Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen unleash debut Smith / Kotzen single Taking My Chances

Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen
(Image credit: John McMurtrie)

Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith and Winery Dogs string-slinger Richie Kotzen have combined their significant forces into a new project to be known henceforth as Smith / Kotzen. And they've released their debut single Taking My Chances

The pair recorded Taking My Chances in early 2020 in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the West Indies in February, and promise there'll be more to come in 2020.

“I think Richie and I complement each other really well," says Smith. "He’s a virtuoso guitarist but he’s got a great sense of melody - the whole thing just felt very natural.”
"We found common ground in classic and blues-based rock," adds Kotzen. "We both come from that mentality. We’ve been writing and recording together for the past year and I’m ecstatic with the results”.

In February former Poison and Mr Big axeman Kotzen posted a photograph on Instagram of him and Smith walking on the beach on the island of Providenciales, with the caption, "Adrian Smith and I discussing the magic of writing songs in C-sharp minor."

The same month, Kotzen told the Another FN Podcast, "I don’t like talking about things until they’re finished, but if you look at the photographs and who I’m with, and that sort of thing, you could assume that there may be a collaboration in the works.” 

"I'm very excited about it, but I can't say," Smith told Eonmusic in August. "I'm doing a lot of singing, but the person I'm working with, we're sort of splitting the vocals. But that'll be coming. I'm very excited about it, but I'm sworn to secrecy at the moment."

Smith / Kotzen single artwork

(Image credit: BMG)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.