last November, just after we delivered the album! We started writing in March, April, May and then June / July’ish, we started to record it properly. It was finished by October and delivered and in November I got the COVID!”
Whilst Covid was kind enough to not hit Suzi until after the recording was finished, it’s a different story with regards to the impact it had on the original plans Suzi had for 2020. A follow up to the brilliant No Control album was always on the cards, but I think it’s pretty fair to say The Devil In Me may not quite be the album we now hear, if Covid hadn’t of struck. Explains Suzi…
“No Control was my first outing with my son and that was received incredibly well. Then I went crazy in 2019 with the documentary and non stop touring and the record company took up the option for the next album. With Covid hitting, my son should have been on the road with his stuff, I should have also been on the road. I just said since we’re locked down, let’s just write the album and it’s been a very, very, very creative time for me.”
Lyrically, written in the midst of Covid, it’s also got some of her most deeply personal songs to date. Get Outta Jail expressing the frustration of not being able to gig with a chorus of “Get outta jail, give me one more gig to satisfy, one more gig before I die”.
“I was already kind of working on that one song. It was an idea that my son had about if you were in jail, you have to get out to do one more gig. Then when lockdown really hit, all of a sudden it was happening. So the words came very easily then, because I just had to pluck them out of the situation. You know, the song really did come true.”
The reasons for Suzi’s remarkable creative explosion: on the one hand the lockdown, and on the other another collaboration with her son Richard Tuckey. That had already worked out extremely well on her predecessor album No Control, but that special bond goes to another level on this latest album…
“It’s quite beautiful. I keep saying, I gave birth to him and he’s given rebirth to me. He’s lit my fire. I did not know how challenging he was. He surprised me and what’s happened beautifully is that he has the Suzi Quatro that he saw his whole life in his DNA. He’s got his 36 year old generation of music and he’s sort of shown me through his eyes. And that’s really quite exciting, I’m experiencing myself all over again.“
Speaking of that 36 year old generation of music, this really translates into the musical diversity on the album. The title track itself seeing Suzi rocking as hard as ever, with the album itself seamlessley traversing from bar-room blues, to soul, to hard rock and everything in between.
“It has captured quite a diversity, but it all kind of makes one big piece of the puzzle. I have stuff in me naturally, you know and wrote it with my son. So we tried out lots and lots of different things, whatever came, came, but we needed it to be a Suzi Quatro vibe all the way through and we’ve managed to do that. “
Motor City Riders closes out the album with one of the album’s most rocking tracks. With Alice Cooper having just recently released Detroit Stories as a tribute to the great music influence the city of Detroit has had on him, Motor City Riders likewise sees Suzi offer a similar tribute of sorts to the city in which she grew up.
“I ‘m very much a Detroit girl. Alice Cooper and I have discussed it 8 million times, as have the other musicians I know from there. On Motor City Riders I wanted the lyrics to be exact. So I really worked hard that it could say exactly what it was like for me growing up in Detroit. I wanted it to be perfect.”
Another place which also holds a special place in Suzi’s heart is Australia, right now who really knows exactly what lies ahead as far as a steady return of international touring, but Suzi closed our chat with these words for her Australian fans…
“Australia has always been special to me, we’ve had an ongoing love affair. I think I’ve been there more than any other international artist, 38 times .. It feels like my second home. We just understand each other you know and I’m hoping to get back, fingers crossed I’ll be there!”
The new studio album “The Devil In Me” released March 26th, 2021 through SPV/Steamhammer as CD DigiPak (incl. fold out poster), 2LP gatefold version (incl. 2 bonus tracks), download and stream: https://SuziQuatro.lnk.to/TheDevilInMe
1. The Devil In Me 3:24
2. Hey Queenie 4:08
3. Betty Who? 3:57
4. You Can‘t Dream It 3:10
5. My Heart And Soul 5:13 (long version)
6. Get Outta Jail 3:18
7. Do Ya Dance 2:44
8. Isolation Blues 3:36
9. I Sold My Soul Today 2:37
10. Love‘s Gone Bad 4:35
11. In The Dark 3:08
12. Motor City Riders 3:54
1. Can I Be Your Girl 3:34 (Vinyl LP bonus track)
2. Desperado 3:37 (Vinyl LP bonus track)
SUZI QUATRO live
17.04. UK-Peterborough – Showground
09.05. DE-Dessau – Anhalt Arena
10.05. DE-Dresden – Kulturpalast
12.05. DE-Wuppertal – Historische Stadthalle
14.05. DE-Mönchengladbach – Red Box
17.05. DE-Berlin – Friedrichstadtpalast
22.05. DE-Siegen/Hilchenbach – KulturPur
23.05. DE-Fulda – Esperantohalle
28.05. DE-Stuttgart – Liederhalle
19.06. ES-Vitoria-Gasteiz – Azkena Rock Festival
26.06. DE-Neuleiningen – Burgsommer
01.08. DE-Seebronn – Rock of Ages Festival
04.08. DE-Monschau – Burg Monschau
05.08. NL-Steenwijkerwold – Dicky Woodstock Festival
14.08. DE-Mülheim – Freilichtbühne
21.08. DE-Rust – Europa Park
03.09. DE-Cottbus – Stadthalle
04.09. DE-Zwickau – Stadthalle
05.09. DE-Dexheim – Kultur auf dem Hof
17.09. DK-Vejle – Musikteater
18.09. DK-Knebel – Fuglsøcentret
19.09. DK-Copenhagen – Docken
03.10. DE-Neuruppin – Kulturkirche (sold out)
30.10. DE-Dillingen – Lokschuppen
06.11. DE-Mannheim – Rosengarten
23.11.-30.11. AUS- Brisbane – Rock The Boat
20.04. UK- London – Royal Albert Hall
30.04. DE- Obertraubling – Airport-Eventhall
03.06. DE-Ulm – CCO Halle
Worldwide Booking / Rainer Haas / firstname.lastname@example.org