Chickenfoot haven’t performed live in nearly four years, although their respective members—singer/guitarist Sammy Hagar, lead guitarist Joe Satriani, bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith—have been quite active in the interim. Hagar and Anthony, of course, tour regularly as part of Hagar-retrospective outfit Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Satriani is a prolific solo performer, and Smith bangs the drums mostly for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
That doesn’t mean Chickenfoot is dead, per se, although Hagar has hinted in the past the supergroup has become more and more an afterthought in recent years. “To go in the studio and spend a half a million dollars to make a great record that’s going to sell forty or fifty thousand, maybe a hundred thousand records, [you] basically pay to play and you’re going to lose money on that,” Hagar has said of Chickenfoot.
Still, Satriani continues to send Hagar music to consider for a potential next Chickenfoot album (their last was 2011’s Chickenfoot III), and the band has actually recorded one new song (reportedly titled “Before I Die”). “It doesn’t have a home yet but at least we got a song,” says Satriani.
“The way that we work is I write a bunch of songs and create a 10 or 12 song demo sequence and send it out to all the guys and wait to hear back,” Satriani says. “Sometimes we [record] all of them, sometimes I don’t hear a word back. And I never really know what’s going on.”
Even for Satriani—who has solo shows scheduled through April and two Chickenfoot shows at Harrahs South Shore Room in Nevada in early May—it’s entirely unclear what the future of Chickenfoot will bring, if anything at all. “It’s basically me complaining about how we’re not working enough,” he says. “I just don’t know how to explain it. It might be so much more complicated than I imagine or maybe they just don’t like what I’m writing. I have no idea. The next time I see them maybe I’ll ask them to clarify it.”
In the end, he says, “it’s better to keep writing and pushing it out there. One of these songs, if it catches Sam’s imagination then something will happen.”