Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen‘s project SMITH/KOTZEN will release “Better Days …And Nights” on September 16 via BMG. The effort comprises five previously unreleased live tracks, plus for the first time ever on CD, the four studio tracks featured on their sold-out, limited-edition 12-inch vinyl EP, “Better Days”, released in conjunction with Record Store Day in November 2021.
The live video for second singe “Got A Hold On Me” was directed by Ryan Titley and can be seen below.
The full track listing for “Better Days …And Nights” is:
01. Better Days
02. Got A Hold On Me
03. Hate And Love
04. Rise Again
05. Hate And Love (Live)
06. Got A Hold On Me (Live)
07. Scars (Live)
08. You Don’t Know Me (Live)
09. Running (Live)
The live songs were recorded during SMITH/KOTZEN‘s inaugural whistle-stop tour of the U.S. and U.K. at the start of 2022, which attracted unanimously rave reviews from fans and media alike, celebrating the duo’s debut on stage together with stellar back-up from Richie‘s wife, internationally acclaimed bass player Julia Lage, and drummer Bruno Valverde of ANGRA.
Japan’s metal bible Burrn! magazine reviewing the Whisky A Go Go show in Los Angeles pronounced it, “An amazing night….this rock n’ roll band is very different from any other…totally unique …and bringing you great songs!”. U.K.’s Classic Rock magazine said the show was a, “masterclass in guitar playing and performance”.
Smith comments: “I think everyone in the band was extremely happy with how our very first tour turned out. We were all naturally a little anxious as we’d never played live together before but once we got out there, everything fell into place really easily and we all had a tremendous amount of fun. I can’t wait until we can do it again and get to play in many more places next time round.”
Kotzen adds: “We spent a lot of time discussing which of the songs from the live show to include on this CD. We wanted to capture an accurate snapshot of the special vibe we all felt on the tour and I think we’ve achieved this in the songs we’ve selected, and hope our fans will agree. We’re looking forward to seeing everybody again on future tours.”
“Better Days….And Nights” will be released globally on CD and digital formats.
The original EP tracks were produced by Kotzen and Smith and mixed by Kevin Shirley. The live tracks were produced and mixed by Kotzen and Smith.
In a recent interview with Metal Edge magazine’s “Another FN Podcast With Izzy Presley”, Richie stated about how the short tour came together: “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‘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.
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.