NEWS: Full Chickenfoot album details

Here’s the press release for the Chickenfoot album. Excited? I am!

CHICKENFOOT, the new rock supergroup comprised of drummer Chad Smith (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS), bassist Michael Anthony (ex-VAN HALEN), guitarist Joe Satriani and vocalist Sammy Hagar (ex-VAN HALEN), has announced the global release of its self-titled debut album. The CD will be made available by earMUSIC in Germany on Friday, June 5 and in the U.K. on Monday. June 8. The album will be released by Best Buy in the U.S. on Sunday, June 7.
“Chickenfoot” will be packaged in heat-sensitive artwork, which means when you put your hand on the CD inlay, photos of the band members will be revealed behind the CHICKENFOOT band logo.

“Chickenfoot” track listing:

01. Avenida Revolution
02. Soap on a Rope
03. Sexy Little Thing
04. Oh Yeah
05. Runnin’ Out
06. Get It Up
07. Down the Drain
08. My Kinda Girl
09. Learning to Fall
10. Turnin’ Left
11. Future in the Past

Hagar wasn’t looking to form a new group in his post-VAN HALEN career. “I really wasn’t looking to have a real band, but when I got involved with these guys, only a fool would say, ‘No, I’m not going to do this.’ The minute we started jamming it was obvious, like, ‘This is something that needs to be heard.'”

A great band is nothing without a great rhythm section, and CHICKENFOOT has one of the best in the two-man team of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith.

As a founding member (and fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer) of VAN HALEN, Anthony laid the bedrock for which guitar genius Eddie Van Halen could fly. More than that, he provided a signature style of background vocal that became an intrinsic part of that band. “A total fluke,” the good-natured bassist humbly asserts. “I was just doing what came naturally.”

Hagar sees Anthony’s abilities differently. “Michael keeps the band going,” he says. “Listen, he’s never going to get the kind of credit he deserves — he played next to Eddie Van Halen. Hell, Jack Bruce didn’t get much credit compared to Eric Clapton — that’s just the nature of things. Mikey held down the fort, and he still does.”

Aiding Anthony in holding down the fort is Chad Smith, drummer for the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, who have, since Smith joined the group in the late Eighties, gone from cult faves to a worldwide force. Heretofore thought of as a “funk/alternative” drummer, Smith gets to rock hard with CHICKENFOOT, and the percussion explosion he creates might come as a surprise to those who only know of his work from tracks like “Under The Bridge”.

“The guy’s from Detroit, for God’s sake!” says Hagar. “He can play the hell out of funk, but he’s a rocker. He plays hard, man. You could put one mic in a room with Chad, and you can hear all the parts of his kit — he’s hard, but he’s balanced. The band wouldn’t exist without his groove.”

The members of CHICKENFOOT admit that the band came together almost by accident, a result of jams held at Hagar’s club, Cabo Wabo Cantina, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

“We were just having fun,” recalls Michael Anthony. “After Sammy and I left VAN HALEN, we’d get together with musicians, and certain people seemed to really gel. Chad came down and we got on well with him. Gradually, we started talking about doing something more serious, but we needed a guitarist. Somebody smokin’ — somebody who could take us to the Promised Land.”

Enter Satch, who hooked up with Hagar, Anthony and Smith and felt “an immediate connection unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.” To Satriani, who had almost abandoned his lifelong dream of being a part of a “big-time rock band,” here was his chance, and here were his bandmates. “After just a few songs, it became stunningly obvious that we shared an overall musical agenda,” he says. “The only question was could we make a great album?”

The band answered that question last fall when they hunkered down with the illustrious producer Andy Johns at George Lucas’ Skywalker Studios and knocked out a batch of songs that sets a new standard for rock music in the new millennium.

From the thunderous, ominous opening strains of “Avenida Revolution” (detailing the bloody drug wars in Tijuana, in which Hagar makes his feelings come through his skin) to the album closer, the shimmering rock ballad “Future’s in the Past”, “Chickenfoot” is a firebomb of a record, the likes of which we haven’t heard in ages.

The band kicks and snorts their way through a passel of take-no-prisoners rockers like “Soap on a Rope”, “Sexy Little Thing”, “Oh Yeah” and “My Kind of Girl”.

“These are the kinds of songs I could never do on my own,” says Satriani. “I needed a band like this to make those songs come alive.”

The band explores mature themes on songs such as “Runnin’ Out”, about a world stretched to the breaking point to “Learning to Fall”, perhaps the most poignant love song Hagar has ever written lyrics for. As both a vocalist and songwriter, Hagar’s intensity and forcefulness are on vivid display on “Chickenfoot”.

“I write what comes to mind,” the singer says. “I’m not bound by anything subject-wise. I’m inspired by the music. When I heard the music Joe was going for, it made me reach, it made me stretch. I think it made me sing in a way that I normally wouldn’t have done. We seem to have that kind of effect on each other.”

Satriani agrees. “People have this idea of what this band is about, or what Sammy Hagar is about as a lyricist and a vocalist,” he says. “The thing is that we manage to get each guy to up his game in a non-confrontational way. When I play with CHICKENFOOT, I find myself wanting to give them more all the time. I don’t hold anything back. I think the rest of the guys feel the same way.”

That Satriani unleashes sheets of shred magna is, of course, a given, but what’s interesting is, as individualistic and recognizable as his talents are — and this is true of all the players — they transform in a strange and beautiful way on “Chickenfoot”.

Likewise, Anthony and Smith, channel past heroes. For Anthony it’s ELECTRIC FLAG bassist Harvey Brooks. For Smith it’s ZEPPELIN’s John Bonham. Together, they perform something of an astonishing balancing act, dispending performances that meet at the intersection of Heavy and Nimble. This is what a rhythm section does, drives the band in forceful, creative ways. Listen to CHICKENFOOT and you’ll hear what a true rhythm section sounds like.

“Chickenfoot”, which is already being hailed as the most intense rock ‘n’ roll album since LED ZEPPELIN’s classic efforts, coincides with a European tour that will consist of outdoor festivals, including Montreaux, Switzerland, and Bospop, Holland, plus various intimate indoor rock shows, including the London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on June 25.

Tickets for the London 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire concert go on sale at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 27. This will be CHICKENFOOT’s only UK date on the European tour.

CHICKENFOOT tour dates:

Jun. 20 – Austria Nova Rock Festival
Jun. 23 – Cork, Ireland: Live At The Marquee
Jun. 25 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Jun. 26 – Holland: Heerhugowaard
Jun. 28 – Belgium Graspop Metal Meeting Festival
Jun. 29 – Paris: Olympia
Jul. 01 – Madrid (venue to be confirmed)
Jul. 03 – Pistoia, Italy: Blues Festival
Jul. 04 – Montreux, Switzerland: Stravinski Hall
Jul. 05 – Udine, Italy: Lignano Sbbiadoro
Jul. 07 – Hamburg: Grosse Freiheit
Jul. 08 – Copenhagen: Vega
Jul. 10 – Kilafors, Sweden: Rockweekend Festival
Jul. 12 – Weert, Holland: Bospop Festival

NEWS: 2 full Chickenfoot songs!

Quick!!!! Two full Chickenfoot songs! Rockin’! Loud! Funky! Satchy! Chunky! Rocksome! Go! Listen! Come back here and tell me what ya think!

Personally I like it. Kinda reminds me of some of Sammy’s rockier solo stuff, but with Satch wailin’ away and some cool solid Mike Anthony bass playing. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

According to Blabbermouth, CHICKENFOOT, the “supergroup” featuring members of the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and VAN HALEN, played a private concert on March 18, 2009 in Southern California for employees of Best Buy. 

CHICKENFOOT will release its self-titled debut disc this spring. The first single from the CD will either be “Oh, Yeah!” or “Bitten By The Wolf”. The band will also hit the road in May in support of the album, hitting clubs in the U.S. first, heading to Europe during the summer, then coming back for a larger North American run in the fall.

The group plans to perform songs from each of its members’ careers in addition to tracks from the CHICKENFOOT album, so fans will get to hear songs from VAN HALEN, the CHILI PEPPERS, Satriani, and Hagar’s solo catalog.

CHICKENFOOT will appear on the cover of the June issue of Guitar World, due out on April 7.

NEWS: Chickenfoot play first live show

Whoa, photos are starting to appear on Twitter following the live debut of Chickenfoot, the supergroup featuring Joe Satriani, Mike Anthony, Sammy Hagar and Chad Smith. I’m sure more info will come to hand, and I’ll try to stay on top of it, but from THIS PHOTO it appears that Sammy Hagar occasionally plays guitar in the band too: note his amps either side of the drum kit.

Follow I Heart Guitar on Twitter by clicking here.

NEWS: More Chickenfoot info

I was just over at the Van Halen News Desk looking for news and I stumbled upon some cool information about Chickenfoot, the new supergroup featuring Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani and Chad Smith. Parts of the story are below and you can read the full article HERE but here are some highlights:

* The name Chickenfoot appears to have well and truly stuck.

* The album will be released in the second quarter of the year.

* The band will tour.

* There will be a Guitar World feature on the band soon.

The band completed their first photo shoot a week ago. The photographer, Ross Halfin, wrote in his Feb. 10th journal:

“Got up at 5am and flew up to San Francisco. I’m doing a shoot with Chickenfoot, the new group with Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith, and Michael Anthony. It was so early after driving out to Mill Valley, an hour north, it was still only 10am – sunny and freezing. The band arrived eventually with Sammy last at 2pm and he only lives up the street. Shoot quite a lot with solos, group stuff, ads, you name it.

Heard three tracks which were quite rocking, including “Avenida Revolution”. It was nice seeing Sammy. I first shot him thirty years ago in the same area. Sammy has a Ferarri that is the fastest model made for the road. He took me for a terrifying drive at two hundred miles an hour around the local streets. Sammy can drive – I felt like I was on a mini scalectrix track in a remake of Death Race 2000. I do not like fast cars…

Finished up shooting Sam and his new toy. In his warehouse were several of them – a car pervert’s delight. Said goodbye to Sammy and flew back to Los Angeles early evening.”

Photo: Ross Halfin

NEWS: First Chickenfoot music!

QUICK! Head over to this site right now (okay, finish reading this story first, then head over) to hear the first music from Chickenfoot, the supergroup featuring Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, Chad Smith and Mike Anthony. 

The music sounds quite live: Satch on the left, Mike on the right, sorta like the David Lee Roth era of Van Halen, now that I come to think of it. 
Oh and by the way, it appears they’ve decided to stick with the name Chickenfoot. Sammy mentioned in an interview recently that Chickenfoot was supposed to be a temporary name, but so many people knew about it that they may as well stick with it.

NEWS: Chickenfoot album update

In a posting on his blog, former Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony says work is progressing nicely on the album by Chickenfoot, the new band featuring Anthony, Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, and drummer Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Here’s Mike’s post:

Whew, is it Holiday season again already?? I hope all of you had a great year, and are ready to finish it off in grand style!! First, I want to wish everyone out there “Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year”!! Party hard , but party safe. Second, I want to update you on the status of “Chickenfoot”. Chad and I just got back this week from recording in the San Francisco area, and I am pleased to say that the basic tracks are finished and smokin’!! Right now Joe is sprinkling some guitar magic on everything, and next week Sam will be doing vocals. Then I’ll be back up there to slather some backround vocals on everything. I can’t wait for all of you to check it out!! Look out 2009!!!!! Take care, and I’ll see ya soon….Michael

I can’t freaking wait for this album. It’s about time Sammy allied himself with another monster guitarist, and it’s also about time Satch got together with a vocalist – I remember a Guitar World interview in 1992 where Satch said that he’d love to put together a band project if the right singer came along (that’s right, I’ve mentally filed every quote from every guitar magazine I’ve read since 1991 – what can I say, there was nothing better to do in my home town!).

REVIEW: Sammy Hagar – Cosmic Universal Fashion

My first ever Van Halen album was For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (I think I bought it on cassette with my birthday money when I turned 13) and I thought Sammy Hagar was the coolest dude alive – well, after Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen, anyway.

My opinion of Sammy was elevated further by a kickass rendition of the song ‘High Hopes’ on the Late Show with David Letterman in about 2004, where Sammy chugged out a chunky riff and let fly on a blazing guitar solo on an Ernie Ball/Music Man Edward Van Halen signature guitar.

Sammy’s new album, ‘Cosmic Universal Fashion,’ is unique in his discography because it wasn’t written and recorded from start to end as an album: instead it comprises a bunch of disparate tracks written and recorded in a variety of different settings over a number of years for various projects. Yet there’s a unity to the tracks which helps them sit together in the same collection even though the moods vary wildly.

‘Cosmic Universal Fashion’ is not immune from moments of guitar brilliance. In fact the CD opens with a wild, high-speed guitar lick, and with axemen including Journey’s Neal Schon, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, and the Wabos’ Vic Johnson, there’s no shortage of guitar fire on this one. Tracks two and three, in particular will be especially appealing to guitar geeks like me. These two songs, “Psycho Vertigo” and “Peephole,” are the only recordings of Sammy’s short-lived supergroup, Planet Us, which included Schon, Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony and drummer Deen Castronovo (Joe Satriani was later added to the line-up, but aside from a Rockline performance nothing was ever recorded with him). These songs are dark, powerful, moody and atmospheric, and are not a million miles removed from Sammy and Mike’s work on Van Halen’s ‘Balance’ album.

The album’s first single and title track is a collaboration with a young Iraqi musician, Steven Lost, and the song’s theme and music video (see below) both echo Van Halen’s 1991 single, ‘Right Now,’ while updating the theme to the present day. The music couldn’t be any more different than the Van Halen track though, with heavy, semi-industrial drums, creppy synths and huge guitar chords.

‘Loud’ is a straightforward, top-down, foot-to-the-floor rocker with funny lyrics and a guitar solo straight out of big 70s rock, and ‘When The Sun Don’t Shine’ has country elements and a sunny, summer feel which remind me of Sammy’s ‘Livin’ It Up’ album. ‘24365’ has a tight funk-metal guitar riff which reminds me of Extreme in their ‘III Sides To Every Story’ era, and ‘I’m On A Roll’ could fit quite neatly if added between ‘Good Enough’ and ‘Why Can’t This Be Love?’ on Van Halen’s ‘5150’ album.

There are a few misfires on the CD – Sammy’s cover of the Beastie Boys’ ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ might be a fun track in a live setting, but it doesn’t really work here and Sammy seems to strain a little bit with the vocals. And ‘Switch On The Light’ has some cool grooves, some tasty Billy Gibbons guitar and a bold, progressive chorus, but it kinda loses its way a bit. But for the most part, there’s a good balance of ‘Party Sammy’ and ‘Serious Sammy’ here, and the opportunity to hear the two Planet Us songs is a very welcome surprise which, combined with the strength of ‘Loud,’ ‘24365’ and ‘I’m On A Roll,’ makes the album well worth checking out.

Roadrunner/Loud & Proud

CLICK HERE to buy Sammy Hagar – Cosmic Universal Fashion from

NEWS: Michael Anthony on Van Halen, Chickenfoot

Check out this cool audio interview at Music Radar with bass player Michael Anthony about Van Halen and Chickenfoot his new band with Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani and Chad Smith. Normally kinda reserved in interviews, Mike’s not shy about his opinions on this one.

The interview is conducted by former Guitar World editor Joe Bosso, one of my little journalistic heroes. 
Here’s the intro from Music Radar. CLICK HERE to download the interview.

Michael Anthony opens up about Van Halen, Chickenfoot

“I’m the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll sideman,” says former Van Halen bassist and current Chickenfoot member Michael Anthony.

“But that doesn’t mean a ‘sideman’ isn’t vital,” he stresses. “I’m the kind of guy who has your back. When you want to go off and solo for ten minutes, I keep that groove going. It’s an important job.”

Since he first came to the public’s attention in 1978 on Van Halen’s revolutionary debut album, Michael Anthony has done his job better than anyone. Throughout the ’70s, ’80s and into the ’90s, he helped lay the foundation for the Van Halen sound, providing massive yet nimble bass parts over which Eddie Van Halen could fly. “Incredible times,” Anthony remembers. “Despite all the bullshit that went down in that band, I’m proud of the music we made, and always will be.”

Changing lead singers – David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and, for a minute or two, Gary Cherone – made the Van Halen experience “something of a mind game from time to time,” says Anthony. “As soon as we had a strong identity, we had to change.” And Eddie Van Halen’s substance abuse problems didn’t help matters. “I don’t want to talk smack on anyone,” says Anthony, “but there were times that were, uh, difficult.”

After a bittersweet ‘Van Hagar’ reunion in 2004, Anthony assumed the band was finished for good. So he was more than a little surprised when Van Halen announced they were hitting the road early last year with original lead singer David Lee Roth – and Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass.

“It was a blow,” says Anthony. “I would have loved to have been a part of it. But at my age, you learn to roll with the punches. And you find that better things lay ahead.”

Such as Chickenfoot, the supergroup he’s formed with fellow Van Halen survivor Hagar, guitarist Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. (If you don’t know about this band yet, check out Related Links and catch up.)

“Chickenfoot is phenomenal,” the bassist enthuses. “I can’t believe the music we’re making. And wait till you hear the blazing lead guitar Joe Satriani is playing. The guy’s a monster.”

In the podcast, Anthony talks candidly about his Van Halen years, times both good and crushingly bad. “A lot of these things I’ve never said before,” he reveals. “I’m kind of a ‘let it go’ kind of guy.” Plus, he raves about his new band, who aim to have an album out next spring. “We’re gonna rock people’s worlds,” he says. “Just when everybody says nobody makes music like this anymore, here we come.”

Photo © Todd Martyn-Jones