Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith and veteran rocker Richie Kotzen have detailed their new collaborative debut album, Smith/Kotzen, which arrives March 26th. The duo have also shared a music video for the previously released lead single, “Taking My Chances”.
The collab between the two friends was born from a mutual appreciation for the blues guitar style, as evidenced on “Taking My Chances”. Smith and Kotzen are both highly gifted players, and their world-class fretwork is truly impressive in tandem. In addition to an extensive solo discography, Kotzen has been a member of Poison, Mr. Big, and The Winery Dogs.
Fans of virtuoso guitar performances should look no further than the song’s accompanying video. Smith and Kotzen’s skills are front and center, as the camera primarily focuses on their dexterous shredding. The rest of the debut album promises similar guitar fireworks, as well as an appearance from Smith’s Iron Maiden bandmate Nicko McBain on drums (“Solar Fire”).
“Richie and I started working together a couple of years ago,” Smith commented in a press release. “We’d been jamming as we’d been friends for a few years before that. We both share a love for classic rock and bluesy rock so we decided to get together and start writing some songs and it went from there. Pretty much everything on the album is handled between Richie and myself including the production. We had developed a really strong idea of how we wanted it to sound and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. There’s a lot of cool songs on there that we are really happy with.”
The two guitarists recorded the album together on the exotic Turks & Caicos Islands in February of 2020 with mixing work by Kevin “Caveman” Shirley. Smith and Kotzen co-wrote all nine songs on the LP and traded off on lead vocal and bass/guitar duties in democratic fashion.
“We had a very fluid process in writing,” Kotzen said. “Sometimes Adrian would send me a riff and I would immediately hear some kind of melody or a vocal idea. And sometimes it was the other way round so it was a kind of circular motion. We’d get together whenever we could and throw some ideas around and it just evolved, which was great because there was no pressure and nothing other than just a natural course and I think the record really speaks for that.”
Smith/Kotzen is available in a variety of formats including limited colored vinyl, black vinyl, digipack CD, and digitally. You can pre-order the album via BMG or Amazon. Watch the video for “Taking My Chances” and check out the album art and tracklist below.
01. Taking My Chances
04. Some People
05. Glory Road
06. Solar Fire
07. You Don’t Know Me
08. I Wanna Stay
09. ‘Til Tomorrow