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17 Apr

Chad Smith's Chickenfoot

Rarely has a band come freighted with such expectation and promise than the new outfit that calls itself Chickenfoot.

First, let's consider the stellar line-up. There's Joe Satriani, who has become one of the world's most influential guitarists, releasing albums such as The Extremist and Super Colossal that have sold in the millions around the world. "It was all by accident," the soft-spoken guitarist says. "I never mapped out a plan to be an instrumentalist. I really wanted to be a part of a big vocal-oriented rock band. I had offers, but nothing seemed to fit. Everything seemed like career move...until Chickenfoot."

So what about that singer? Well, that would be another guy who needs no introduction; Sammy Hagar, the original "Red Rocker", a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee for his tenure with Van Halen, who made his professional debut as the singer for the much-revered group Montrose during the early 70's. Hagar wasn't looking to form a new group in his post-Van Halen career. "I really wasn't looking to have a real band, but when I got involved with these guys, only a fool would say, 'No, I'm not going to do this.' The minute we started jamming it was obvious, like, 'This is something that needs to be heard.'"
A great band is nothing without a great rhythm section, and Chickenfoot has one of the best in the two-man team of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith. As a founding member (and fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer) of Van Halen, Anthony laid the bedrock for which guitar genius Eddie Van Halen could fly. More than that, he provided a signature style of background vocal that became an intrinsic part of that band. "A total fluke," the good-natured bassist humbly asserts. "I was just doing what came naturally."
Aiding Anthony in holding down the fort is Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have, since Smith joined the group in the late Eighties, gone from cult faves to a worldwide force. "The guy's from Detroit, for God's sake!" says Hagar. "He can play the hell out of funk, but he's a rocker. He plays hard, man. You could put one mic in a room with Chad, and you can hear all the parts of his kit -- he's hard, but he's balanced. The band wouldn't exist without his groove." Although Chad recently used an MCX Masters Series Diamond Glitter kit in rehearsals, he'll be debuting a new custom painted kit very soon.

The members of Chickenfoot admit that the band came together almost by accident, a result of jams held at Hagar's club, Cabo Wabo Cantina, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. "We were just having fun," recalls Michael Anthony. "After Sammy and I left Van Halen, we'd get together with musicians, and certain people seemed to really gel. Chad came down and we got on well with him. Gradually, we started talking about doing something more serious, but we needed a guitarist. Somebody smokin' - somebody who could take us to the Promised Land."

Enter Satch, who hooked up with Hagar, Anthony and Smith and felt "an immediate connection unlike anything I'd ever experienced before." To Satriani, who had almost abandoned his lifelong dream of being a part of a "big-time rock band," here was his chance, and here were his band mates. "After just a few songs, it became stunningly obvious that we shared an overall musical agenda." 

The band will take the stage for a limited number of European and US live shows, featuring music from their self-titled debut album, Chickenfoot, set for a June 9th release. Listen to songs from their upcoming CD here...!

Thu 05/14/09         Seattle, WA        El Corazon      
Fri 05/15/09           Vancouver, BC     Commodore Ballroom    
Sun 05/17/09         San Francisco, CA     The Fillmore    
Tue 05/19/09         West Hollywood, CA     The Roxy Theatre    
Fri 05/22/09           Chicago, IL     Park West    
Sun 05/24/09         Toronto, ON     The Mod Club Theatre    
Tue 05/26/09         Cambridge, MA     Middle East Upstairs            
Thu 05/28/09         New York, NY     Fillmore New York At Irving Plaza    
Fri 05/29/09           Philadelphia, PA     Theatre Of The Living Arts    
Sat 06/20/09          Nickelsdorf, Austria     Pannonia Fields    
Tue 06/23/09         Cork, Ireland     Docklands    
Thu 06/25/09         London, United Kingdom     O2 Shepherds Bush Empire    
Fri 06/26/09           Heerhugowaard, Netherlands     TBA    
Sun 06/28/09         Dessel, Belgium     Boeretang    
Mon 06/29/09         Paris, France     Olympia    
Wed 07/01/09         Madrid, Spain     TBA    
Fri 07/03/09           Pistoia, Italy     Piazza Duomo    
Sat 07/04/09         Montreux, Switzerland     Stravinski Auditorium    
Sun 07/05/09         Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy     TBA    
Tue 07/07/09         Hamburg, Germany     Grosse Freiheit 36    
Wed 07/08/09         Copenhagen, Denmark     VEGA House Of Music    
Fri 07/10/09           Gavle, Sweden     Kilafors Herrgard    
Sun 07/12/09         Weert, Netherlands     Sportpark Boshoven