By Jason Savio
Dispelling the notion that all Supergroups are ego-driven, fly-by-night collaborations is Chickenfoot: an all-star band consisting of former solo artist and Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, former VH bassist Michael Anthony, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith, and guitar god Joe Satriani.
A legitimate band of successful, charismatic, talented musicians who enjoy playing together, Chickenfoot represent an anomaly in the Supergroup category.
Chickenfoot first began as a surprise jam at a Hagar show in Las Vegas. “It was just going to be an impromptu thing,” explains Michael Anthony ~ a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee ~ during our recent conversation. “We get up there for the encore and the fans are going nuts and we had such a great time together and that’s when we said, ‘Hey, let’s get in the studio and see if anything happens out of this.’”
What came out of those sessions was the group’s gold certified 2009 self-titled debut album that supplied a major shot of adrenaline to the music scene. Since then, there has been no looking back for the group, who have provided fans with a welcomed change of pace ~ a band that knows how to play hard while also having a good time.
“I think it’s just part of the lightheartedness of the band,” Anthony says, regarding the band name and recent album title “We really don’t take too much seriously except for the music. Everything else we just have fun with.”
The members of Chickenfoot are clearly enjoying themselves. Their playing is tight and yet seemingly effortless, the sign of a band comfortable with each other and playing for all the right reasons, “When we go out we don’t try to put any pressure on ourselves. There’s no big ego thing involved and it’s not money driven,” says Anthony. “The reason why we got together in the first place was just because we loved jamming together and wanted to make some music together.”
The Different Devil tour, which will feature Kenny Aronoff temporarily filling in on drums for Smith, will be making stops at a lot of theaters, including the Orpheum in Boston.
“We’re going to have the most jam packed show you’re going to see in these theaters,” Anthony says, “It’s going to be great.”
The band’s hallmark element of surprise will be on full display, too.
“It’s not one of these things where every night everything is all planned out,” Anthony adds, “We put a skeleton set list together. We like to keep it loose. Every night is different from the night before.”
And to further prove that this isn’t just another flash-in-the-pan supergroup, Chickenfoot is dedicated to each other and the group for the foreseeable future.
“There will definitely be another album,” Anthony says, “We’re one big happy family, and we just want to have a great time and try to make the best music that we can as a band, so we’ll definitely be around for awhile.”
Chickenfoots’ Different Devil Tour hits the road this spring in support of their tongue-in-cheek titled sophomore album, Chickenfoot III.
Catch them on May 16th at the Orpheum Theater in Boston and on May 19th at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT.
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