Richie Kotzen Plots 50-Song 2020 50th Birthday Release + Other Things Learned at Bowl for Ronnie
The 5th Annual Bowl for Ronnie event brought out a number of musicians to roll for a good cause, but it also gave them a chance to chat up their currently projects as well. We spoke with Richie Kotzen who gave us the scoop on his latest solo efforts, with a special album coming next year to mark a landmark year in his life.
"I just finished my next solo record and the record is going to be released on my 50th birthday which is Feb. 3, 2020. The record is called 50 for 50 because it's 50 songs I wrote that no one's heard before. These are not b-sides or re-releases. It's 50 songs, a three-disc set and I just finished it. The albums are being shipped as we speak, so I'm very excited about that."
Kotzen elaborated, "I had about 14 songs that were finished and ready for an album and while I was on the road, I was going through the archives of incomplete songs and there were way more than 50 and I thought, 'I wonder how many of these I can finish.' I came home, started working one at a time, and when I got to 50, I was like, 'Alright you did it.' I could make the b-sides maybe come out in the summer and give another 25."
Speaking about one of his favorite tracks, Kotzen shared the story of one of his "fun" songs, a cut called "Nickel Hustler." "It came out of my wife wanting to call someone a gold digger, and she didn't know the terminology because English is her second language," laughed Kotzen. "Instead of saying, 'This gold digging bitch,' she said, 'This nickel hustler,' and I said, 'Did you just say Nickel Hustler?' We were at a Chinese restaurant, and she said, 'Yeah, and where's my lucky cracker?' She wanted to say, 'Where's my fortune cookie?' So I thought, 'Oh my god, there's a song in here, so I've got a song called 'Nickel Hustler' inspired by my wife's misuse of the English language."
Keep an eye out for Kotzen's 50 for 50 album coming Feb. 3.
Also on the Bowl for Ronnie red carpet, we got some other interesting bits of info as revealed below.
- Vio-Lence guitarist Phil Demmel, who showed up with the night's most metal bowling ball, revealed that 2020 will be a very busy year for him. "I've got some solo songs going, I've got the Vio-Lence thing going and I'm actually taking a red eye from here to Brooklyn to play two shows with Vio-Lence," explained Demmel, who added, "I've got a record coming with Mike Portnoy and Bobby Blitz and Mark Menghi, all '70s covers of American bands. I'm playing with Metal Allegiance and the Hail guys. Solo stuff, I've got something cool in fucking 2020, but I can't fucking talking about it."
Speaking about reuniting with Vio-Lence, Demmel added, "It was amazing man to get back onstage with them ... But playing with the dudes, and we're doing a lot of weekend stuff, it's been a lot of fun. We're playing everywhere. We never played overseas and we're playing Puerto Rico and we're going to Japan and New Zealand."
- Granny 4 Barrel are ready to drop some new music on listeners. Granny, aka Terry LeRoi, told us, "We've been cooking up some magic with [producer] David Bendeth and we've got a song called 'The Art of Deception' that's coming out next week on metal radio. Looking forward to that. David and I have been writing since last January, so we're cooking up some goodies for all the rock and roll children." As for a new record, Granny added, "Right now, management wants us to keep putting out singles. We're sitting on a group of songs and I already got a title for the record called Deal With the Devil, but stay tuned cause it's coming."
- One Machine have undergone a significant lineup change, with guitarist Steve Smyth revealing that they've added former Metal Church vocalist Ronny Munroe to their ranks. "This gentleman just joined us as lead vocalist and we're currently working on a new EP. The working title is Let the Culling Begin and it's a six-song EP, half covers, half originals. It's a bit of a bridge from our last record, The Final Cull, which came out in 2015. Some things have changed over time. We lost our singer and after a two-year search, we found Ronny and we're very happy about that." Smyth adds that he first saw Munroe when he was making his Metal Church debut in the early 2000s while he was still working with Nevermore. "We went to the show to check this guy out and I just got chills by his voice, powerful voice, great stage presence and he's just an amazing person," said Smyth. "He's just completely metal and he's a cool dude."
- Both of Marc Ferrari's bands -- Keel and Cold Sweat -- will be appearing on the 2020 Monsters of Rock Cruise. For the latter, Monsters of Rock will be the setting for their long overdue stage return. "It's our first gig in 30 years. We haven't even been in the same room together since 1990," says Ferrari. "It's going to be amazing, but a little scary at the same time because you only have two rehearsals to knock off the years of rust, but we're looking forward to the cruise." The cruise sets sail Feb. 8-13, 2020 and details can be found here.
- Pat Gesualdo, founder of the Hall of Heavy Metal History, teased a bit of what we can expect from the 2020 ceremony. "This year is going to be a great event. We're inducting Don Dokken, Stephen Pearcy, Geoff Tate and Joe Satriani as well, so it's going to be a lot of fun," said Gesualdo, who added, "We're looking forward to he all-star jam, we're going to make a couple more announcements on inductees very shortly." The ceremony benefits the D.A.D. (Drums and Disabilities) program, who works closely with Dio's Stand Up and Shout organization to help children with special needs who have cancer. The 2020 Hall of Heavy Metal History induction ceremony will take place Jan. 15 at the Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove in Anaheim, California. Get ticketing details here.
- Susan Olsen, best known as TV tot Cindy Brady from the Brady Bunch, spoke to us about HGTV's recent renovation series A Very Brady Renovation, which saw the Los Angeles home that served as the exterior for the series, updated inside to reflect the look of what viewers saw from the series' sets. "It was kind of vindication cause I was a really serious child and it never made sense to me that they used that house because it didn't jive with the interior sets," said Olsen. She also teased that there will be a holiday-themed episode, with even Steve the Horse getting decorated. Olsen also has some rock and metal ties, recently working with John 5 in the music video for "Zoinks!." "He's my little brother now. We adopted him. He's a Brady," said the actress, who revealed that her fandom of the musician goes back a few years. "My son's first concert was Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie, so we were already fans," said Olsen. Look for the A Very Brady Renovation: Holiday Edition Dec. 16 at 10PM ET on HGTV.
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