Richie Kotzen says the success of The Winery Dogs came as a big surprise to him.
The singer and guitarist admits he expected the three-piece supergroup – which he formed with Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan – to be a side-project, but he has been amazed at how it has taken off.
Kotzen tells Icon Vs Icon: “When we got together, in my mind I was thinking it would be a cool diversion from what I have been doing lately. I thought perhaps we will make a cool record. Perhaps we will do a handful of key market shows in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles and London and that would be the end of it.
“I thought I would go back to what I was doing and a few years later we would reconvene and do something else. I remember we were making a connection from Japan to somewhere in Latin America and when we got off the plane there was an email from our manager that said our record just charted on the Top 200 at No.27. All of us were blown away. None of us expected that.
“Apparently, there was an iTunes Rock Chart where The Rolling Stones were at No.1 and we were at No.2. Needless to say, we were all shocked and surprised by this. From there, we started to get some amazing touring offers and opportunities. Here we are a year later, and it has really become a real band that is a priority for all three of us moving forward. That has been a huge surprise for me and a good surprise.”
Kotzen says he expects the follow up to The Winery Dogs self-titled debut to be out some time in 2015, when he will also release his next solo record. This week he released his 2CD back catalogue, The Essential Richie Kotzen.