Friday night gave fans their first glimpse of the new supergroup Chickenfoot performing on national TV. The group performed “Oh Yeah” from their just-released debut album on NBC’s Tonight Show, which is now hosted by Conan O’Brien following the departure of Jay Leno from the program the previous week.
Despite the fact that the word “supergroup” has been thrown around quite liberally where this group is concerned, apparently frontman Sammy Hagar would prefer it if that were not the case. This, according to a recent piece in the Winnipeg Sun, seems like quite a reversal from what Hagar said some months back when he suggested that his new group might be comparable to Led Zeppelin. Hagar has since revised that statement, and claimed his original statement was made while under the influence of a little too much Cabo Wabo tequila at the time.
“We’re kind of like the underdogs of the supergroups,” Hagar said. “Joe’s not the most famous name out there. Michael Anthony got thrown out of Van Halen. I’ve done everything. Chad is in the Peppers. But when you think of the Peppers, you think of Anthony and Flea — so we’re kind of like the backbone of all these bands and a little under the radar. I love it because I don’t like the word ‘supergroup’. I don’t like the pressure of it.”
So much for the supergroup.
Currently the group is in the middle of a tour which is focused on getting them in front of small audiences in more intimate venues. Hagar does not think the group, or their potential fans, are ready for them to start playing in front of arena-sized crowds just yet, and does not think it’s a good idea to introduce new material to such large live audiences. Or maybe they just want to see if they can pack a few clubs before they go out on a limb and try filling an arena.
Hagar admits that he’s happy to see that fans are not showing up with Van Halen T-shirts, but says that those are the fans that should be coming out to see them. “This is the best thing they can have is go see a Chickenfoot show or buy a Chickenfoot record because that is what they’ve been waiting for from Van Halen. It is Van Halen without Ed and Al,” Hagar says.
Hagar is clearly quite high on this new union and sounds no less confident than he did since he first started talking about it. Calling their experience in the studio “magic,” I guess it will ultimately be up to the fans to decide. The numbers will tell the story on whether Hagar should go back to using the word supergroup and Chickenfoot in the same sentence.
Check out all of Hagar’s comments in the Winnipeg Sun.