Chickenfoot hit their stride with ‘Chickenfoot III’

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The rest of Chickenfoot found out how much Sammy Hagar loved the band when they released their second album, insolently titled. Chicken III, in 2011.

The supergroup – Hagar, guitarist Joe Satriani, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith – won on their eponymous debut in 2009. Born out of a jam in Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina in Mexico, Chickenfoot bowed with a certified Gold Top 5 album and took the limelight on the road.

There was clamor for a follow-up, but the nature of supergroups means that one or more members are hard to pin down – in this case, it’s Smith, who went from the Chickenfoot cycle to making Chili Peppers. I am okay.

Hagar, in fact, was ready to go on vacation when he got the call that Smith had time to go to the studio in early 2011. “The reason Chickenfoot had to go was because of Chad.” Hagar told this writer at the time. . “We had a window where it was available, and I was like, ‘Fuck, I don’t want to be rushed in. “I was just planning my free time. I had my feet in the sand, and I was going on vacation all summer. Everyone was trying to get me in and do this Chickenfoot record, but I didn’t feel like it. go into Chickenfoot mode. “

Fortunately, other voices – the rest of the band and Hagar’s manager, John Carter – prevailed to bring Chicken III to live. And looking back, Hagar was happy to be convinced of that.

“We were so comfortable making music,” the singer said. “We got to know each other on the first album, then on tour. Joe and I got to know each other as writers. We’ve taken a giant leap forward.” Hagar noted that due to the band’s prowess he had to “fight for the lyrics, because the music is so good. I can’t start talking about girls and cars, you know? Not for this band. . So I wrote ‘Up Next’ five different times. I wrote ‘Different Devil’ five different times … and once that was all done, I could look at it and say, ‘Fuck this is good. . ‘”

Satriani recalled that Chicken III “Was even easier than the first album. “We got to know each other better as a group,” he said. “We knew what the group was capable of – which was a lot. Everyone’s a great player, and when you have a leader like Sammy… if you can’t make it work, you don’t have to do anything, you know? ” Chicken III certainly worked. The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Best Hard Rock Albums chart, No. 4 in the Top Rock Albums poll and No. 4 on the Billboard 200, while “Big Foot” and “Different Devil “made a lot of noise on rock radio. .

“We have a chemistry that really makes Chickenfoot what it is,” Hagar explained. “It’s the best thing I do, musically. It makes me sweat. Just being with such good players… I just can’t get away with it.”

The Chicken III the title, meanwhile, comes from a group discussion. “From the day we started we said, ‘We don’t call it Chicken II, certainly not. The first guy who says that is Chicken II gets fired, ”Hagar recalls. Smith suggested Chicken IV like a joke, “and sure, we all laughed. A few hours later, we’re still laughing about it, and everyone is like, ‘Yeah, why not?'” The band went so far as to create a Chicken IV cover, but he eventually moved on to III when because the group’s logo in the shape of a chicken paw, referring to the peace sign, with its three toes, was deemed more appropriate.

Chickenfoot is releasing a live album, LV, in 2012 and a Best + Live compilation in 2017, which included a new song, “Divine Termination”. Smith did not tour to support III, recommending Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Melissa Etheridge) to take his seat. The original lineup played two shows in May 2016 in South Lake Tahoe, and talking about a weird song here and there never came to fruition. Satriani, for his part, doesn’t hold his breath that this will happen again.

“I think it will always upset me, the fact that it’s underestimated,” Satriani said in 2019. “It puzzles me. However, the other guys have a lot going on. I get it. But when I think- y artistically it just seems silly that we haven’t done more. It just seems completely wrong. It’s just one of those things that you have to look at from two different perspectives and come to terms with the fact that these two conclusions don’t really agree, and … be glad you got to do what we did. “

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