The Winery Dogs: Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy


So, who are the Winery Dogs? ...they are;  guitarist Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison), bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Niacin) and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob)!

The guys prefer to be considered a classic power trio rather than a Super-Group, and they've already released a powerful trio of music videos in advance of their debut self-titled album, which will be released July 23 via Loud and Proud Records. The disc was produced by the band and mixed by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Stone Sour, Steel Panther).

Guitar World's James Wood, recently sat down with Kotzen, Sheehan and Portnoy to talk band origins, gear, the new album and the secrets behind Kotzen’s sound and hybrid picking style.

How did the Winery Dogs come together?

Portnoy: Billy and I had been working on a separate project with John Sykes, but it was hard to get that project moving along. We both decided we didn’t want to wait, but we also wanted to continue working together and create a classic rock power trio.

Sheehan: Mike and I were ready to go and wanted to move quickly, whereas John [Sykes] wanted to take a more methodical approach to things. There are merits to doing things both ways, but in the end we decided to move on and try something else.

Portnoy: I should clarify that everything we were doing with Sykes was completely different from this project. Everything that's part of the Winery Dogs' album is strictly the three of us, and that's where it began. Once we got together with Richie, it was a complete collaboration. All of this music poured out of us naturally.



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