RICHIE KOTZEN Is 'Sure' There Will Be A New Solo Album This Fall

May 30, 2024

In a new interview with Talking The Talk With Don podcast, Richie Kotzen confirmed that he is planning to release a new full-length solo album before the end of the year.

"I didn't know until recently [whether I was going to release a new album]," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET. "My attitude is because I'm not under contract at the moment, I don't wanna have to put any kind of pressure on myself. So my attitude was, if I come to the point where I feel like I have a collection of songs that sound like a record to me, then I can make a plan to release a record. So I'm here. And the idea is to put it out to coincide with dates that I'm gonna be doing in the fall.

"I'm leaving for a European tour in June, and then I come home for a while after that," Richie continued. "And I'll go back out in the fall in the States. And hopefully by then I have a release date, I'll have the record out. And that's the plan. But up until a few weeks ago, I wasn't sure. But now that I can hear everything, I'm sure that I'm putting out a record.

"Every band in the world says, 'Oh, we're writing our album. We're gonna release it,' blah blah blah, this and that, but because I'm one guy, I have the luxury of playing a little free and loose with it," Kotzen explained.

Earlier this month, Richie premiered the official music video for his new single "Cheap Shots". The clip was directed and choreographed by Emmy Award winner Jeff Wolfe.

"The video was directed by my good friend Jeff Wolfe who had a visual concept after hearing the song," Kotzen explained in a statement. "In addition to being a talented director, he is also an accomplished actor and stuntman, so he had the eye for bringing those boxing scenes together. Although the song isn't about boxing per se, I thought it was a good visual to go along with the idea of someone constantly taking what we may call 'cheap shots' in order to bring you down."

When "Cheap Shots" was first released on May 1, Kotzen said about the track: "I really never know how, when or where inspiration will strike for a song idea. I never try to force anything because I know ultimately at some point in time life will hand you a situation and for a guy like myself that is the perfect spark. I'm not someone that likes to outwardly go at it with someone if I feel I was wronged but I certainly use my creative outlet as a song writer to exercise that stuff out of me so I never find myself carrying around resentment or bad vibes. So if someone does you wrong, multiple times, then we're done here. You're your own worst enemy. I've tried to help and now I'm a target? Nope… No thanks… I'm off the bus. My attitude is 'Get it out! Throw it in the trash where it belongs.' Move on and forget 'em! That is really where the song is coming from."

The single came together very quickly in March 2024 after a trip back to Kotzen's original hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania.

"It has been quite a while since I have released new solo music and I feel very fulfilled to have come to a place where I've got new music I believe in," continued Kotzen. "Although I find myself writing all the time not always do I feel compelled to share the work. When the story for 'Cheap Shots' came to me, I knew I had the perfect lead track to follow up where I left off from my previous record.

"Of course I'm thrilled to be able to say I've got a new song for you but I'm equally overjoyed to announce the upcoming live dates. In fact, the timing is perfect as we embark on an extensive European tour in June which will end in the U.K. on July 13th at London's Islington Assembly Hall. And these dates will most likely spill into a North American fall tour as well."

Kotzen has performed on some of the biggest stages in the world since he first signed a deal with Shrapnel Records in 1988 as a guitar prodigy. He began releasing records both as a solo artist and in multi-platinum bands POISON, MR. BIG and THE WINERY DOGS. Now known also as a prolific songwriter and one half of acclaimed duo SMITH/KOTZEN with IRON MAIDEN's Adrian Smith, Richie's ever-growing back catalogue (including more than 20 solo albums) ensure that his fans around the world are constantly treated to his prodigious talent both recorded and live.

Photo credit: Travis Shinn

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