Sammy Hagar Unable to Resist Call for New Chickenfoot Album and Tour
Chickenfoot is like a vortex from which singer Sammy Hagar cannot escape. The Red Rocker says that at first he did not want to record and then tour behind the supergroup's second album, 'Chickenfoot III,' this year. In fact, he was planning on taking an extended summer vacation instead.
In a lighthearted manner, Hagar states he was "forced" to do so because of the narrow window of time in which drummer Chad Smith could participate. But at the end of the day, he's happy to be sucked back into the band's gravitational field and very proud of the music they created together.
"The reason Chickenfoot had to go in was because of Chad," Hagar told Billboard, referencing Smith, who has an enviable day job in Red Hot Chili Peppers. RHCP will release 'I'm With You' on Aug. 30, just four weeks ahead of the Sept. 27 release of 'Chickenfoot III.' Translation: Smith is incredibly busy and it was a "now or never" scenario.
As a result, Hagar had to re-arrange his calendar: "We had a window where he was available, and I was going, 'F---, I don't want to be rushed into it. I was in Cabo, summer vacation was coming up, I was just planning my time off. I had my feet deep in the sand, and I was going to vacation this whole summer. Everybody was trying to get me to go in and do this Chickenfoot record, but I just didn't feel like going into Chickenfoot mode."
While that's understandable, Hagar admirably pulled his feet out of the sand, canceled the vacation and did what he does best, make music, despite wanting to be in "off" mode.
The band will embark on a quick, five-city tour in November sans Smith, who is already booked with RHCP commitments. Ex-John Mellencamp drummer Kenny Aronoff's name has been bandied about as Smith's fill-in, and it seems that's pretty close to being official. "I'm trying to act like he's not the guy, but we all know he's the guy now," Hagar admitted. "We tried him. He's f---ing great. He's really solid, and he's got fire."
With tour offers pouring in, it looks like Sammy's work ethic is once again about to beat out his relaxation plans: "I don't want to tour. I do not want to pack my bags up for six weeks and go out...I do not want to go on a plane for South America or Japan to work. But when I listen to this music, I go, 'I got to.' I just can't see letting something this good not be played. So we'll probably start accepting shows."
The subject of Van Halen inevitably came up, especially since '5150,' Hagar's debut with the band, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. He described himself as "disappointed in" as opposed to "angry" at the Van Halen brothers. He was beyond frank, saying, "I really don't like them anymore, and I can't tell you how sad it is to me that what we had as creative guys, and as a friendship, how it just went away."