Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chickenfoot: Michael Anthony drama-free without Van Halen

Bassist Michael Anthony has lived through so many years of Van Halen battles that he’s glad to be drama-free in his existence as a member of Chickenfoot.

“The best part about Chickenfoot is that nobody needs the money,” Anthony tells Premiere Guitar. “We’ve got nothing we need to prove to anybody. We wanted this to be a fun band and when we get in the studio it’s just so loose, relaxed, and open. It’s like the early days of Van Halen. Everybody’s just throwing in their input and having a great time making music. We don’t want any pressure and we said if any came up, we should just stop doing this.”

“At this point in my life and career, I’m so happy with what I’m doing and I want to have fun making music. I don’t want any drama,”
Mike continues. “That whole drama thing in Van Halen, the way it ended up, I was like, ‘I‘d rather make no money having fun playing music than make a shitload of money tearing my hair out.’ Maybe when I was 20 it would have been different, but not at this point. I want to keep my sanity.”

Beyond the personality issues in VH, retaining some of that sanity in Chickenfoot extends the freedom Mike has to contribute to the material.

“Oh, it’s great. I don’t think there was one time on this album where [guitarist] Joe [Satriani] came up to me and said, ‘Can you play this here?’ He let me go off and develop my own bass parts. Everybody was allowed to put in their own two cents.”

Asked to compare the approach of Satriani versus working with Eddie, Mike says, “The difference here is when Eddie would go off, he’d be like, ‘Pump on this note, it’s king of like an AC/DC thing,’ whereas Joe gives me a chance to play different things and not just ride on one note. They’re both great guitarists in their own right. Eddie would treat every song like it was an instrumental and either Dave, or Sammy, or even Gary, would fit their vocals around it. I had to be more basic in my playing to really hold it down.”

Read more of Anthony’s interview at Premiere Guitar here.

Chickenfoot Chickenfoot

Chickenfoot – Alright Alright
TRI Studios – September 27, 2011

See also:

PHOTO: Van Halen signs with Interscope Records
VIDEO: Van Halen’s Hot For Teacher hits Glee
VIDEO: David Lee Roth plugs Lullaby Renditions of Van Halen
VIDEO: Chickenfoot ready for Road Test Tour
Sammy Hagar says Van Halen used Michael Anthony tapes on tour
Sammy Hagar offers to manage reunited Guns N’ Roses
Chickenfoot confirm Jimmy Kimmel appearance
NEW VIDEO: Chickenfoot – Three And A Half Letters (I Need A Job)
VIDEO: Sammy Hagar rocks his Cabo Birthday Bash
live @ hennemusic: Sammy Hagar LIVE from Cabo
LIVE: Sammy Hagar birthday concert tonight on hennemusic
Sammy Hagar rocks night 3 in Cabo
live @ hennemusic: Sammy Hagar LIVE from Cabo
VIDEO: Chickenfoot play surprise gig in Cabo
Chickenfoot announce European dates
Sammy Hagar donates $5,000 to help Maui seniors
Sammy Hagar sued over autobiography
Chickenfoot confirm fall tour details
VIDEO: Chickenfoot III webcast
Chickenfoot III podcast 10: Something Going Wrong
Chickenfoot III podcast 9: Dubai Blues
Chickenfoot announce tour
Chickenfoot III podcast 8: Big Foot
VIDEO: The making of Chickenfoot III, part 3
Chickenfoot III podcast 7: Three And A Half Letters
VIDEO: The making of Chickenfoot III, part 1
Chickenfoot III podcast 6: Come Closer
Chickenfoot III podcast 5: Lighten Up
Sammy Hagar adds chapter to memoir for paperback release
Chickenfoot III podcast 4: Up Next
Sammy Hagar & Joe Satriani release NFL theme song
Chickenfoot III podcast 3: Different Devil
Chickenfoot III podcast 2: Alright Alright
Chickenfoot launch video podcast series
Chickenfoot announce live webcast details
VIDEO: Chickenfoot – Big Foot