June 18, 2010
Club Casino – Hampton Beach, NH
Photos by: Mary Ouellette
Triple threat singer, songwriter and monster guitarist Richie Kotzen’s latest solo release “Peace Sign” marks his 20th solo album in as many years. An all around gifted musician, his style ranges from rock to jazz to blues with some pop and soul thrown in for good measure – clearly there are no boundaries when it comes to his creativity.
Breaking through with his instrumental albums in the late 80’s Kotzen started to make some noise around the same time as some other greats that were part of the ‘new crop’ of shredder guitarists (Tony Macalpine, Marty Friedman, Greg Howe and Jason Becker) who helped usher us into the 90’s with their amazing fretwork. Kotzen’s guitar playing in particular made many take notice and music fans may recall his time spent playing guitar with Poison and Mr. Big. Although these gigs opened some doors for him it’s undoubtedly his solo work that truly fuels his soul.
Richie recently embarked on a North American tour in support of “Peace Sign.” hitting up some parts of the country that he hasn’t seen in awhile. His stops include a show on May 27th at Showcase Live in Foxboro, MA which will mark his first solo show ever in the state. I had a chance to catch up with Richie just four days into his current U.S tour to talk about his career, the tour and Ronnie James Dio.
Interviewed by: Roger Scales
Although most of us familiarize the painted face of John 5 with his time in Marilyn Manson or his current gig with Rob Zombie, John 5’s guitar roots run deep. He picked up the guitar at age seven and rumor has it no one has seen him without a guitar in his hands since.
On May 11th John 5 offers up his new solo album “The Art of Malice”; a diverse yet cohesive collection of songs that depict his versatility and love for genre-bending with his tool of the trade. With sounds spanning from rock to country to flamenco to bluegrass John 5 offers up a technically mind-blowing instrumental cd with deeply personal songs that chronicle his life.
From the song “JW”, the nickname that his Dad called him growing up to “Can I live Again” a gut-wrenching song inspired by losing those around us and finding the will to go on to his personal homage to some of his friends and mentors in music, Ace Frehley and David Lee Roth, in “Fractured Mirror” and “Ya Dig”. Listening to this album from start to finish will give you a very intimate look into who John 5 is not only as a guitar player but as a person, his personality drives the songs while his guitar techniques continue to set new standards.
John 5’s current day job is on stage shredding with Rob Zombie. You can catch them live right now on a short co-headlining tour with Alice Cooper followed up by Rob Zombie’s headlining stint on the 2010 Mayhem Fest. We recently caught up with John 5 to talk about his new album, Zombie, Mayhem Fest and more.
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette & Antonio Marino Jr.
On September 29th Steve Vai’s live DVD “Where The Wild Things Are” will be released. Recorded in Minneapolis the DVD is an assault on the senses featuring not only Vai’s handy work but violinsts Alex DePue and Ann Marie Calhoun as well as a collective group of impressive musicians to complement Vai.
Always thinking of his fans first, Vai’s number one goal was to entertain the masses and stimulate the senses – all of them. Everyone involved in the performance is emotionally invested and Vai hopes that they can provoke the same of their audience.
Always a few steps ahead of everyone else, Vai has been a complete innovator with everything he does and is constantly pushing creative boundaries. It’s almost impossible to believe that it was over 25 years ago that Vai’s first solo cd “Flex-able” was released.
The always honest and charming Steve recently took some time to talk to us about the new DVD, other projects he’s got in the works, and of course, bees!
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette | August 2009