Richie Kotzen: live4guitar interview

What is your advice for the new guitarists out there who want to make it in the business?

It’s important to realize something. Everybody I guess wants to step out from what they are and be something bigger than what they are. I think you have to realize that all that other stuff is a byproduct to the work. If you think like “I want to become famous, I’ll learn the guitar”, it's not gonna work. People become recognized because of their actions and what they do. People are talking to me because they’ve heard my music and they like my music, not because of anything else. You do the work, you learn the instrument, you play. Some of them like it, some of them don’t but you cannot control that and when you are trying to control that you set yourself up for a lot of heartbreak because it’s a big world, there is a lot of people out there who make music and you got to do it for loving it. You play music because you have to, it’s the only thing that you really know. I don’t know how to do anything else, that’s what I do. If I wasn’t playing here, I’d be playing in my bedroom. I’d be sitting there with my guitar playing because I like it, I enjoy it. So my advice is don’t worry about what I’m doing or don’t worry about what your neighbor is doing, make sure you’re happy. You like playing music, go play. You like being in a band, form a band. You like playing your own music, go write some songs. You want to play in front of others, book a gig. You want to hear your music through the speakers, go to a studio and record it. Be proactive! Do that stuff but by no means don’t expect everybody to love your work but if you connect to someone that’s a byproduct, that’s the bonus. But the objective is to make yourself happy and play music. more