The new supergroup featuring Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) and Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) will begin recording their debut album in August.
The group was originally to include Portnoy, Sheehan and John Sykes (ex-Whitenake, Thin Lizzy, Blue Murder). Portnoy and Sykes had even gone so far as to announce the band formation during an episode of That Metal Show.
But as Portnoy explained on Eddie Trunk’s Friday Night Rocks radio show on the weekend, “I love John personally, and we get along great – he’s a sweetheart of a guy – but I need to keep moving. I can’t sit still and kind of wait to make an album over the next three years. I need to put things on the calendar and move forward and get them done, and John’s kind of just a ‘wait, wait, wait’ guy.”
It was Trunk who suggested that Portnoy and Sheehan consider working with Kotzen, who recorded two studio albums as a member of Mr. Big after Paul Gilbert departed the band.
Portnoy describes the new band as a classic rock power trio in the vein of Led Zeppelin, Cream and Jimi Hendrix, mixed with the sounds of Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Black Crowes and Lenny Kravitz. Kotzen will be the lead vocalist, although Portnoy and Sheehan will also contribute vocals.
Kotzen’s latest album is 24 Hours, which marks his switch to playing without a pick.