Inför Sweden Rock 2024: Intervju med Richie Kotzen

Årets upplaga av Sweden Rock Festival går av stapeln 5-8 juni 2024 och vi laddar upp med intervjuer med banden som spelar. Rocknytts Effie Trikili har ställt ett par frågor till Richie Kotzen.

Hello and welcome back to Sweden Rock Festival! How does it feel to be back at Sweden’s biggest rock festival?
It is an honor and a pleasure. I am thrilled to be included in a line up of such amazing bands and unique talents. Not only do I look forward to our performance but I am very much looking forward to listening to the acts of the day. It should be a fantastic day of music for us all the way around. Happy to be a part of it!

You recently released your latest single “Cheap Shots”, what’s the story behind it?
Cheap Shots is the first single off my upcoming album ‘Nomad’ to be released in September of 2024. The album is a deep journey into the various sides of my creative inspiration.   Cheap Shots I would say is the most straight forward rock track as some of the material delves a little deeper into other territories. Coming off 95 shows with The Winery Dogs in 2023 as well as the band’s third album I thought this was the song from my new album that would segue well from the end of The Winery Dog cycle into a touring cycle of my own.

How hard is it to put together a setlist for a festival gig?
For me it is not very hard. What it does is gives me an opportunity to design a more pointed and direct selection of songs that will please my existing fan base but hopefully engage some people who have never heard my music before. I quite enjoy the festival set as it is a different mindset for me. It is a different kind of focus.

What was the first album you bought with your own money?
KISS – Alive II. I bought it twice because the album came with a set of KISS tattoos and I wanted a second set of tattoos once the original ones wore off. It was a great marketing ploy by KISS to sell more records… It certainly worked on me.

Do you have any favourite songs to play live, which ones and why?
Ah, yes I’ve got many songs I always look forward to playing in the set. Pretty much all of them but I can narrow down a few.
One of the songs that is always in the set is ‘Doing What The Devil Says To Do’, for many reasons, but I think it really is the vocal that keeps me engaged.
It is a really important song for me and somehow because of the way the melody is written and the storyline of the lyrics, no matter how tired I am I always seem to be able to sing the song.
There are a few others as well but that one is at the top of the list.

What was the latest album you listened to in its entirety?
I really can’t remember. I don’t own a cd player or a record player I am embarrassed to say. Oddly with all the music I have made in my life I do not spend very much time listening to music. I’ve always been strange that way. My wife gets aggravated with me because I rarely turn on the radio when we go for a drive, I prefer the sound of the engine.

Do you have any special and/or “creative” wishes in your rider that you could share with us?
Actually my rider is pretty dull. All basic things you would expect. No frustrating things for the promoters to go on a hunt for, just the basics. I’ve got a promoter friendly rider, haha!

If you don’t have to worry about financial (economical) aspects, is there a band or artist you would like to collaborate with and why?
Sure… I have become friends with Sananda Maitreya. I sent him one of my guitars a few years ago and I believe he now owns 4 of them…. He has been a huge influence on my singing and writing style so I would be super thrilled to work on something with him some day.
Also Nuno Bettencourt and I are very good friends and I think he and I could do quite a bit of damage together.

If you have time, will you be seeing any bands at the festival – which ones?
Yes, I sure do hope so. I don’t know who it will be as I do not have my schedule in front of me at the moment but I sure do hope to have a chance to check out some music!

What should the festival audience expect from your performance at Sweden Rock?
Ahhh… that question always hits me in a funny way… Being that I am known as a singing guitar player there will be a lot of that. A lot of singing and a lot of guitar playing, haha!
One of the things I think that makes my band unique is that we do get into some free form jamming…
Although we do not sound like the Grateful Dead, I think there are elements to their approach that live in ours. The open jams are what I look forward to most in our set.

Thank you for your time, see you at Sweden Rock in June!

Richie Kotzen spelar lördag 8 juni, kl. 12:15 på Rock Stage.

Sweden Rock Festival går av stapeln i Norje, Sölvesborg 5-8 juni.
Deltagande band är Journey, Judas Priest, Five Finger Death Punch, Alice Cooper, Parkway Drive, The Black Crowes, Megadeth, Evanescence, Avantasia, The Hives, W.A.S.P., Rival Sons, Bruce Dickinson, Dimmu Borgir, Electric Callboy, Kerry King, Extreme, Hammerfall, Michael Schenker Group, Dismember, Winger, Steel Panther, Graveyard, The Darkness, Satyricon, Slaughter To Prevail, Beast In Black, Battle Beast, Gloryhammer, Heavy Laod, Nestor, Thy Art Is Murder, Ice Nine Kills, Black Stone Cherry, Biohazard, Primal Fear, Talisman, High On Fire, Pain, Zeal & Ardor, Swedish Erotica, Treat, Hulkoff, Richie Kotzen, Carcass, The Haunted, Riverside, The Baboon Show, Lillasyster, Tyketto, Igorrr, Riot V, Imminence, Canned Heat, Orden Ogan, Decapitated, Dream Evil, Bullet, Electric Boys, Dewolff, Týr, Lucifer, Cirith Ungol, Mystic Prophecy, The Southern River Band, Humanity’s Last Breath, Vltimas, Avatarium, Vicious Rumors, Truckfighters, Spiders, Gaupa, The Gems, Dampf, Iron Savior, Skraeckoedlan, Care Of Night, The Dahmers, Prins Svart, The Cruel Intentions, Scarlet, Eternal Evil, F.K.Ü., Velveteen Queen, Xion, Chainsaw Holiday, Ebba Bergkvist & The Flat Tire band, Hellgroove, Nazghor, Rexoria, Svarta Sanningar, The Drippers, We Are To Blame och Rockklassiker Allstars.

Picture of Effie Trikili

Effie Trikili


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