Easy enough to dismiss the big hair bona fides, but Kotzen and beyond, Satriani, Vai, maybe Johnson, are adherents to the very much still breathing 1980s Guitar God Squad. Flash forward to now though and Kotzen’s also got a studio in L.A., Headroom-Inc where, far from turning out Stepford stylists, he’s in session with John Five.
“I’ve also had M’Shell N’Degeocello in here, Gene Simmons, Dave Navarro, Ricky Watters the football player,” Kotzen says in full lounge at Headroom’s front office. “It’s just your basic Pro Tools studio. But typically what’s worked for me, if you’re asking, and what I like when it comes to guitar is the 57. The 1073, the Neves. And I like really good tube compressors. That’s what I prefer. I put the mic on the guitar amp right in front of the cabinet on the outside of the cone. So yeah, just a basic studio,” Kotzen continues, lying his ass off as we later peruse a very NOT basic palatial spread. Five’s session thumps from the backrooms with Sid Riggs tossing mics behind doors, behind toilets, just about anywhere to “get John some really wacked out sounds.” And all suddenly seems right with the world.
Trans Am revved, eyeliner on, and lighters held aloft, we salute you, brother.