Joe Satriani Interview: 'Chickenfoot Is A New Path!'

TG recently chatted to Joe Satriani about his new supergroup Chickenfoot.

The guitar icon has teamed up with ex-Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony, with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith on rhythm.

The band release their eponymous debut album on 5 June in the UK. Satch gave us an insight into how the album was put together, and how he is relishing being back in a real band after so many years as a solo performer...

TG: How cool is it to get back to the band dynamic after effectively being a solo artist your entire career?

Joe: “It´s so cool, because I can play all the bluesy stuff that´s part of my roots. I was in a four piece band all throughout high school, and played in bands all across the US playing kick ass rock ‘n´ roll, so it´s a very natural thing for me to do to take three steps back from the lead vocalist and just rock out! It´s very liberating. It´s almost like a new path. An open road I guess…”

The album is out in the UK on 5 June, can we expect some live shows?

“Yeah! We did a show recently for our North American label, then a short run of record release parties in the US, but the real tour starts here in the UK where we´re playing Shepherd´s Bush on 25 June. We´ll be playing around Europe for basically a month. We´re playing around four or five solo shows and the rest will be festivals.”

Can you pick out a favourite song on the record?

“Wow, it´s so hard. Every song has such a unique story and it was such a surprise to hear them develop. Sam would add his melody and Mike would add his new bass line and then Chad would turn the whole thing upside down! I would be like, “Wow I can´t believe I had anything to do with that song!´ I was happy from both sides of the spectrum, like I was so happy we were able to do something like ‘Avenida Revolution´ which is quite a dark song, and on the opposite side songs like ‘Sexy Little Thing´ and ‘Runnin´ Out´ reflect the more bluesy roots rock ‘n´ roll side of what I like to think is the natural part of my musical personality.”

Did the songs derive from jams or did you bring riffs to the band?

“I actually made a bunch of demos. The first demo package I made for these guys had about eight songs, some of which were pretty close to completion because I didn´t know who I was writing for. None of us knew what Chickenfoot was gonna sound like so we just said, ‘Let´s just write and see what we like.´ So it was a very creative, fertile time in the band where if anybody had an idea we would just follow it. Sam would get those demos and work on melodies and lyrics and then we´d just get together and just play it, reinterpret it, record it and then move on. We really didn´t hear our own album until around Christmas time when we could sit back, listen to these 12 songs and go, ‘Oh, that´s who we are!´