ERIC MARTIN SAYS HE WOULD LIKE RICHIE KOTZEN TO SUPPORT MR. BIG ON THEIR FINAL TOUR
Prior to his October 28th solo acoustic performance in Pontypridd, Wales, Mr. Big vocalist Eric Martin spoke with Midlands Metalheads Radio. The complete conversation can be streamed below. Excerpts from the interview appear below (as transcribed by blabbermouth.net).
On guitarist Paul Gilbert’s departure from the band in 1999:
Eric: “It was weird circumstances. Paul just left us. I’m sure he probably got sick of me and Billy [Sheehan] arguing, and stuff like that. He’s never admitted it. He’s always called it as he wanted to do solo records. Paul’s always on his evolution. There’s always something going on with Paul. When he left, we kicked around for a little while, and Billy and Pat [Torpey] played on a Richie Kotzen solo album, and they got along great. They actually played together — they opened for The Rolling Stones in Japan, and they had really good chemistry. I would say in close to a year, we got Richie and we called it Mr. Big and did a couple more albums. They were great. I loved Richie in the band. Paul was great, but Richie was kind of like a… I’m not saying it raised the bar, but it was good for me, because Richie could sing, and it was great, like a lead singer. It was my idea to put us together. I wanted to utilize his voice. I loved the shtick of it, the novelty of it — having these two [voices], almost like [The] Righteous Brothers.”
Talking about his recent comments about not wanting Mr. Big to continue after the death of drummer Pat Torpey:
Eric: “I’m pretty sure that this is going to be our last tour ever. We’re touring in June and July, and then we’re going to take a couple weeks off, and then we’re going to [tour from] July all the way until 2020, around January maybe, and call it a day. My big dream is, I’d love Richie to open for us so we can kind of play together. I’d like to go out with a big bang.”
Sounds kind of like a back handed compliment to Paul. Paul may not be a lead singer, but his playing is devastating, and no small part of the appeal of this band. I’m also pretty sure Eric isn’t the best singer that Paul has worked with either. On another note, i’m also glad that Richie is back in business, as I like his playing as well.
and Richie’s voice is great, too.