Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sammy Hagar on recording the new Chickenfoot album

"It's time to 'Zeppelin-ize' our music."
- Sammy Hagar

Chickenfoot hit the studio this weekend to get to work on their sophomore album, and Sammy Hagar can’t wait to get started.

"I am so ready to make this record," Hagar tells MusicRadar. "I'm beyond ready! The songs we've got, the riffs that have been flying around - we're going deep."

According to Hagar, "We've got stuff planned that we never could have dreamed about when we first got together. We're talkin' heavier than ever, bluesier, more emotional - I get goosebumps just thinking about it."

Chickenfoot (which also includes guitarist Joe Satriani, bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith) will track the album at Hagar's Marin County studio, The Foot Locker, formerly known as Red Rocker. "We did a lot of the first album here," he says, "and we finished up at Skywalker Studios. This time, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to do the whole thing here. Five of songs on the first album were all tracked here, and they're some of my favorites."

Hagar thinks things will come together pretty easily for the group of rock veterans.

"The last record took us about three months," he says, "and I think we'll knock this one out in half that time. We don't have these laborious sessions where we go over every phrase and suck all the energy out of the songs. Everybody is so musically capable in this band that we're able to turn on a dime. We're almost like a jazz band. Somebody says something, and off we go."

Chickenfoot will be co-producing the album with Mike Fraser, who mixed the band’s debut.

When asked how the new record might differ from its predecessor, Hagar points to a song called “Come Closer,” which he says is the first time Satriani composed music to the singer's existing lyrics.

"Usually, I write words to the music; this time we did it in reverse, and it's amazing." Hagar also mentions two acoustic numbers that Satriani has been working on. "These things are stone-cold blues," he says. "I'm listening to my Robert Johnson anthologies to get in the proper spirit. What I want to do is get real authentic with the blues like Zeppelin did. I want to take the blues and really rock it out. It's time to 'Zeppelin-ize' our music."

On the subject of a release date, Hagar says it's "a little early to predict that. But I do want to hit the road later this year." One possible kink touring-wise centers around Smith, who will most likely be performing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers when they release their album in the summer.

"It's a conflict," Hagar admits. "But what can you do? Chad is going to make an incredible record with us. If he can't tour we us, we'll have to get a temporary replacement." He names Jason Bonham, Matt Sorum, Vinnie Paul and Abe Laboriel Jr as possible candidates. "Any one of them would be amazing. But like I said, they'd be temporary - I can't stress that enough. Chad Smith is a member of Chickenfoot, and that's that."

Check out more on Chickenfoot at MusicRadar here.

Chickenfoot – Bitten By The Wolf
Get Your Buzz On Live DVD

See also:

Chickenfoot returns to the studio January 29
VIDEO: Sammy Hagar jams with Joe Satriani
Sammy Hagar fan documentary being filmed for 2012 release
Sammy Hagar issues year-end update
Chickenfoot update from Michael Anthony
Sammy Hagar confirms autobiography release date and Canadian Music Week appearance