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Interview: Chickenfoot Guitarist Joe Satriani
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Obi-Dan   |  
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Joe Satriani has earned huge success as one of the finest guitarists of his generation. He has recorded 13 solo albums (including the hugely popular and cosmically amazing Surfing With The Alien) and appeared on countless others by various different artists.

In 2008, Satriani teamed up with ex-Montrose and Van Halen lead singer Sammy Hagar, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and a Chickenfoot was hatched. His wealth of experience and talent prevented them from being just another ‘supergroup’ and helped them become a hard-rockin’ hard rock party band.

Their self-titled debut album was a huge success as were the live performances captured on the DVD Chickenfoot: Get Your Buzz On LIVE. These legends of the genre return with their second album, the confusingly named Chickenfoot III on September 27th. Early reviews suggest it’s better than the first.

Setting time aside from his bandmates, Satriani answered my email questions for Geeks of Doom. His answers are brief, but then “Satch” has always let his guitar do most of the talking.

Geeks of Doom: How are you at the moment?

Joe Satriani: Very well thank you.

Geeks of Doom: What sort of reaction have you had to the new single “Big Foot”?

Joe Satriani: Everyone is crazy about this track and the new record!

Geeks of Doom: The second Chickenfoot album is called Chickenfoot III – whose idea was that and why?

Joe Satriani: I think it was Sammy’s idea. He was riffing off of Chad and Mike wanting to call it 4!

Geeks of Doom: Are you happy with the new album?

Joe Satriani: I think it’s our best work so far.

Geeks of Doom: How do you think it compares to the first Chickenfoot album?

Joe Satriani: It’s more developed from a writing point of view. And, we play and sound better now that we know each other more.

Geeks of Doom: You said the new album is heavier than the first one – was that a conscious decision or did that come about naturally during the writing?

Joe Satriani: That was something I wanted to accomplish. I felt we were so much heavier live, and I wanted that to be part of the new CD.

Geeks of Doom: On Chickenfoot III you worked with renowned producer Mike Fraser who you have worked with many times before on your solo albums – was it your choice to get him on board?

Joe Satriani: It was my suggestion, but I think everyone was thinking the same thing too!

Geeks of Doom: What does he bring to Chickenfoot’s sound?

Joe Satriani: He helped us pull it all together, sonically and musically. He kept us organized and had great ideas when we needed them.

Geeks of Doom: Chad Smith will be going back to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to promote and tour their latest album and he will not be joining you on your upcoming tour – how will you cope without him?

Joe Satriani: Chad brought in Kenny Aranoff as a replacement for the tour. Kenny is an amazing drummer as well as a kindred spirit. Chad and Kenny both have that same over the top energy that is such an important part of the Chickenfoot sound and vibe.

Geeks of Doom: Are you comfortable with the ‘supergroup’ tag?

Joe Satriani: Sure, why not?

Geeks of Doom: The live DVD Get Your Buzz On: Live was fantastic – do you have plans to release another or maybe a live album?

Joe Satriani: These days a live DVD is always lurking around the corner! I look forward to it…

Chickenfoot III is released by earMusic on September 27th. Further info: www.chickenfoot.us and www.ear-music.net/en/news.

[Photos (c) Kevin Nixon]

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