Chickenfoot: world-exclusive podcast interview

Chickenfoot pull out the stops for MusicRadar
Chickenfoot pull out the stops for MusicRadar (Image credit: Ross Halfin)

Joe Satriani looks relieved as he shakes my hand. "Finally - a day I don't have to talk about Coldplay," he says. I get the drift and make a mental note not to ask any lawsuit questions.

I'm in Mill Valley, California, at Sammy Hagar's office/studio/car lot to sit with three-fourths of Chickenfoot (which includes, in addition to Satriani and Hagar, bassist Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith) and talk about their eponymous debut album.

Tequila, Ferraris...this is Chickenfoot-land

Hagar has already primed me well, pouring me a tall glass of his premium Cabo Wabo Tequila (the stuff is smooth) before taking me on a 140 mph spin in his custom-made Ferrari (he owns 15 of them). Hagar cackles like a kid in an amusement park as we race through suburban streets. I laugh, too - out of terror.

"To call us a real band is the highest compliment you can give us" Joe Satriani

Once I regain my senses, I sit down with the band (minus Smith, who is attending the birth of his son, Beckett Cash Smith) for one heck of a festive discussion.

Hagar and Anthony are happy to have found new life after Van Halen, and Satriani has realized his lifelong dream of being in a "big time, vocal-oriented rock band." Formed last year after a series of jams at Hagar's Cabo Wabo Cantina, Chickenfoot have already made waves for their kooky name and Hagar's quotes in which he said the band could "rival Led Zeppelin."

Whether Jimmy Page quakes in his bespoke boots after hearing Chickenfoot (the album's due 7 June in the US through Best Buy; and 5 June and 8 June in Germany and the UK, respectively, on earMUSIC), remains to be seen.

But one thing's for sure: Chickenfoot are a band down to the, uh, bone. Their 11-song CD, full of slamming cuts like Sexy Little Thing and My Kind Of Girl, along with arena anthems like Learning To Fall, bears no traces of the 'project-itis' that has marred other supergroup efforts.

"To call us a real band is the highest compliment you can give us," Satriani says.

In the excusive MusicRadar podcast below, Satriani, Hagar and Anthony recall their formation and recording sessions. Settle back, pour yourself something and revel in all that is Chickenfoot.

Part one - The name, pressures of being a 'supergroup,' who's the craziest member
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Part two - In praise of Michael Anthony, Chad Smith: 'closet rocker,' Hagar on lyrics
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Part three - Satriani gets sexy, Hagar gets amped up, how songs grow
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Part four - Musical Viagra, Hagar 'Gets It Up," making a non-sappy rock ballad
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Next page: Satriani video interview

MusicRadar also talked to Joe Satriani on video at Musikmesse 2009. Watch here!

For the entire Chickenfoot interview, be sure to pick up the June 2009 issue of Guitar World magazine, available 7 April. Band photograph courtesy of Ross Halfin.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.