Richie Kotzen says that he will get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as he is allowed.
THE WINERY DOGS frontman, who is promoting the debut album from his collaborative project with IRON MAIDEN's Adrian Smith, made the comment in a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice.
Asked if he has already been vaccinated and whether he is "ready to go" back on he road, Richie responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I'm not ready yet. You've gotta let the people that really need it get it first. But as soon as I can get that, I'm gonna do it. I have a feeling that in order to do what we do, pretty soon they're gonna make it that you have to have it. So I have no objection to getting it."
Kotzen went on to say that he and his wife already battled COVID-19 last year and came out of it relatively unscathed. "My wife tested positive, and then I ran out five, six days later and got a test, and I was negative," he said. "But then, no sooner than I get the test, I got sick with all the same symptoms. So I can only assume that I had it as well.
"I've been way sicker in my life, but it's not like that for everybody," he explained. "This thing affects everybody differently, and that's why it's so fucking dangerous. So I think people have gotta be responsible, and now that we know how serious it is — obviously — you've gotta do what you've gotta do to stay safe."
Richie, who spent most of last year at his Southern California home, also expressed his desire to return to performing live in front of an audience. "I just wanna get out there and play again," he said. "I will say this: I found a way to enjoy the year off. I really did embrace it, and I liked being home and spending time at home. But now at this point, I'd like to get out there and play some shows."
SMITH/KOTZEN, the collaboration between Smith and Kotzen, will release its self-titled debut album on March 26 via BMG. Recorded on the Turks & Caicos Islands in February 2020, produced by Richie and Adrian and mixed by Kevin "Caveman" Shirley, this nine-track opus is a consummate collaboration between these two highly respected musicians who co-wrote all the songs and also share lead vocals and trade off on guitar and bass duties throughout the record.