Exclusive Chickenfoot interview from Classic Rock magazine:
Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith team up for supergroup and give Classic Rock the exclusive lowdown.
The name Chickenfoot doesn’t exactly conjure up visions of a union between some of rocks mightiest musical behemoths; in fact it sounds more like a nasty side effect of bird flu.
“It was just supposed to be a bullshit name that we’d used for a while,” former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony told Classic Rock. “And then the rumours spread about the band, everybody used that name so we thought, ‘fuck it, let’s call it Chickenfoot – it all comes down to the music anyway.”
Featuring Sammy Hagar (vocals), Joe Satriani (guitar), Chad Smith (drums) and Anthony; this million-dollar quartet are reluctant to call themselves a supergroup as a modest Smith explained: “We’re not a supergroup, we like hanging out together and the music is a bonus. We just happen to be in other groups.”
Classic Rock caught up with the band at Hagar’s recording studio in San Francisco where the ever ebullient Red Rocker explained the origins of the band.
“It started off with me, Michael and Chad jamming at my club-Cabo Wabo-in Mexico. Then people started asking us when we were going to tour, make a record etc. So I said if we’re going to do this properly then we’re going have to get a guitarist, let’s talk to Joe Satriani. As far as I’m concerned he’s the best guitarist in the world.”
The band made their official debut a year ago in Las Vegas at a Hagar concert where they played a three song covers set (including Zep’s Rock’n’Roll and Traffic’s Dear Mr Fantasy). Since then they have managed to record an album’s worth of material with Andy Johns and Mike Fraser at the helm. They are currently putting together a tour of Europe’s festivals this summer, which will include some shows in the UK.
“Europe is where I want this band to start, I feel so guilty that I haven’t played Europe in years,” Hagar revealed.
Classic Rock was given an exclusive preview of three tracks from the band’s eponymously titled debut. “Soap On A Rope” and “Sexy Little Thing” have the humour and loose feel of prime Halen, with the unbridled energy of Montrose. “Avenida Revolution” is an epic political anthem about the troubles on the Mexican/American border and has all the making of a classic.
“I’m not looking for fortune and fame out of this. I’ve had enough of that to last five times,” explained Hagar, maybe referring to selling an 80 percent interest in his Cabo Wabo tequila company for $80 million. “So pull that out of the equation, what am I doing it for? The music and enjoyment.”