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THE WINERY DOGS
Unleashed In Japan

Unleashed In Japan
Genre Rock
Release Date 23.05.2014
EAN-Code 4029759094869
Label earMUSIC
Playtime 00:00:23
Artist The Winery Dogs

[Translate to Englisch:] “Unleashed In Japan” isn't just a simple re-release – it is way more than that! Firstly, “Unleashed In Japan” presents a new live album from The Winery Dogs, and the eponymous studio album comes as a bonus so to say. Secondly, the aforementioned live album is also available as a vinyl version. And last but not least there is also a box set named “Dog Treats” containing various rarities from The Winery Dogs on top of the live and the studio album. 

It would almost be too easy to call The Winery Dogs just a “supergroup”: Singer and guitarist Richie Kotzen made history with Poison and Mr. Big, bassist Billy Sheehan played together with Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, Talas, UFO and many others and drummer Mike Portnoy is among other things co-founder of the prog metal icons Dream Theater. But The Winery Dogs are so much more than just a supergroup.

Formations like these are usually fleeting stars, compiled of talented musicians who jam together   for a while and hastily record an album, hoping they might capture the spark and immortalize it on tape. They are the sum of their parts. The Winery Dogs are entirely different – this trio is a genuine band, a unity that exceeds all expectations with its thrilling sound. Their eponymous debut album is filled with straight rock'n'roll which is inspired by the band members' favourite bands and combines the different styles each of them is noted for.

“We all have our own intonation and our own style but we also have a lot in common when it comes to our musical roots and the music we grew up with,” singer and guitarist Richie Kotzen explains. “What makes this band so special is that we have all preserved our own identity during our collaboration. We all sound the way we are but still make music which sounds as fresh and exciting as if we were a new band. The chemistry is just right, we were virtually meant for each other.”

“I like the fact that we all have our different backgrounds, even though some of it is akin,” Sheehan adds. “We have a special connection which surely wouldn't have come about if we all liked the same things. We put different elements together and made a consistent band out of them.”

Their perfect mixture is testament to that: “The Winery Dogs” is a versatile album with songs that groove and swing without losing the power which distinguishes a good hard rock album. 'Elevate' begins with a mighty clash, rumbling drums and humming riffs pool forces in a rhythm of sheer power. The musicians end the verse with precise playing before the song passes into a stomping bass drum accompanied by a persistent guitar feedback while Kotzen sings the meaningful lines ‘lost in the dark, I feel like a shadow of myself’. Then the band comes in again and the song builds up tension all over again until it reaches the euphoric chorus ‘elevate me, take me hire/ I don’t want to be wasted’.

This dynamic explains how The Winery Dogs play with their established styles and develop them into something really special. All this is completed by Sheehan's acrobatic bass play and Kotzen's swift solos, providing the sound with a certain recall value as well as absolute individuality.

“We just met and started playing together – it felt totally natural and just fit perfectly,” says Sheehan. “Some of the songs on the album came about spontaneously. We started playing and just let it roll. To be honest, the hardest thing for us was picking our favourites. We recorded a song and were totally happy with it afterwards. Then we recorded the next one and thought 'no man, THAT is our new favourite!' Something like that doesn't happen very often and we were totally enthusiastic about it.”

The Winery Dog's album may also be as great as it is because it offers an unexpected insight into the inner life of its musicians. Kotzen's voice enver sounded better and his guitar play is as extraordinary as ever. Anchored by Sheehan's bass play which grounds the songs and affords Portnoy a solid foundation for experiments the band creates music that sways between simplicity and virtuosity.

“I find it really exciting to be part of a solid rock trio like this,” says Portnoy. “I've been playing prog music most of the time in my career but this was clearly an opportunity for me to make music which is neither prog nor metal. It's rather classic rock – which is is the music I grew up with and which has influenced me the most. I sit at home playing a Bonham groove on a simple four-piece drum set instead of complex tempi behind a giant kit. That is totally refreshing for me.”

The foundation of The Winery Dogs was laid back in 2011 when Sheehan and Portnoy were working together with another guitarist and songwriter (John Sykes, Ex Thin Lizzy, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Whitesnake, Blue Murder). When it wouldn't really gel a common friend – Eddie            Trunk, host of the US radio show “That Metal Show” – suggested to contact Kotzen in order to ask him if he was interested in founding a new band. “We all thought that was a brilliant idea,” Portnoy recalls. “We were searching for an extraordinarily talented guitarist, singer and songwriter – and Richie unites all of these qualities in one person.”

In January 2012 the three musicians met in Kotzen's studio and wrote three songs on the very first day, including the two album tracks ‘One More Time’ and ‘Six Feet Deeper’. One month later they met again and wrote five other songs. From then on it was all just about ending the other current projects and start recording the album. “At that point we were totally hooked,” says Portnoy. “We started with the recordings in August 2012, recorded most of the songs and wrote the remaining tracks. In December we finished the vocals and finally did the mixing in January 2013.”

Although many of the tracks on “The Winery Dogs” were developed together in the studio some of them are based on song ideas Kotzen had written down before. “I had some ideas which I played to the guys and they helped me expanding them into complete songs. Then there was a song called 'You Saved Me' for which Mike had some lyrics and a melody in his head, so he wrote that song down. The origination process was characterized by complete togetherness – no egos, no solo action.”

“The Winery Dogs” is full of passion and talent and impresses with a richness in variety as well. 'Damaged' features jazzy guitars and yearning lyrics. 'I'm No Angel' is a solid mid-tempo piece with a bluesy riff partly Hendrix partly Zeppelin and 'Regret' is a heartfelt ballad thrilling with organ and piano sound and soulful vocals.

“I grew up in the vicinity of Philadelphia and listened to a lot of soul music which really influenced me as a singer,” says Kotzen. “I think this way of singing goes well with our music. It may not be typical of hard rock but it's still very vigorous.”

“We are so proud of this album,” Sheehan summarizes. “We can't wait to share it with everybody and play the songs live. Being as happy as we are with the material, we think that the next album is going to be as cool as or maybe even better than this one since the songs will be written after we will have been on tour, trying out how our material works best and learning something new. That's what I'm really looking forward to.”

In July The Winery Dogs will tour Germany for a second time after their recent fall tour to present their songs live.

The tour dates:

10. July Nürnberg, Rockfabrik

11. July Bochum, Matrix

12. July Osnabrück, Rosenhof

 

Track listings:

Unleashed In Japan

CD1: (Live)
1. Elevate
2. Criminal
3. Time Machine
4. I’m No Angel
5. Not Hopeless
6. Stand
7. You Can’t Save Me
8. Shine
9. Fooled Around And Fell In Love
10. Desire


CD2: (Studio)
1. Elevate
2. Desire
3. We Are One
4. I’m No Angel
5. The Other Side
6. You Saved Me
7. Not Hopeless
8. One More Time
9. Damaged
10. Six Feet Deeper
11. Time Machine
12. The Dying
13. Regret

VINYL: (Live)

Side 1:

1. Elevate
2. Criminal
3. Time Machine
4. I’m No Angel
5. Not Hopeless

 

Side 2:
6. Stand
7. You Can’t Save Me
8. Shine
9. Fooled Around And Fell In Love
10. Desire

 

Dog Treats (Box set)

CD1 (Studio)

1. Elevate
2. Desire
3. We Are One
4. I’m No Angel
5. The Other Side
6. You Saved Me
7. Not Hopeless
8. One More Time
9. Damaged
10. Six Feet Deeper
11. Time Machine
12. The Dying
13. Regret

 

CD2 (Live)

1. Elevate
2. Criminal
3. Time Machine
4. I’m No Angel
5. Not Hopeless
6. Stand
7. You Can’t Save Me
8. Shine
9. Fooled Around And Fell In Love
10. Desire

 

CD3

A CD of demos from 2012, The Winery Pups

Plus

- A DVD of music videos and band interviews

- Mike Portnoy’s in-studio diary from the making of the record

- Custom Winery Dogs dog tags with chain

- Custom Winery Dogs wine bottle topper

- Custom embroidered paw print logo patch

01
The Winery Dogs
Elevate
00:05:08
02
The Winery Dogs
Criminal
00:05:08
03
The Winery Dogs
Time machine
00:04:56
04
The Winery Dogs
I'm no angel
00:04:02
05
The Winery Dogs
Not hopeless
00:06:11
06
The Winery Dogs
Stand
00:04:43
07
The Winery Dogs
You can't save me
00:02:04
08
The Winery Dogs
Shine
00:04:41
09
The Winery Dogs
Fooled around and fell in love
00:05:38
10
The Winery Dogs
Desire
00:07:05