Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 48 - Chickenfoot

CHICKENFOOT


Sue Ashcroft interviews Sammy Hagar

Over the last eleven years I’ve interviewed some big names, but for me, Sammy Hagar is right near the top of the list. Having been a fan of his work since the early days of Montrose, all through his solo career and on to my favourite band of all time – Van Halen, I’ve loved every bit of it. Now, he’s part of the most SUPER of super groups – Chickenfoot who have just released their second album, amusingly titled ‘Three’. In an interview which started with laughter (and a bit of a faux pas), we covered some serious topics including the VH debacle, world affairs and much more. One of the best interviews I’ve ever had the pleasure to do – Sammy’s the man!


I have to tell you something before we start. My husband Phil and I have been married 20 years and, when we started going out together, we discovered that both of us owned a full set of Montrose and Sammy Hagar albums, so we knew we were well suited.

I’m honoured! You know, we did so well in the UK with Montrose, especially the first album and the first tour when we went over there and supported it. Then, when I left that band, I had a really great career in Great Britain for two or three years and then all of a sudden, when I joined with Geffen Records, it seemed that it went down the toilet over there. I don’t know why – it was so funny, my earlier stuff that didn’t do well in America did really good in England. I used to go over and tour over there and it would be sold out and everything and then I release a big commercial success in America and I went back and didn’t do nearly as well.

It’s strange that you should say that, because that’s exactly the same thing that happened to Rick Springfield.

What? So, in other words, when Rick Springfield recorded one of my songs, he bombed in Great Britain? Is that what you’re saying? (laughs)

No! Er, yes! What I mean is, it’s just a strange coincidence. So, anyway, on to bigger and better things – Chickenfoot. I interviewed Joe (Satriani) recently….

You know, I’ve just been watching our press pack online that we’ve been putting together and I was listening to what Joe has to say. He’s just so honest and he explains things in a technical fashion very well, he’s a pretty good guy, I love Joe.

He is, he’s lovely. When I was with him, he made me put on the 3D glasses and look at all the pictures on the album cover, which was really cool. He also told me that he had no idea why the album is called ‘Chickenfoot III’ as he was in the other room having his photos taken for the album at the time and when he came out of the room, everyone said “it’s going to be called Chickenfoot 4”, but then it somehow got diluted to Chickenfoot 3, so can you shed any more light on the title?

Well, we were just joking, because we are Chickenfoot and when we get together we have fun – the first thing we all agreed was that it was not going to be called Chickenfoot 2. I just said I’m not going to sit there and call it that – it’s so friggin’ boring! If we can’t come up with something better than Chickenfoot 2, then we shouldn’t make the record, right? So, we all laughed and someone said, “Let’s call it Chickenfoot 4 then!” and we all laughed so hard we thought we were going to burst, so we said okay. Every time you go in the studio with a band to record an album, you usually come up with a working title within a couple of days. Sometimes it stays as the title, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, everyone laughed and said, “Yeah, that’s great, it’s really funny” so we kept going and going and when the record was done, we all said, “You know, this record is too good, it’s too serious to make a joke out of it and calling it 4”, but I said “but we can’t call it 2 – we all agreed on that” so, I said “How about 3?” and everyone said fine, so that was it!

So 3 was your compromise then?

It was – it was like the last man standing. We had five minutes to make this decision and rather than try to come up with some great title, we thought ‘Chickenfoot III’! And then we start trying to justify it by saying, well it’s in 3D, we’ve got the white album which is a DVD so that’s like Chickenfoot 2 in a way, then we said it was because we had taken such a huge step musically, so it’s like the third record, and I really stand by that. I think that makes the most sense, because this does not sound like a band’s second record. Except for Cream – ‘Disraeli Gears’ was much better than ‘Fresh Cream’. ‘Disraeli Gears’ is one of the albums of the history of my LIFE! I think ‘Chickenfoot III’ is one of the greatest albums I’ve ever been involved with, that’s for sure. So, there you go.

I love the songs on the album. It’s far more … I hate to use the word mature, but you know what I mean. It’s a far more mature record as a band.

Yeah, the band matured. As individuals, I’m way too old to mature any more! When we got together the first time, we were just having fun, we jammed, and just kind of threw it together and it was fantastic, full of energy, but with this one has got a little more soul, I think. It’s just that the band grew – you get it!

Considering the state of the world economy and certainly the US economy, ‘3½ Letters’ really hit home to me. Joe told me a little about your thoughts when you wrote it, but I’ve been thinking about it all week since I saw an item on the news which really upset me, about people who had been investment bankers or whatever – had fabulous jobs and they’re now living in tented communities in the woods in New Jersey. I don’t want to get too political here, but what are your thoughts on that? You’ve obviously tried to get some of your thoughts across about people falling on hard times.

Well, that song was written from real letters that I’d received. My wife and I have a family organisation called The Hagar Family Foundation where I try to help families with terminally ill children – that’s our goal, even if we only help one family a year because it’s so expensive if you have a terminally ill child, your insurance runs out, you sell your house, your car, you sell everything to give that child a better chance. One last pill, whatever it takes.

So, people who get themselves into that situation are the first people I want to help. But, I can’t help everybody. If Bill Gates can’t do it, I can’t do it. We’re trying to just do our own little job. So, I get all these letters from people that are looking for help and that’s how the idea started. With John Carter, our manager who died in the middle of us making the record, he kept telling me, “You’ve got to write a song about this - I need a job, I need a job, I don’t want a sushi bar, I want a job, and things like that.” That didn’t make sense to me at the time, but I started going through these letters … then they made sense. But, how that happens – what you were talking about – the fall is so much greater today. The Depression is the closest it’s ever been to something like this. Like you said, there are white collar people, people with million dollar homes, two or three cars and a swimming pool and everything and all of a sudden they’re just wiped out and I don’t understand how it happens, but it is a sign of the times that there is this huge change going on in the way that the whole world economy is working. It’s no longer you just go and get an education, then you get a job and you make money for the rest of your life. Those days are damn near over. I don’t even know what the answer is, but I do know you can have a doctorate and not necessarily have a job right now. It’s pretty scary.

So, what’s in the future for Chickenfoot? Are you going to tour with this album?

I’ve got the October birthday bash with the Wabos and Chickenfoot are going to play in Cabo too, but in November we’ve committed to do five cities in America, probably San Francisco, Los Angeles, St Louis, Chicago and New York, and we’ve been jamming with Kenny Aaronoff – Chad chose him to be in the band. We love Kenny too but he was Chad’s first choice, so he’s going to be in the band since Chad has the Chili Peppers tour, but if those five cities go well with Kenny, then we’ll book a tour. We’re not going to do any more than that because if we’re going to go out with another drummer, the chemistry has to be, maybe not the same because that’s impossible, but will be just as good only different. We tried three other drummers before Kenny and it didn’t work, the magic chemistry just wasn’t there.

I love Chad, he’s just so funny and the nicest guy.

He’s so special, in the way he plays, the way he interacts with the band – we have to have that! We need that kind of energy and that camaraderie that we have with Chad. Like I said before, when we get together, we start laughing – that’s the first thing that happens when we walk into a room and they all start goofing off and we need a guy that does that without pretending. It’s got to be real, otherwise we can’t be Chickenfoot! We’d have to change our name!
 

Read the full three page spread where Sammy talks about Chickenfoot III, discusses in depth the music business, his tequila, the Wabos, Van Halen and his award winning documentary in Fireworks #48. Available from:


• Participating WHSmith and McColls Group stores (see Store Finder for participating stockists)
• Here in the Rocktopia Shop  (registration required)
• Here in the Fireworks Magazine Mini Store (no registration required) 
• Direct from Fireworks HQ by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , paying via Paypal. Send £6 (Inc P&P)

Chickenfoot-Interview

Share this on the web.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

Status Quo - 'Backbone'
21/09/2019 | Central Electronic Brain
article thumbnail

'Backbone' proves that Status Quo have still got it – and long may they continue!


Latest News on Rocktopia

DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL announces second run of bands for 2020
19/11/2019 | Central Electronic Brain




JOINING THE LINE-UP:

VOLBEAT, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, BA [ ... ]


Member Login



Calendar

<<  February 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
       1  2
  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272829 

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 2 weeks ago
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site