Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen‘s project SMITH/KOTZEN played the fourth show of its U.S. West Coast tour last night (Wednesday, January 26) at Goldfield Trading Post in Roseville, California. Joining Smith and Kotzen as part of their touring band is Richie‘s wife, internationally acclaimed bass player Julia Lage, formerly of the Latin Grammy-nominated Brazilian rock band BARRA DE SAIA. With a strong pedigree in rock, Lage has played alongside the likes of Pat Travers, Elliot Easton (THE CARS), Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME) and Mark McGrath (SUGAR RAY). In addition, SMITH/KOTZEN has enlisted drummer Bruno Valverde of ANGRA for the U.S. West Coast dates.
Video footage of the Roseville concert, including SMITH/KOTZEN‘s rendition of the IRON MAIDEN classic “Wasted Years”, with Smith on lead vocals, can be seen below.
In a recent interview with Metal Edge magazine’s “Another FN Podcast With Izzy Presley”, Richie stated about how the short tour came together (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “What happened was it was all just by timing. Nathalie [Dufresne-Smith, Adrian‘s wife] and Adrian came into town, and Adrian said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna be there for a couple of months. You wanna write some more songs?’ And we did get together and we did about seven things that are in the works; we have some demo stuff that are in the works. And then we started thinking, ‘Man, we’re here. Why don’t we play?’ Julia was in the house and we were talking about it. And it just kind of — boom. It just made sense. ‘Let’s go. Call Bruno.’ And we put it together. It was real easy.”
Adrian added that fans can definitely expect to hear more music from SMITH/KOTZEN, which released a full-length album and an EP during 2021.
“We started writing with a view to doing another album, and then we got sidetracked on dates,” Smith said. “Like Richie said, we’ve got six or seven things. It’s just taking where we left off with the EP — just writing as we do.
“I don’t wanna change the world,” he added. “I just wanna make good rock music. It’s n there, and you’ve just gotta do it. You just have to do it, really. It’s one of those things.”
SMITH/KOTZEN remaining West Coast tour dates:
Jan. 27 – The Siren – Morro Bay, CA
Jan. 28 – Ventura Theatre – Ventura, CA (postponed from Jan. 15)
SMITH/KOTZEN‘s eponymous debut album was released globally through BMG in March 2021 to media and fan acclaim, charting No. 10 on Billboard‘s Top Album Sales chart in the U.S., Top 20 in the U.K. as well as in other major markets such as Germany, Japan and Canada. A follow-up EP, “Better Days”, featuring four new tracks was released on November 26 in conjunction with international Record Store Day’s Black Friday event.
Smith is best known as one of IRON MAIDEN‘s principal guitarists, having also enjoyed success as a solo artist. Kotzen is the frontman 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.