Chickenfoot, the rock supergroup featuring former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony, guitarist Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, entered Hagar’s private studio in Northern California on January 29 with engineer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica) to begin recording its second album for a late 2011 release.
In an interview with Guitar International, Sammy talked about the recording process for the new Chickenfoot CD, “We’re writing in the studio on the spot. Joe presents us with some musical ideas, and his ideas are really together, it isn’t this vague idea. He presents you with an intro, a verse, a chorus, a bridge, a solo and an ending. Then we jam to it. I see if it feels melodically in my repertoire of blues licks that I have in my voice. [Laughs] Then I come up with a good melody and structure, and we work on the arrangement until we all agree. Then my job is to come up with a title before we’re done rehearsing the song. Last but not least, I go out and write the lyrics. Believe it or not, I’ve already written lyrics for five of the songs on the new record. Then we get a take that sounds good and we continue the process. I can’t believe how fast things are going with this record. It’s amazing.”
He continued, “We’re flying through it, but I don’t think that’ll have any bearing on when it gets released. I don’t think we’ll release it until towards the end of the year. It’s happening fast on its own, but we had to cram Chad, drums] into this five-week period we have here to get it done. We’re way ahead of that. We expected in the five weeks to get 12 or 13 songs written and lay down the drum tracks. Then Chad could go away for the rest of the year and Joe, Michael and I could finish the record. That’s the way it was planned, but we’re way beyond that. It’s fucking crazy, the chemistry in this band. We’re even pushing ourselves this time to do some things musically that we know we’re capable of, but that we haven’t touched on yet. I keep telling Joe, ‘Come up with any idea you want for me. How would you like to hear me sing? Write some music like that and I’ll stretch myself and make my voice and lyric ideas work for that music.’ We’ve done this already in a short time, and it seems like with this band everything just comes easy. No matter what we bite off, it comes easy. There’s a real special chemistry that we have with this band.”