ADRIAN SMITH and RICHIE KOTZEN Share Official Video for “Scars” Single

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SMITH/KOTZEN, the electrifying collaboration between guitarists and vocalists Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen, will release its self-titled debut album on March 26 via BMG. The official music video for the disc’s second single, “Scars”, can be seen below.

Described by Adrian as a song which “starts off with a dreamy intro then comes in heavy,”  the track is a hark-back to ’70s bluesy rock which the duo found particularly fun to work on. As Richie explains: “I remember ‘Scars’ being one of the songs we wrote in the very beginning of the process. There is something moody and mysterious going on in this track that I find quite engaging. This would be a great track for us to stretch out live for some guitar improvisation between the two of us.”

As well as the pair co-writing, co-producing and sharing guitars and vocals, Richie also plays bass and drums on the track. The black-and-white video was once again shot on both sides of the Atlantic. Performances from the band take place in home studios in London and Los Angeles while outdoor footage juxtaposes the rugged beauty of the British Jurassic coast with the historic Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific coastline near Malibu.

Recorded on the Turks & Caicos Islands in February 2020, produced by Richie and Adrian and .mixed by Kevin “Caveman” Shirley, this nine track opus is a consummate collaboration between these two highly respected musicians who co-wrote all the songs and also share lead vocals and trade off on guitar and bass duties throughout the record.

Exploding with powerful melodies & harmonies, the album embodies the spirited attitude of 70’s classic rock with a melting-pot of influences ranging from blues, hard rock, traditional R&B and more, blending the pair’s backgrounds and life experiences to result in a thoroughly contemporary sound. The full track-listing is:

  1. Taking My Chances
  2. Running
  3. Scars
  4. Some People
  5. Glory Road
  6. Solar Fire
  7. You Don’t Know Me
  8. I Wanna Stay
  9. ‘Til Tomorrow

“Smith / Kotzen” Album Artwork

The record features special guest performances by Adrian’s fellow Iron Maiden bandmate Nicko McBrain on drums for the track “Solar Fire”, and Richie’s longstanding friend and touring partner Tal Bergman on drums for “You Don’t Know Me”, “I Wanna Stay” and ‘”Til Tomorrow”, with Richie picking up the sticks on the other five songs.

Adrian Smith comments, “Richie and I started working together a couple of years ago. 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.”

Richie Kotzen adds “We had a very fluid process in writing. 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.”

The album will be available in these formats and can be pre-ordered now at this location:

  • Digipack CD
  • 12″ black vinyl with embossed sleeve
  • Digital (streaming and download)
  • Limited-edition 12″ red-and-black-smoke-effect-colored vinyl

Smith is best known as one of IRON MAIDEN‘s principal guitarists, having also enjoyed success as a solo artist. Kotzen is the front-man for THE WINERY DOGS as well as having been the guitarist for both MR. BIG and POISON during his long and acclaimed career, which has to date seen him release more than 20 solo albums. Both artists are also prolific songwriters.

Adrian commented, “I think Richie and I complement each other really well. He’s a virtuoso guitarist but he’s got a great sense of melody — the whole thing just felt very natural.”

Richie added: “We found common ground in classic and blues-based rock — we both come from that mentality. We’ve been writing and recording together for the past year and I’m ecstatic with the results.”

Smith has spent the last few months promoting his memoir, “Monsters Of River & Rock”, which was released in September via Virgin Books. Check out our interview with him here.

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