Sammy Hagar (vocals, guitar); Joe Satriani (guitar); Chad Smith (drums, percussion); Michael Anthony (vocals, bass)
Having established themselves in record time as one of the earths premier rock bands with their Gold-certified 2009 self-titled debut, Chickenfoot the illustrious, virtuosic supergroup formed by singing legend Sammy Hagar, guitar god Joe Satriani, and the renowned rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith approached the initial stages of recording their new album, Chickenfoot III, with supreme confidence and a firm sense of intention.
They, of course, had good reasons to feel cocky: There were the high-octane, hook-o-rama singles, Oh Yeah, Sexy Little Thing and My Kinda Girl. Then there were the riveting live shows, starting with a sold-out-within-seconds Road Test run of clubs and ending a year later with a sold-out-within-seconds world tour of large halls. The not-so-little engine that could definitely did...time after time.
Beyond the obvious, however, something more important happened during Chickenfoots rise to the top of the rock: They became a band. A real band. We went from being a weekend fun-time thing to making a record and touring the world, says Sammy Hagar. Our learning curve was fast even for us. But we went out every night to kick ass and prove that we weren t resting on our laurels. We earned everything we got, and along the way, we established a trust in one another that happens very rarely in bands. To me, it s magical.
It was that very trust factor that allowed Joe Satriani to approach Hagar during the demoing stage of the new album and express this wish: I want to hear you sing differently, he told the vocalist. You have light and shades to your voice that have never been on record. I want to hear you do new things. Hagar accepted Satrianis words as a challenge, and then he threw down the gauntlet: Fine. But you ve got to bring it too, Joe. I want to hear you play guitar like you never have. We shook hands on that.
And so it was that Chickenfoot set about making the heart-pounding and high-minded Chickenfoot III. And they did it at the perfect time, too. In an era when the relevance of the album as an art form is under close scrutiny, Chickenfoot III is a superlative, rip-roaring rock n roll disc that simply must be experienced from start to finish. Tough yet full of intricate textures, played by musicians at the top of their game, this is the kind of record that bands both young and old dream of making.
Its the best record Ive ever been a part of, Hagar says unashamedly. Songwriting-wise, playing-wise, we reached a level I ve hoped was possible. There s nothing this band cant do. I m convinced of it.
The origins of Chickenfoot III began to take shape in early 2010 as Satriani and Hagar exchanged song ideas while the group was still on tour. Throughout that year, Satriani sent the band demos in various forms of completion. Then, in February of this year, Chickenfoot convened in Hagars warehouse studio (affectionately dubbed the Foot Locker ) to hash out the material. On board was veteran, award-winning engineer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica), who was also serving as co-producer with the group. According to Michael Anthony, We thought we might still be demoing at this point, but the sounds Mike Fraser got were extraordinary. Plus, the spontaneity in the room was incredible. The musical chemistry was undeniable. Suddenly, it was like, Might as well roll tape. We re making a record!