Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 59 - Interview with The Winery Dogs

THE WINERY DOGS

Interview with Billy Sheehan by Mónica Castedo-López


Good news travels at the speed of light, hence by now the whole world should be familiar with the name of the new band by three music illuminati: Mike Portnoy on drums, Richie Kotzen on guitar and vocals and Billy Sheehan on bass. The latter two played together in Mr. Big before its initial demise in 2002 but the addition of the ex-Dream Theater and one of the greatest drummers in rock, brings a different dimension to the music they are putting out together. The Winery Dogs kick-ass self-titled debut album will see the light in the UK in early September, days before their live shows on this side of the pond. Instead of resting on their laurels, they have already been playing in Japan, South America and the US. It was in-between this hectic tour schedule that bassist extraordinaire Sheehan found the time to reply to the questions yours truly had prepared for him.

Obviously, Richie and you were in Mr. Big together but whose idea was it to form The Winery Dogs? How did you get Mike in? Were you friends previously?

Initially, it was Mike. He contacted me and wanted to start a band, not just another "side project". I told him I was certainly interested. I'm in Mr. Big of course, as well as Niacin, but neither of those bands plays a lot of shows live. They usually have a two year interlude, at least, between tours, and I really want to play more. I know how much Mike plays and tours, so I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to play a lot more and in many more places, as well as doing it in the company of his very fine playing skills.
In the beginning he tried a situation with another guitarist [John Sykes] that unfortunately didn't work out, so Eddie Trunk suggested Richie Kotzen. I felt stupid that I didn't think of him first. He's one of my favourite singers and guitarists as well! So we all got together and the chemistry was instantaneous and exciting.

Were you or Richie a fan of Dream Theater?

I've played with Richie prior to and after his time in Mr. Big. We've been friends for many years. I've always loved his voice, songwriting and unique guitar playing. Mike and I first worked together on a Rush tribute album a long time ago, then we did a Who tribute tour with Paul Gilbert and Gary Cherone and more recently a worldwide tour with Tony MacAlpine and Derek Sherinian (PSMS). I love Mike’s drumming and we lock together telepathically it seems at times! I was a huge fan of the earliest prog music, before it was even referred to as such: King Crimson, Genesis, Yes and many more, so it's been difficult for me to get into the more recent prog stuff. I know DT is huge and awesome, but I'm not familiar with them for the most part. Much respect though. 

Who decided on the musical direction and who wrote the songs? 

We let nature take its course. We had no "plan" or grand scheme. We just got in there and wrote a lot, fine tuned it, and laid it down. I'm very happy that we approached it that way, just letting things come alive and grow naturally. We generally wrote together in a small room with tiny amps and a small drum kit. Some songs came from things Richie had worked on before we got together.

Do you have a second album in the making or any plans for it?

No, but I do honestly think we could start tomorrow and have another completely new record in a month. It just seems to go very easily in the studio for us.

What is next after the tour and album?

We will learn and grow and evolve as any band does from touring and the results of that will be reflected in what we do from then on. I have high expectations of what we'll come up with after getting into the groove of live interaction for a ton of shows. 
I've been playing a LONG time, ha! Thousands of shows getting near 5000 maybe? and done a zillion records. It's funny, when a fan comes up to have me sign CD covers, the pile is four inches thick! So after all this I look back, supremely thankful for everything. And now to start a new band?! I really enjoy watching the process all over again. I couldn't think of two more wonderful guys to do it with than Mike and Richie. Things are very much different in the music biz these days, but there's nothing in the world like going out and playing your new music live in front of a roomful of friends, which is what I consider fans to be. It never gets old! I'm loving every minute of it. Thanks to everyone involved in this: management, label, agents, press, crew, but most all, everyone who is kind enough to attend our shows. We'll do our very best for all of you.

To read the full double page spread on The Winery Dogs, where Billy talks about ego, some of the album tracks and reuniting with Richie Kotzen, you need Fireworks #59:

The-Winery-Dogs-Fireworks-Spread

Available from ...


- Participating WHSmith and McColls Group stores (see Store Finder for participating stockists) 
- Here in the Fireworks Magazine Mini Shop (no registration required)  
- From the Rocktopia Download Store: A digital PDF copy for your mobile device or eBook reader sells for only £3. Each issue can be downloaded immediately and comes with the full cover CD in MP3 format. PLEASE NOTE: Not all issues of Fireworks come with a free bonus disc)
- Direct from Fireworks HQ by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , paying via Paypal. Send £6 (inc P&P) for UK, £8.50 (inc P&P) Europe, and £9.50 (inc P&P) for USA/Rest of World.

The-Winery-Dogs-Interview

Share this on the web.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

William Shatner - 'The Blues'
13/10/2020 | James Gaden
article thumbnail

One of his best albums to date.


Latest News on Rocktopia

Status Quo bassist ALAN LANCASTER dies aged 72
26/09/2021 | Central Electronic Brain



Alan Lancaster,
founding member and bassist for St [ ... ]


Member Login



Calendar

<<  October 2021  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 4 weeks, 1 day ago
  • Berny : RIP Alan Lancaster! :(
  • Berny : @Barneypippa: I forwarded your mail to the Fireworks team. You should receive a reply asap.
  • Barneypippa : My magazine (#96) hasnt arrived yet - should have been here last week
  • Rocktopia Te : @bakerstreetish: Pls. check your email for download instructions.
  • bakerstreeti : Hi, I just bought digital download #96. How will I be able to receive/access it? First time on this site. Thanks!
  • zom414 : Have they been posted out yet? Not received mine yet but may have the release date wrong!
  • Johns Band : Received glossy Fireworks 96 and one of best ever. I am still looking at pictures and "Revisit The Gods AOR Festive" should be great. Probably get download from issue 101 to save on space & it is read to me from audio voice. Already got Robben Ford Instrumental album "Pure" great stuff & Freddy King singing & guitar I love, so Bernie Marsden new album I will have on Amazon Prime. If you are into 70's Rock then new Help Yourself 6 CD Boxset + info will be good for you plus expert to pay no more
  • Berny : Fireworks #96 is out now! :)
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Pls. check your email!
  • Paul wiv : I have paid for issue 92 but it hasn't downloaded yet.
  • Berny : @Adamson: Bitte kontaktiere mich direkt, meine Mailadresse lautet «email»
  • Adamson : kann man hier auch auf Deutsch schreiben? denn ich hätte eine Frage?
  • KI2000 : Wow, issue #95 has to be the BEST one so far. Congratulations guys!!
  • Hysteria : GREAT MAGAZINE! Keep on rockin' guys!!!
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #95 is out now!
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Many thanks for your purchase, pls. check your mail.
  • Paul wiv : I have bought issue 89 on download but it has not appeared on my account
  • Berny : @pomper: BOTH of your mails were forwarded to the Fireworks Team, please contact me directly at «email» should you still haven’t received a reply.
  • bpomper : trying to confirm my fireworks 94 order with no answer from team rocktopia??
  • bpomper : i ordered fireworks number 94 but never got a conformation other than my paypal receipt. can you confirm it went out. i have transaction id if you need it
  • Berny : @ALL: Should you have any questions about your Fireworks orders, pls. contact me directly at «email»
  • Berny : Hi @Stuey6666: You are using two user names on Rocktopia. All current orders were assigned to your second account, pls. check your mail again.
  • Stuey6666 : Hi Berny - ordered 4 issues last week - still not arrived - have checked spam etc not there. cheers stu
  • Berny : @Adolfo: I've also just sent you the magazine via WeTransfer. But please check you junk mail folder, the mail was definitely sent earlier today.
  • Berny : Hi @Adolfo: Have you already checked your spam folder? If the mail cannot be found, pls. contact me at «email»
  • Adolfo : «email»
  • Adolfo : My e - mail
  • Adolfo : I don't have any e - mail.
  • Berny : @Adolfo: Pls. check your e - mail for download instructions.
  • Adolfo : I have order the #94 but I can't find the download

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site