After playing together live for the first time last February during a solo Sammy Hagar concert in Las Vegas, a new group featuring the ex-Van Halen vocalist, bassist Michael Anthony, guitarist Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith is making an album.
“We were very excited about that show,” tells Billboard.com. “We had never played together before and when we walked off stage, we looked at each other like, ‘Wow, there’s a connection here. We should do something about it.’ So last week we were together for five days and we recorded nine tracks.
“As soon as Sammy and myself finish touring our separate solo tours we’ll reconvene in Northern California and finish the record,” he continues. “We hope to mix the album in January, have it ready for April and then we’ll follow it up with a tour.”
While the group was reportedly going to call itself Chickenfoot, Satriani said this was only a Hagar working title with a new band name expected closer to the release of the album.
“The style is high-energy, kick-ass rock’n’roll,” says Satriani, who is about to begin a stateside tour in support of his latest solo album, “Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock.” “We all bring to the table some unusual influences and then we also share a lot of roots. And I think that’s where a true color of a band comes out, just how we react to each other. So, it’s definitely rock music. We haven’t brought each other together to do a techno record.”
He adds, “We’ll draw from funk, blues and experimental. We know what we want to get out of it. We want passages in songs that develop and we want everyone’s personality to be able to come out. So, it’s going to be expansive but it’s going to be rough.”
If the band’s three-song performance, which included Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” and Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” during the Hagar show encore is any indication, it appears that Smith is the glue that holds the unit together.
“The material is really slamming, and anybody who has ever been around Chad knows that he is a very huge personality, a very high-energy guy and his drumming in person is explosive,” Satriani says. “This band really gives him carte blanche to go crazy. I think it’s the best of what you’d expect, that’s the best way to put it. No one is acting out of character.”