Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen unveil Smith/Kotzen project with new single Taking My Chances

Smith / Kotzen
(Image credit: Smith / Kotzen / BMG)

Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen have announced a new blues-rock collaboration with the release of their debut single, Taking My Chances.

The Iron Maiden guitarist has been keeping himself busy in 2020 while the Beast shelters in place. 

When MusicRadar spoke to Smith in September, he had just  released his new angling book and memoir, Monsters Of Rock and River, and said he had been spending working in his home studio, digging old Marshalls out of the vault, and working on his vocals.

I think Richie and I complement each other really well. He's a virtuoso guitarist

Adrian Smith

At the time, it was rumoured that he was going to hook up with Kotzen. After all, the Winery Dogs/Mr Big guitarist is a friend, an LA neighbour. It'd make sense. But Smith was tight lipped. All he would say was that he could say nothing, except that the artist was "a really good singer, a great guitar player".

Now the cat is out the bag, Taking My Chances is the first single, with the promise of more to come via BMG.

The project sees Kotzen and Smith share vocal duties and the important business of lighting up the electric guitar

Taking My Chances was recorded at the beginning of the year in Turks & Caicos, southeast of the Bahamas, and not so far away from Compass Point Studios where Iron Maiden recorded Powerslave.

“I think Richie and I complement each other really well,“ said Smith. “He’s a virtuoso guitarist but he’s got a great sense of melody – the whole thing just felt very natural.”

”We found common ground in classic and blues-based rock – we both come from that mentality,” said Kotzen. ”We’ve been writing and recording together for the past year and I’m ecstatic with the results.”

Smith / Kotzen promise more music in 2021. Except 70s rock riffs, big hooks and some fretboard pyro – especially when Kotzen hits his straps.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.